First things first, we’ve hired a National Director of Social Media. I’ll start by disclosing that our said National Director of Social Media is, in fact, me. So, who am I, why am I at a PR agency, and what’s my plan?
Let’s start with who I am:
I’m Neil Collins, I’m one of those “digital native” types you keep reading about (this basically means my first point of call for everything in my personal and work life is usually a device/app/digital).
I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember – I’m an early adopter by nature (stemmed by a very concerning need to be absolutely AT ALL TIMES in touch with the latest digital and tech toys), and this seems to have planted me firmly in the digital/online world in my career. On that point, I’ve been playing in the digital (and social) space since the heady days of MySpace V1. And when I say “playing” I mean, researching, operating in, designing, strategising, and advising clients on how to meet specific business objectives via tactical use elements of the change-happy (and sometimes overwhelmingly terrifying) digital landscape. Some positions I’ve held include: • Head of Digital – Express Media Group • Social Media Manager at Vodafone Australia • Head of Social Media at ING DIRECT I also set up and ran my own online marketing agency back in the day, and have worked with some big names that you’ve definitely heard of. Why did PPR make this move?
Enough about me, now on to the fun stuff; why did PPR go and hire someone to run and manage social media nationally?
Firstly, we’re good at this find this. And when I say we, I mean the super-smart, savvy, lightning-quick response time PR practitioners I now find myself surrounded by. I’m not just talking comms, either; I’m suggesting that PR practitioners have the genetic makeup to deal with the challenges social media throw up on a regular basis, from contact center escalations, to emerging issues, and that campaign that went array because someone let the intern loose on Facebook.
Secondly, agencies need experienced (at every level, including enterprise, and not just social marketing campaign level) senior leaders who can educate staff, integrate technology and methodology, and who can talk to clients with a level of empathy you only get from being at the sharp end of a social media integration initiative. What’s the plan?
So, what’s the plan, you ask. Suffice to say, you should definitely be watching this space (PPR) this year – we have some monumental, industry changing innovations planned. We’re starting this growth and change period by developing our own in-house social media team nationally, and further enhancing the skillset of our amazing staff. We’ll also be rolling out some very cool gadgetry (a new product offering excusive to PPR) next month. Stay tuned to the PPR blog for the details – soon.