Today, blog snorkellers mine, we roll our eyes skywards in reaction to the latest piece of misengendered and spurious horsehit to grace the pages of the ‘industry’s bible’, the toilet-tissue-esque PRWeek. (Hello, PRWeek, hope you’re well.) This week’s issue has a story which you can find here, on the Week’s website, entitled “Comms Chiefs Predict First ‘Internet Election’ in The UK” (their inverted commas, not mine.)
All well and good, you might say, heaving a sigh of relief that the ‘bible’ has refrained from printing pictures of drunken consultants baring their bottoms out of hotel bedroom windows following yet another product launch and nine-hour lunch.
Unfortunately though, it’s neither well, nor good. Let’s face it, the next general election is not going to be an internet election, not by any stretch of the imagination, if only for the simple reason that only 59% of the UK population have internet access. The first shots in this election have already been fired and they were fired via outdoor. No, I’m not going to ignore the government’s Twitter Czar and the fact that social media and the wider web will be addenda to the main marketing agenda, but it’s not going to be an internet election. IT’S NOT.
And guess what? When you read the ‘story’ in the ‘bible’, you find that the ‘Comms Chiefs’ of the headline, who have, apparently, predicted the first ‘internet election’, have actually DONE NO SUCH THING. In fact, they could hardly be less predictory.
Once again, it’s a simple case of being so over-awed by social media, and so sucked up by the hype, as to try and shoehorn the miserable stuff into anything and everything that has even the smallest communication element.
Once and for all. The Emperor has no clothes on. Social media is not the dawn of a brave new world. It will not replace (although it may add to) more traditional and more direct comms tools. Social media does not affect everyone. Its coverage is by no means blanket. Some people don’t understand it, some people don’t like it. Not everything has to have, or needs, or requires, a social media element.
So please, don’t try to roll everything in social media in the hope that some of it will stick. And don’t make baseless claims.