Speaking the same Online PR language

Whilst reading the econsultancy.com online PR benchmarking report, it struck me that PRs and brand marketers were still talking a different language.

Clients wanting increased brand mentions online are met with agencies delivering blogger relations. Those asking for brand reach are offered optimised press releases.  A client wants outcomes: and the agency offers tactics. Well, nothing new there then!

The trouble is that this issue is completely exacerbated by the proliferation of social media jargon. Love or hate these new terms, agencies and clients alike are letting them fly from their collective lips: especially around the pitching table.

At the recent Utalk Marketing conference, presentations from different marketing agencies revealed the scale of the confusion within the industry. There is no common understanding between the different marketing professions. Just look at the PR and SEO industries where there is no agreement on the definition for online PR. No wonder clients get confused.

We might be using the words like ‘social media’, ‘influentials’ or ‘conversations’, but we don’t always mean the same thing: several social media terms could now be classified as homonyms there are so many different meanings!

And the cloud of confusion is getting thicker. Every time a new tool, technology or platform rises in popularity it is accompanied by a raft of new buzzwords.

It occurred to me that no one had yet determined how much the social media jargon was impacting client marketers. What is the effect of having to learn a new lexicon of marketing and technology terms? How is social media literacy affecting the understanding of what a client wants? And most importantly, how is the confusion influencing budgets.

So we are doing some research with brands in the UK, to be published as a report (and shared socially of course).

I would like to include some comments and anecdotes from readers and fellow bloggers in the report (accredited of course). So if you have an opinion, or story to tell on the issues of social media jargon, please do share in comments or trackback posts (now I am using jargon!).

Do certain terms need clearer definitions, or should we be going back to basics and using the language of communications? Are there words that you think are commonly misunderstood or often misused?

Our intention is to put the best into the report with a link to your blog or website – and give you the first view of the report before we officially publish.

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