by helen on November 5, 2010

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” William Penn

 How many times have you wished there was another hour in the day? Or another day in the week? I do it a lot.

 And yet what I really need is someone to help me manage my time so I can be more effective and efficient. So that instead of spending precious minutes (sometimes hours) working out how to get the TV to play the film from the camcorder, or the laptop to connect to the router (ha!), I can call on someone who knows what they are doing to get me up and running with minimal effort.

 Now it’s not always an option to find a “man who can” – especially when budgets are tight. And at the end of the day, I can always watch the TV rather than the camcorder and hardwire the laptop into the router.

 But it’s a bit different for a business owner struggling to get their company in front of customers before their competition, while facing increasing demands on their time. Their priority is maintaining the right staff to develop the best products and services and to then deliver them to customers satisfactorily.

 Raising awareness of your company with the right people can make a huge difference to your success. Many businesses hire communications specialists to help them produce company brochures, build websites, generate positive media coverage – all to be seen by the right people.

 Right now, where are the right people for your business? And who are the specialists who can help you get in front of them?

 Well, a lot of people are online – chatting with friends, browsing websites, finding out who shares their passion for painting, where the nearest florist is, who can fix that annoying sound the floorboards make every night as you creep across the landing.

 They may still be using the Yellow Pages and the local media to find companies offering services they need and want. But an increasing number are searching online – via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube. And even if they’re not searching for your company, they are there – and this means you have an opportunity to reach them in a way that you haven’t considered before.

 Do you know how? Have you got the time to learn?

 Graham Jones Internet Psychologist thinks you should. And so do I, eventually.

 But, in the meantime, why not consider a communications specialist – a social media manager – who can help you get up and running with minimal effort?

As a PR consultant who has been helping companies raise their profile with the right people for over 15 years I know why many organisations and individuals choose to get help with their communications.

 I think it’s because many don’t know how to communicate effectively. They can make widgets, they can balance books, they can entertain and feed you – but many of them aren’t natural communicators nor are they technically adept when it comes to social media.

 In his blog, Mr Jones makes some valid points about why you shouldn’t have a social media manager.

 Here is why I think you should.

 Because if you don’t engage with people through social media, and your competition does – they’ll be one step ahead of you in the fight for market share.

 You need to develop a meaningful dialogue within your social media community. And to do that, you need to know what is being said about your company, your competitors, your industry. You need to monitor social media and find the right people to engage with.

 Do you know how to do this? Do you have the time to do this?

 As a PR consultant I have been doing just this “offline” for companies and organisations in Yorkshire for 15 years. Now, I am getting up to speed with the social media world with the help of a “man who can” – @nigelbotterill.

 I asked for help so that I can keep one step ahead of my competitors. And if you’re reading this then I know that I am doing something right – please say hello and let me know how you think a communications specialist might help your business grow.

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