Which of your communications channels would you switch off?

Yesterday, 12 November we held an event called #UKNewscamp. I say we as it was Lizzy Bell from Ofsted; Christina Hammond-Aziz from Food Standards Agency; and myself.

I ran a small session on the premise that ‘social media is dead’ — Twitter is going under; Facebook not much use unless you pay; YouTube going commercial etc.

My challenge going around the table was to ask ‘which of your existing channels would you switch off?’

No names will be mentioned but the answers were illuminating.

One organisation said they were in process of stopping publishing to YouTube as the content they were creating was not high quality enough.

Another said they had tried Vine but had not really worked so were going to stop.

Interestingly one person said they were going to kill off LinkedIn whereas another organisation said they were doing the opposite and going to put more effort into it.

Someone said it was worthless using Facebook unless you were willing to throw money at them. It was also argued that Facebook has also killed off discussion forums which have really dwindled in content and scale.

Pinterest was rather slammed because of the need for a log in and again one organisation was going to wind down their account.

Tumblr was seen in one organisation as too trendy and for young people so was also going to be wound down.

I even overheard the idea that one team were working out how to shut down their own website and focus more on going where their audiences live.

On the other hand Wikipedia and having a Wikipedia strategy was mentioned which caused some raised eyebrows until it was explained in more detail such as Wiki Project Health; and another person gave some good example of how museums and galleries had taken such a route and used Wikipedia as their publishing platform.

Also some email tools got the thumbs up as being very targetted, easy to manage and having clear metrics.

So what was the purpose of the exercise?

Well there was an element of saying the unthinkable that ‘so called’ social media is dead and how do we deal with that? What if some of these channels went under how would we communicate? How did we communicate before they existed?

We all asked ourselves if we forgotten the basic principles of comms objectives; knowing your audience; how to engage with them; and then think about tools?

What do you think?