What can The Green Mile teach us about social media?

November 29, 2009

Pondering the question as this incredible film screens again tonight.

Tagline for Stephen King’s screenplay? ‘Miracles do happen’ and on the face of it, we might just see a few yet. In time.

In a week which saw the juxtaposition of the first annual Golden Twits awards in the UK for top tweeters alongside concerns over the threat posed to British creative industries from filesharing, it seems hard to see anything miraculous evolving for many media types in the current online climate. Jobs continue to be cut, journalists continue to leave the industry, the media platforms continue to lumber forwards. Where, oh where, are the miracles?

If we follow The Green Mile, miracles arrive from the most unusual sources.A scampering mouse, a gigantic lifer on death row.

For example, the growth of digital agencies and their focus on utilising content in the development of search engine marketing: the days of putting content online for the sake of it seems to be a dying activity. The gigantic lifer on death row can be likened to traditional media operations, whilst the scampering mouse could be a social media start-up, offering hope and new revenues.

The lesson is this: miracles can happen for our hard-pressed journalists, but they have to be carefully sourced.

And for these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to be discovered, both newly-graduated journalists and experienced Hacks alike need to be adaptable, open-minded and above all, willing to accept things they cannot necessarily see evidence of.

Such as social media: it doesn’t seem to represent anything other than a time-consuming fad to many hard-nosed, traditional media types and online marketers. The ROI isn’t immediate. Bin it. Lose the platforms and re-invest in what’s been done before.

However, what these old-school diehards fail to see is that for a miracle to work, it needs nurturing. Devotion. And time.

Time to engage, grow, and excite audiences. Time to allow offers, services and products to be introduced. Time for social media channels to become the miracle opportunity which a select few organisations and individuals are starting to see presently.

In the dark? Wondering how social media can be your next content-based miracle? Thinking it’s just a waste of time?

Watch The Green Mile – the mouse has all the answers.

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