Sally Falkow Named PR Trainer of the Year: Social Media Training

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(NEWSWIRE.NET–January 25, 2013) Altadena, CA — A 2012 study, conducted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Ipsos ASI and Bloomberg, has identified a skills gap in business use of social media.  While the majority of businesses are using social media only 6% say their social media skills and competencies are optimal.  A further 50% claim to be either below their industry average or feel they are ‘fundamentally ill-equipped.’  

Sally Falkow, APR, CEO of Meritus Media Inc., realized the need for training corporate PR and marketing staff in social media skills as early as 2008. Over the last four years Falkow has trained more than 1500 agency and corporate employees and executives.  Her two-day Social Media Bootcamp classes won her the title PR Trainer of the Year at the PR News PR People of the Year Awards. Several of the companies and agencies she has trained have also won digital PR and social media awards.

“Our Digital PR and social media classes now include a six-month coaching component,” says Falkow. “We have found that just doing a short-term immersion in the theory is not enough.  People need to actually use the skills and have someone who can help them improve over time.”

Why should businesses invest in social media training for their employees?  According to the recently updated Social Media Revolution video:

  • Social media has become the number one activity online
  • 85% of pope online expect brands to be present and to interact with them on social media
  • Facebook has over a billion active monthly users
  • Half of them use Facebook every day
  • Every second two new members join LinkedIn
  • 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute of the day
  • YouTube has become the second largest search engine after Google
  • 50% of people value a brand’s Facebook page more than their website
  • 87% have liked a brand on Facebook
  • 53% of people recommend products in their tweets

Educating the C-suite

Forbes reports that companies that outperform peers were 30 percent more likely to identify openness – characterized by greater use of social media platforms – as a key factor.  Getting an effective social media program implemented takes buy-in from the top, yet the latest Socializing Your CEO report from Weber Shandwick shows only 18 percent of the world’s largest companies’ CEOs have their own social network pages – a paltry two percent increase from the previous report released in 2010.

A brand that has no understanding or buy-in at the C-suite level will struggle to get their employees trained, active and effective in social media, so that they can produce effective content and use the social platforms strategically to achieve business goals.  Social media training and coaching for both executives and employees should be a priority in 2013.

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Sally Falkow

@sallyfalkow on Twiitter

626 296 6218