Sunday, May 15, 2011

The relationship between PR and Social Media

Someone I met recently who is an icon in PR and can spin any brand asked my opinion on how I see the relationship between PR and Social Media. My answer initiated a debate on definitions, functions and roles of each. I am sure we all agree that social media is a delivery channel of a message prepared by a PR practitioner and is not a destination, I hope we all agree also that social media requires more sophisticated content mangement than  traditional media, hence a more PR savvy communicators and dicipline, it would help if we all agree that social media multiple delivery channels require multiple PR skills and the ability to customize the approach to suit the medium without diluting the key message set by the strategy.

The relationship is by default between both, everything that delivers on creating, establishing, enhancing or demolishing an image is a PR skill. I've shared my take on web experts earlier and I will keep shouting about it until the malpractice stops. Feeding social media channels with content is the work of PR, if you hire a proffessional PR firm to do that, it means you are after serious business, let's remember, with social media, it's not awareness we seek ONLY, a successful social media campiagn by PR profs leads to brand engagement, something PR proffessionals have been doing for decades through sponosrship and events.

I really hope I was able to convince the PR lady that PR's role has expanded with the arrival of social media and not changed. Let's go back into history, theater came first, then print, then radio, TV and internet... The more the communication channels are, the greater role PR can and will play, a webexpert who is doing your "social media" now is a TV director, he can produce and impact, but he/she cannot engage without bringing attention to thier program. The PR dudes do that.

I call on all PR proffessionals to support this call by demonstrating real need of PR expertise to secure constant feed of content and messaging versus design and applications/technology.


1 comment:

  1. When the tools of translating social media through PR agencies are clearer and better understood. When brands believe that social media is about feeding online viewers with qualitative content and securing the best online exposure and that only a matter of simple passive online chatting, I think everybody will be by then convinced about the exact relationship between PR & Social media.