One of the most frustrating things about reading PR blogs is that most commentators talk about how the profession has changed overnight, rather than pointing out that it is evolving like other industries. It is claimed that if we don’t adapt and embrace new trends like word-of-mouthing marketing in its various guises such as blogs or consumer evanglism, then we will go out of business…at least that’s what some people would like us to believe.

This might hold true were it not for the fact that we aren’t fully at grips with existing mediums of communications such as print or broadcast media. While social media offers a new way to communicate with different audiences, PR professionals should also use the Internet to improve their skills, not simply to make some extra money. For example, I’ve never seen the inside of a newsroom. Thanks to the Spokesman-Review in the US, I can watch editorial meetings after the paper took the decision to streaming the meetings live online.

Some people say that every PR consultancy should start blogging and offer Social Media services to all their clients. I still insist that Social Media tools aren’t for everyone and they should be used where appropriate. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be reading blogs or following podcasts, etc where they helps us develop as professionals. The Spokesman-Review’s editorial meetings is just one example of this. Every junior that enters the PR industry should be forced to watch them as part of their training and development in order to gain a better understanding of how the media work. If we don’t learn from the past then we’re doomed to keep making the same mistakes in the future.

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5 Responses to “The PR industry needs to use Social Media to develop, rather than to simply make money.”  

  1. 1 Tom

    The main thing about offering a relevant, value-for-money PR campaign is that one size does not fit all. Every client is different, has different audiences, different requirements.

    Someone who is truly comfortable with new communications methods will know when it is appropriate to use them and when it is not. Someone who thinks that these new channels have allready changed the face of PR, that any PR agency who doesn’t use them is staffed by luddites, isn’t looking past the hype.

  2. 2 Kami Huyse

    Piras; I agree wholeheartedly, this is a great post and your link to the Spokesman Review is something that is already in my feed. Social Media tools are appropriate for SOME, but not all, of my clients. Taking it slow makes a lot of sense to me and using case studies (or small outings) into social media territory — then measuring the results.

  3. 3 Octavio Isaac Rojas Orduña

    The real advantage of social software is that you can contact the public directly, and, by doing that, you can forget about the media (some times).

    Nice blog.


  4. 4 Todd Defren

    Piaras –
    I agree, whole-heartedly. I also agree with Kami’s comment (as usual). However, I also tend to think that many PR pros (and bloggers) have been reflexively defensive about Social Media. We’ve been given some great new tools that empower us to take fuller advantage of our role as “facilitator.” We can become much more deeply embedded in the editorial process of both traditional and new media writers. Why WOULDN’T we seize the oppty to rise to the top of the marketing mix?

    I’d rather see PR pros make a few 2.0 mistakes for having been too aggressive in adopting these tools for clients, than to take babysteps and then watch the Ad guys take all the credit. 😉

  1. 1 Fitzwilliam Institute » Blog Archive »

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