If you believe that social (or digital) media represent the future for the media industry, and presumably you do, then PRs have a golden opportunity here. What I mean by that is PRs are used to ‘earned’ media rather than ‘paid-for’ media and we accept that you cannot manage the media. Advertisers and marketers who are used to paying to get what they want and planning certain content to appear at certain times, are fundamentally different.
These PR skills, which are ingrained, combined with experience of crisis management, mean that we are perfectly placed to take the lead on social media.
To realise the full potential of social media, you need to have buy-in from all parts of an organisation, particularly sales, marketing, customer service, HR and internal communications. However, PR is normally the best place to co-ordinate this activity as it impacts significantly on reputation.
In my opinion, the key attributes for a brand to have if it wants to engage successfully via social media are openness, transparency, integrity, energy and the sense that it can participate but not control. I think that good PRs tend to get their head around this quickly because they are very similar values to the ones that work well with traditional media.
To put it another way, no-one owes you editorial coverage or mentions on a blog or forum. But the balance of power is different with paid with paid-for activity so there might be a tendency to assume that this leverage can automatically work in the social space. Broadcasting, shouting, bragging and being overly self-promotional will not win you digital friends.
PR is changing and adapting to the digital media revolution – make sure that your efforts to manage the flow of information between you and your communities reflect that.Read More