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November 15, 2008


"Social media exposes a weakness in PR" - surely he means a weakness in advertising? It seems to me that PR is going from strength to strength as people begin to gain a better understanding of how social media can enhance their current work.

Agree with Will that there's not much depth to Jeremiah's points, but when PRs are too busy doing their client's work that they forget to look at what they can do to enhance their own reputation.

By using and experimenting with social media tools in both personal and professional capacities, PRs will be able to demonstrate their expertise, differentiate themselves and enhance existing functions.

As for fixing your own reputation, I feel a whole separate post is needed to explore this issue.

"PR people should become part of the community they serve" - this many comments at this time on a Saturday morning is testament that there are many in the industry working on this!

@will Yep like I said in the last para, nothing new here for many.

@ben Agreed. And maybe it exposes a weakness in PR because so many PR people simply turn a blind eye to social media rather than look at how to harness it. And as your email from a blogger about the PR 'phishing' illustrates, many that do try to make the most Jeremiah's "four opportunities" get it very wrong.

Now if I was a Venn-diagramme drawing man (you know who who you are) it would be all to easy to show just how interlinked PR, social media, word of mouth, corporate communications, reputation management, branding, customer service, CRM, digital etc. etc. is, and how those boundaries are gently shifting.

Now maybe this is a slightly arrogant attitude to have, but I suspect the UK industry (at least, the bit of it I work in, which straddles most of the above) and the people I regard as thinkers as well as doers (several familiar names above), is a bit further ahead in our approach than our American cousins? I've never worked for a big multi-national PR agency, so I might be wrong. It's just a hunch. But A pretty solid one.

As for definitions - well that's the thing. Two people who "do" the same thing might not exactly agree with eachoter what they "do" - the times they are a changing, but in my mind it's part listening, part thinking, part advising, part talking/writing. And part listening to loud music too (but that's never work related).

And as for why PR has a bad rep. Well it's just never been sexy. It's never had the budgets of advertising or DM. People (my Mum's still thinks I'm a journalist) can't quite understand it, and PRs generally naturally defer to their clients' needs, not their own.

But, or rather BUT... Things are changing. And this recession will change them quickly indeed.

Assuming PRs understand a clients' business objectives, and they can demonstrate the effectiveness of social media, then we're pushing at an open door compared to our advertising cousins. Aren't we?

Who knows... what we do over the next few years might even become sexy or get the big budgets which used to be thrown at TV.

Here's hoping, anyway.

(Can't believe how typo-laden that comment was). Note to self. Read stuff before pressing post...)

Exactly my ideas about social media's impact on PR. Social media are going to revive PR and switch it back from dealing with the (old) media to dealing with the 'public'.
We are so consumed by fighting for 'coverage' that often loose sight of the actual objectives we are supposed to achieve.

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