Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Do you rely too much on social media

Let’s do a hypothetical “what if” for a second. What if social media went away, say tomorrow? Would you be able to sustain your client’s PR efforts? Would you suddenly find yourself void of any big ideas?

The reason I ask this is because social media is all the rage right now. I’m just as guilty as anyone of buying into the hype. I love social media - it’s the first thing I do in the morning. It’s also the last thing I do before going to bed. I love the ability to connect and learn from the many brilliant folks out there. However, if social media failed to exist tomorrow, what impact would it have on your work?

Are we forgetting the basics of public relations? I love the enthusiasm that social media has created. It’s great to see what social media is doing to the communications landscape. But we owe it to our clients, to our employers and most importantly, to our profession to be well-balanced. I understand that social media is the new trend and the way the communication field is going. However, if we focus solely on social media, we’ll be doing an injustice to ourselves by forgetting the core of what makes a successful PR professional.

I agree that it’s important for PR folks to get familiar with social media. Will everyone use it? No, just as it’s not for every business, it’s not for every PR person. There are a lot of other tools that PR folks should be focusing on during these leans times that I think are getting swept under the rug.

Basic HTML and SEO are two things that I personally need to learn more about. What about pitching? It’s a skill that is often taken for granted, yet is something that successful PR folks master. What about research? My opinion - it’s the most essential skill a PR pro needs to learn and practice. Social media is simply one part of PR. It’s like media relations, internal communications, community relations - one piece of a bigger puzzle.

Would you still be able to build relationships if a computer wasn’t in front of you? How would you network if the Internet wasn’t around? Could you still pick up a piece of paper and interview a client? Could you make your brand stand out without the glitz and glamour?

Listen, I’m all for integration of social media. I’m constantly trying to learn more each day. It’s a great tool for me to connect. Let’s enjoy the technology, but like the saying goes - don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Ah Kasey, how right you are.
I'm so glad you posted this. I haven't thought about it -- but I def. think that I'd rather not think about social media going away because I do love it so.

However, I think it is soooo important for professionals to spread out their outlets. Don't utilize social media alone, traditional media is still one of the best tools out there. I am a firm believer that the press release isn't dead.

But that's just me.

In my opinion, the best professionals are the ones who can go in between all outlets, making them the most well rounded.
Thanks for the comment Sasha. You are spot on. My fear is that today's young PR peeps will be so focused on social media that they'll forget the other aspects of PR.

That isn't to be said that social media shouldn't be taught. A successful PR person is someone who is can do it all. Even if you have a "specialty" be sure that you can still fall back on some more traditional skills.

Great insight.
And variants are possible still?

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