Thursday, June 05, 2008

How Social Media Has Changed PR

I'll be starting off my presentation at the Blogging for Business Conference tomorrow with this statement:
    The practice of PR has changed more in the last five years than it did in the previous fifty.
What do you think? Is that:
  • Completely off base;

  • A pointless statement of the blatantly obvious; or

  • An intriguing contention that makes you want to hear more?
It's not just a matter of new technology. Technological change has been ongoing, from manual typewriters to electric ones to PCs, fax machines and email. From wire services that really were wire services to light years faster and more capable online platforms.

Web 2.0 and the explosion of social media over the past few years are more than just new technological tools for PR professionals to adopt—they change the philosophy of PR.

Prospects and stakeholders no longer want to be an audience for corporate news, they want to be participants. And through various forms of social media—blogs, video, wikis, forums, podcasts, social bookmarking and networking sites—they have made themselves participants.

PR practitioners can no longer practice "microphone PR," which, as the term implies, is about one-way, one-to-many communication controlled by the PR person. Social media has shifted the practice to interactive PR, or, if you prefer, social PR or conversational PR. The role of PR is now to start the conversation, which is two-way or many-to-many, then monitor and participate in that conversation.

More on this later.


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom


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