Yesterday was a good day in social media circles. Three thought-provoking blog posts were published that challenged common-held beliefs about PR and digital media – posts that I loved reading by people who aren’t afraid to constructively question the status quo. So I figured I’d flag them up her especially for you lucky and lovely people to read.
The first was by social media guru Brian Solis, looking at Twitter as a cultural catalyst. He talked about how it is Twitter’s users who are defining the role of the platform as a communications medium; how Twitter spawned the real-time web and emerged as a “human seismograph” that allows us to look at the events, themes and trends that are captivating us; how Twitter has given a voice and a stage to individuals who are able to enchant us in 140 characters; and how the platform has now become a part of what is shaping society. Powerful stuff and well worth a read.
The second post was by Kasey Skala and Rachel Kay – a joint post that presented two disparate opinions on the question as to whether social media is now a ‘requirement’ for PR pros. I loved this not only because it is a topic that I address fairly frequently in one form or another on Tribal Boogie and on Twitter, but because two people with strong opinions were prepared to openly debate the issue in the public arena.
Kasey asserted that Twitter and LinkedIn don’t make up for lack of real-world relationships, that social media isn’t for every PR pro and that you need a reason to be on Twitter. Rachel responded that to truly understand how social media operates, evolves and affects our clients, it’s critical to experiment with how it influences our own relationships. The idea, she says, is to learn how to use it and that, even if the social web isn’t for everyone right now, it soon will be. For what it’s worth, I’m with Rachel on this – the social web is here to stay and if we as communications pros don’t learn how to use it very quickly, we’ll get left behind by those who do.
Along similar lines, the final post was an interview with the amazing Deidre Breakenridge about how PR needs to reinvent itself. In it, she discusses how PR has lost the ‘relationships’ factor and how we really must listen to the people that matter, make direct connections with them and become a valuable resource. She talks about the value of building and sustaining relationships to our clients, and about how the new PR movement is reinventing the public relations industry so that we can have those relationships based on mutual respect rather than being perceived as spin doctors. Deidre is an extremely intelligent and insightful person for whom I have utmost respect, and this interview providers a glimpse into the mind of one of modern PR’s true thought leaders. It’ll make you want to buy her book!
I don’t normally write posts about other people’s content (especially exclusively!), but in this instance all three articles are very well worth your time, so if you never take a word of advice from this blog ever again, please take some time out of your day to visit the relevant links above and read the posts in full. And if you have any thoughts on any of the topics covered, I’d dearly love you to leave them in the comments below.
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