I’m basing my blog post on the reaction to my last post on “PR of the Past vs. PR 2.0 Today.“ I wrote that post to pinpoint the amazing technological differences between today and year’s past and how a PR person’s role has altered (for the better). But, the real discussion (the comments on my blog) focused on how PR people need to evolve as a result of social media communications and how there’s still resistance. As a matter of fact one comment stated, “A lot of PR people don’t even know that PR has evolve[d]…or they don’t want that!”
I realize that every professional advances at his or her own pace. And, with respect to technology and social media communication, there are PR people who dip their feet slowly and then there are others who jump in head first (which isn’t the recommended approach). To move forward, it doesn’t matter the pace of engagement but rather the fact that you must engage.
At this point, a transition to new media communication is inevitable because, and I quote the words of Steve Rubel’s Micro Persuasion blog, “All Media is Social” and “All Social is Media”. According to Rubel, you can no longer separate traditional media from social media. He says that we do our planning, executing and measurement we must look at the entire landscape.
If PR people want to grow in their industry, if they want to keep close relationships with influencers and other important stakeholders (media outlets, bloggers, customers, employees, etc.) and if they want to communicate effectively, then it’s time to evolve. The world is changing quickly and we see evidence of this every day, beginning with the media landscape. Here are just a few examples:
- There are about 30 top news sites on Twitter
- Media outlets from BusinessWeek to The New York Times publish articles online with viral sharing tools and the ability to comment to engage readers in dialogue
- Media outlets have started their own communities with blogs and social networking platforms, even traditional newspapers, on the local level.
- CNN has iReport, which allows consumers to become video journalists and share the raw video news footage.
- eMarketer stats discussing the demographics is narrowing gap
- The Twitterbowl rated advertising spots on TV will millions contributing to the conversation and providing valuable feedback to brands.
- Social networks are recognized sources for news and information, including breaking news stories.
- PR service providers have included PR 2.0 capabilities and viral sharing tools in their news distribution services.
There are so many more examples of how the media landscape has changed and thus, so should our approach and method of communications. What are your best examples and what would you recommend to the PR person who is reluctant to change?