I had the pleasure of presenting with Brian Solis, my co-author of Putting the Public Back in Public Relations. BizSummits developed a great program on PR 2.0 that attracted many senior level professionals who were interested in how to further their company’s social media participation as well as their own.
A lot of what we discussed during the seminar had to do with change; mostly the changing attitude of the PR professional to embrace a new PR approach. This new approach teaches us how to listen carefully and to engage with new influencers and customers directly in web communities. We also join the ranks of content creators and we are connectors in the social media landscape. One key point that Brian and I stressed was that the difference between PR 1.0 and PR 2.0 is “You,” the professional.
At previous conferences, I’ve noticed the Q&A portion of the seminar was always focused on the basics; the why, how, and what is the approach? But, it was refreshing to be a part of a program that went beyond the basics and really delved into specific strategy, planning and forward-thinking when it comes to PR professionals and social media communications. There are many professionals that I applaud, who are interacting in web communities like Twitter, Plaxo, Facebook, LinkedIn, and they are doing so many great things in the social media landscape. I’m happy to report that I see some progress and the PR 2.0 change is taking place.
So many times, I’ve prepared for presentations and it turns out that the audience is not quite at the level of professional development that I expected. I’m happy to say that based on the nature of the questions during the BizSummits’ teleseminar, we’re making great strides and progress in our industry! It feels good to see more professionals being open minded about the changes and participating in Social Media.
Now, I still detected that slight fear of change and some frustration over PR 2.0 challenges with social media, i.e., when we discussed the changing vocabulary and how in New PR there were no pitches, audiences and messages. Other challenges came in the form of questions regarding measurement, how to get executives to buy into a social media program and how to handle negative comments and trolls.
It was a dynamic session and the 90 minutes flew by. But what stands out the most is the take away from the conference. After many discussions on varied topics from sociology and cultural anthropology to internal social networking platforms and external blogging initiatives, the most important takeaway that we stressed was: it’s all about you, the PR professional and your passion to engage in social media. It’s your responsibility to learn and practice new PR and take the proper approach that goes along with it. Our industry has star potential and so do the Pros that make up the PR profession. What we lost in the days of the dotcom bust in terms of credibility can be regained through today’s PR 2.0 and educating brands on the socialization of media and how they can build stronger relationships with stakeholders through social media.
With this new approach comes the responsibility to listen, engage, learn more and understand the new media landscape. If and only if you do this, then you can teach others how to listen, engage, learn more and understand how to use New PR effectively for their brands.
My question to you: do you see the same progress in our industry?