This week, our guest is veteran PR professional Giovanni Rodriguez, co-author of a new white paper about the role of public relations in social media. The paper has stirred some controversy among PR bloggers who disagree with its authors’ findings.
Among the surprises the research turned up are that PR people believe they’re competing with other marketing and even corporate disciplines to own the social media conversation and that new media may actually be weakening PR’s hold on its traditional function. Giovanni suggests there’s a bit of an identity crisis going on in PR as a result. Quite a few agencies have experimented with social media, but enough people are intimidated by the new influencers of social media that a debate has emerged over whether social media should be PR’s responsibility.
In reality, Giovanni says, social media relations isn’t all that different from media relations. You need to speak to the interests of the blogger as you would to a reporter. Public relations should really be about relating to the public, not just the media, and if PR professionals embrace the opportunity, their career growth will be enhanced.