Lately I’ve gotten involved in a number of discussions with public relations people who are trying to leverage social for their clients’ needs.  Some of these people are socially active, but not entirely socially savvy; I feel like I sound like a broken record when I use the words “engagement” and “sustained” and “slow build” over and over again to try and describe how social media works.  So I’ve put together a comparison to show some of the ways in which PR and social media are different … because they are.  Really different.

PR: A single “hit” can make a difference
Social: Typically need a sustained effort to generate enough results to satisfy a client
Explanation: It’s rare that a single hit in social, even if it’s coverage by an influential blogger, will move the needle for a company or campaign.  Social media is a slow build that requites ongoing, daily effort to make an impact.  This is a hard concept for a lot of clients (and PR people) to understand.  Because one link from the main New York Times site or an appearance on Oprah (holy grails in the PR world, mind you) will almost certainly drive attention and traffic and likely sales for a company, and will undoubtedly make you a hero to the client.

Magazines

PR: Can be based on relationships with few
Social: Depends on relationships with many
Explanation: Some PR people, particularly those in a particular industry vertical or niche, can do the bulk of their work with a relatively small network of journalists.  They may send the occasional broad email, but if they have really strong relationships with the key editors and writers in their industry, they can work those same contacts again and again to get their stories out.  Social is, in reality, far less dependent on relationships with a small group of “influencers”; rather, in order to have real impact in social you need to generate engagement from a broad base of individuals.  For some brands there may be fewer fans or followers necessary to generate engagement, and for others they’re looking for mass, but it’s certainly more than a handful, or even a rolodex full, of journalists.

PR: Needs an angle
Social: Needs a voice
Explanation: Most PR pitches have an angle, a hook, a very specific ask or message that they want carried through.  Sure, sometimes you just want to get an executive out there on a broad topic, or generate awareness, but most of the time you’re looking for coverage of something new or important to the company. So you have, or need, an angle.  In social, angles rarely work.  Sure, sometimes you use social to run a campaign, or promote a new product, but most of the time what social needs is a strong voice.  The brand, or personality (if it’s, say, the CEO tweeting), needs to establish and be consistent with a singular voice within each of the social networks it engages in.  Sometimes the voice might be a bit different in Twitter than in Facebook, or the CEO will blog but not tweet.  But overall, the brand impression across social needs to maintain a cohesive image of the company in all communications and keep that voice going day after day.

PR: Mainly passive
Social: Can be active
Explanation: Only by using social media (or street teams, I guess) can you reach out and tap a consumer on the shoulder and say “Hey, I see you’re interested in widgets. I’ve got a great widget selector tool. Feel free to give it a whirl.”  Through Twitter and blogger outreach you can search for people who are predisposed to your product or service and offer to help them with a problem or question.  But you can’t do this in a pushy, spammy way – it’s not sales, it’s social.  So you should be providing resources, articles, tools and tips which might draw them into your world, which means you have to create that material first. PR can’t accomplish that kind of outreach – you have to sit back and wait for someone to consume the article or watch the program to become interested in your stuff and then maybe, if they remember later, they’ll visit your site or store and engage with you.

PR: Can be turned on and off
Social: Must be sustained over time
Explanation: As mentioned above, social is a slow build.  A brand just getting a blog started, or engaging in Twitter for the first time, may not see results, in terms of engagement, for weeks or months.  For a company who is serious about developing and maintaining a social presence, it’s a daily grind – you can’t turn it off, go on vacation, ignore it even during  a crisis.  PR is certainly best when it’s also a sustained effort, so that editors and writers get to know a brand and use them as a go-to resource year-round. But it’s also pretty easy to jump in and out of in order to promote a company at key time periods or for product launches.  If you turn social platforms on and off like that you’re going to look like you’re uncommitted to those channels – and you’ll lose followers/fans and have a hard time attracting new ones.

What comparisons can you draw between PR and social media?  Are they leading you down a path towards using more of one or the other for your company or clients?  The comments are yours.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Did you enjoy this blog post? If so, then why not:Leave Comment Below | Subscribe To This Blog | Sign Up For Our Newsletter |

About Stephanie Schwab

Stephanie Schwab

Stephanie Schwab is the Principal of Crackerjack Marketing, a digital marketing agency specializing in social media planning and execution. Stephanie is also the founder of the Digital Family Summit, the first-of-its-kind conference for tween bloggers and content creators and their families. Throughout her 20-year career, she has developed and led marketing and social media programs for top brands and has presented on social media and e-commerce topics at numerous conferences and corporate events. Stephanie writes about social media at CrackerjackMarketing.com, sometimes hangs out at Google+, and tweets @stephanies.

Other posts by

Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • alisoncreamer

    I had to reblog this and I hope to also share this with my company. Im a Realtor in Virginia Beach Va. Im on a Technology committee for our Keller Williams Realty office and its a real struggle to get people to understand Social Media is not traditional marketing. Many people are still looking for someone “do it for them for a fee” I love the explanation of the two. It an easy read and clearly defines social media is a SOCIAL campaign. PR is a bought and scripted campaign. I had a write up in a our local paper about using Facebook to sell homes. I have to admit your PR definition was right on ….. It did not make me a super star in the community. Of course I use the PR to point to my social media sites but in no way did it seal my bank account with tons of new clients. Great blog and I shared it on my Facebook page for more to see.
    Alison Creamer
    Realtor, ABR
    Keller Williams Realty Hilltop
    http://www.bzibeemedia.com

    • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

      Thanks, Alison! I especially love to see people, like yourself, in other industries (non-media) who “get” social and understand how it really works. Appreciate you reading and commenting.

  • http://twitter.com/AnneMarie75011 Anne MARIE

    Thank you Stephanie for this post which is very clear and focus on really basics points.

  • Pingback: Differences Between PR and Social Media | publicrelationsmajor

  • jdegnan

    Really good points Stephanie; particularly about the longer-term nature of social execution.

    However, as a social/digital manager at a traditionally PR-based firm I wouldn't say they couldn’t co-exist. In fact, a lot of what our team is doing is focused on moving PR tactics like journalist outreach more into the space of social execution that you're talking about.

    It's definitely a mind-shift to get PR pros to think about influencers as more than just circulation but once you zoom out to realize that relationships are relationships – it gets easier.

    The main difference is how we allocate our time. For instance, at the beginning of every engagement, we pull lists of relevant influencers on Twitter and other social platforms in addition to media contact lists. Then, we triage the outreach based on our team's time commitments and skill set. This usually means that a more junior staffer picks up reaching out to the Twitter community and the PR vets outreach to bloggers (a tactic that is closer to traditional outreach).

    Long-term, and as we see the line between traditional and social blur even further, you're going to see a wholesale shift in PR tactics to match following very much along the lines of what you've laid out.

    Great points, overall though!

  • jdegnan

    Really good points Stephanie; particularly about the longer-term nature of social execution.

    However, as a social/digital manager at a traditionally PR-based firm I wouldn't say they couldn’t co-exist. In fact, a lot of what our team is doing is focused on moving PR tactics like journalist outreach more into the space of social execution that you're talking about.

    It's definitely a mind-shift to get PR pros to think about influencers as more than just circulation but once you zoom out to realize that relationships are relationships – it gets easier.

    The main difference is how we allocate our time. For instance, at the beginning of every engagement, we pull lists of relevant influencers on Twitter and other social platforms in addition to media contact lists. Then, we triage the outreach based on our team's time commitments and skill set. This usually means that a more junior staffer picks up reaching out to the Twitter community and the PR vets outreach to bloggers (a tactic that is closer to traditional outreach).

    Long-term, and as we see the line between traditional and social blur even further, you're going to see a wholesale shift in PR tactics to match following very much along the lines of what you've laid out.

    Great points, overall though!

    • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

      Jared, I completely agree, they should co-exist, and there is a major mind shift that has to happen. I'm interested in your description of how you divide the outreach – makes a lot of sense that the new (Twitter) goes to those who are more comfortable with new mediums. Thanks for sharing.

  • Robin Smothers

    Hi, Stephanie. I completely agree with you, but would argue that a good PR practitioner knows that your points for social media should apply to all good PR programs. Ongoing, proactive, two-way communication has long been the way to build long-term relationships. I also think your post would be a great tool to help educate clients and manage their expectations.

    • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

      Hi Robin:
      Yes, agreed that a *good* PR practitioner should know these things….I'm only partly exaggerating for effect (because I know some of those bad PR practitioners too!). :-)

  • rickvanhouse

    This is great! Thanks for the tips. It is a discussion we have all the time.

    Rick
    knowadconnect.com

  • GeoffreyRowan

    True, and …, and you have to provide value for time spent, whether that's information, entertainment, insight, access etc. And spelling counts. (OK, well it should.)

  • http://twitter.com/PatrickStrother PatrickStrother

    I think you're equating PR with media relations. If you look more strategically at what public relations really encompasses, then social media is easily integrated into the overall program objectives.

    • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

      I don't disagree with you, Patrick – the point is that PR people (not necessarily the strategic ones, mind you) are still saying “let's tweet this out” without understanding what that really means. If there is an integrated communications strategy (PR and social), it's less likely that these issues come up.

  • http://www.whitevector.com Mikko Rummukainen

    Thanks for the great post Stephanie!

    I think this is a particularly relevant topic especially now that PR and Social Media are being treated synonymous a bit too often.

    They are indeed two different things – even though there are even strong connections to be found. Still, the traditional PR approach to social media outlets does not necessarily give the right results. It could be compared to attempts where online marketing itself is approached with the older set of traditional marketing tools. Some of it is relevant, some of it proves to be a bit outdated or incompatible.

    I really liked the theme of 'sustainability' you brought up in this post, and that is one of the most important things to remember when going for actual engagement and trying to build an earned audience. In social media the power lies in numbers, and while in PR you could always find a few friendly journalists to help get your message across, it is an entirely different thing to get more than a thousand consumers to push that same message to their networks.

    • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

      Thanks, Mikko, for your great comments! The point about one good hit in PR is a major one – that's what clients seem to always want from social. So hard to explain that even a major influencer posting does not equal Oprah.

  • Jeff Larche

    You've found a clear way to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of social. Like many of the others who've commented here, I know I'll find myself quoting you from this when I'm in client meetings. I promise to give you credit. ;-)

    • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

      That'll be $5, Jeff. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/Collectual Collective Intellect

    I really enjoyed this post because it begins to address both the amount of time/work it takes to establish a social media presence. Social media like any relationship is built on trust (you're not just trying to sell me something) and commitment (you're around even after the promotion or campaign). This type of engagement really begins to place the consumer/company within a more human context. I guess this may be why we are see the emerging importance of social anthropologist in this field.

    Thanks for a great post!

    -Jennifer

    • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

      Thanks, Jennifer! And I love your @collectual Twitter bio. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501456842 Ken Mueller

    This is why PR must leverage and learn from Social. I think PR often fails because it is more “campaign” oriented, rather than long term and build on relationships. The PR angle can be tied to social. PR “shouldn't” be turned on and off, and it “shouldn't” be passive. Social can and should change every aspect of how we do business.

    • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

      Ken, you must be coming from the social side. :-) As am I, of course. Thanks for the comment.

    • mdeboard

      I agree with you, Ken. PR should learn from “the social side” of community/customer relations. Or rather, PR ought to be given the freedom to change behavior to a more dynamic, always-on, responsive posture. Often it is not.

  • http://occamsrazr.com Ike Pigott

    Well done… it's not just about the activities. It's about the mindset (and the behaviors) that you must adopt as you approach them.

  • http://www.vocus.com Frank Strong

    This is a great post Stephanie — love the comparison and contrast. The only piece I might have a different perspective is where you write PR is passive and social media is active. The best PR pros are in fact very active. Passive to me suggests re-activeness, where the best story angles connect the dots and help us understand where we are going. Still, your explanation makes sense to me, though I'd attribute that to your section on relationships with a few versus many. Nice post!

    • http://www.postadvertising.com Jon Thomas

      Instead of echoing Frank, I'll simply agree with him here. You definitely have to be quite active as a PR professional (not that I am one).

      Aside – Both are about building relationships, but Social Media feels so much more genuine (if you're doing it right). It's not “I'll scratch your back so you scratch mine.” It's more like “You've scratched my back before, so I'll scratch yours now that you need me to, and that's just because I want to not because I am getting something from it.”

      • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

        Jon, love your back-scratching analogy! It does feel just like that to me. Frank, I agree, in the best case PR is very active. It's the other PR peeps that seem to be asking the questions that make me write this. :-)

  • pongpeets

    Well yeah, that really does make a lot of sense when you think about it.

    http://www.privacy-resources.edu.tc

  • http://twitter.com/jmhedrick Josh Hedrick

    The social media portion of this post is fantastic. But I take serious issue with this post's limited definition and scope of public relations. You're equating PR with media relations, which is one of many functions of PR. Public relations is much more dynamic that cranking out press releases or pitching bloggers. Also, a PR pro worth his/her salt is anything but a passive player in attracting customers, engaging audiences and building a brand.

    Social media is a natural evolution within the domain of public relations–another tool in our toolbox. PR pros need to proactively claim and own social media now.

    • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

      Josh, I exaggerate for effect only slightly….certainly PR is more than what I describe, but I'm continually amazed at how many PR practitioners ask questions about what social can do and equate it to old-skool style PR. You can see one of my earlier posts on SME for what I think PR people need to learn in order to really make social work for them (so they don't get their lunches eaten by others): http://www.socialmediaexplorer…/

      • http://twitter.com/beevolve Beevolve

        great article, Stephanie!

        The way we try to explain Social Media to our PR friends is that Social Media is resulting in convergence of three different fields – PR, Marketing and Customer Service. So the approach/tactic has to be also borrowed from all the three fields. After a big 'hit', PR efforts can be turned off for sometime but you can never turn off your 'Customer Service' department.

  • http://www.corpconfidante.com/ Katie Nix

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for your post. I work for an CPA firm and we have a few bloggers within our firm. Our bloggers range in topic and the use of Social media is often discussed.
    Your points are helpful in seeing the difference between PR and Social media.
    Thanks again for an excellent post!
    Katie Nix, HR Manager

  • http://twitter.com/fabienaspect fabienaspect

    Hi, this is very interesting and reflects my perception of the actual French market BUT, i don't share your perception of PR which are long term to me, and based on pro-active actions with media. I really want to take some time, write an answer on my agency's blog, and hopefully engage a discussion with you around that :-)

    • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

      Fabien, can't wait to read your blog. Please be sure to point me to it via Twitter @socialologist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=20506385 Zackery Moore

    You can't justly explain the difference between PR and social media with either/or bullet points, followed by a short “explanation.” I especially find fault with “PR can be turned on and off” and “A single 'hit' can make a difference.” Anything that requires a sustainable relationship can't be turned on and off. And if you're basing a media relations strategy on a single hit, you didn't do it right from the beginning.

    This blog post is what a lot of PR people refer to as “spin” on a topic that's tired and old. If anything it shows a lack of understanding of what PR isn't and what social media is.

    I respect you opinion, but it's blog posts like this that make people think that a Facebook fan page is a successful social media strategy.

    Z

    • mdeboard

      Zackery,

      Let's face facts. As much as we may try to justify ourselves as a “long game” or part of a long-term strategy, the vast majority of PR professionals work in an environment where they have to fight every day to justify their existence. Either that, or provide hard metrics to their superiors to qualify and quantify what they do periodically.

      “Single hits” that drive a lot of traffic are sometimes all many PR pros have to point to at the end of the FY and say, “Look, through our efforts we had x 'big hits' that drove traffic to our website by n%!”

      Whether we want to self-righteously defend our profession or not, simple fact is that big hits do matter disproportionately in the PR world. *Especially* in my domain of in-house PR (though I can't imagine the agency experience is drastically different when justifying costs to clients).

      Your response is, to me, emblematic of the pre-emptive defensiveness public relations pros adopt whenever we see someone distilling our work down to “getting on Oprah.” Yes, it is more involved. Yes, measuring “big hits” is a one-dimensional evaluation. Yes, media relations is a long game that requires expertise. That doesn't mean that we are evaluated on nebulous metrics like “media relations.”

      The author's points are dead on. Great post.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=20506385 Zackery Moore

        From an in-house perspective, how do you justify the point of “can be turned on and off.” If that were true, you would only have a part-time job.

        Yeah, I'm being defensive (not angry by any means). Blog posts like this are the reason so many people misunderstand PR (or branding or advertising).

        You can't boil down a complex role like this into an either/or, 1000-word-or-less blog post and accurately describe the impact on an organization, proper measurement techniques, or even the different kind of jobs a PR person performs in their position. At best, this is a superficial blog about ONE role (media relations) a PR person plays in the ongoing process of proper reputation/relationships management.

        Z

        • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

          Zackery, I really appreciate your comments; I don't ever want to write a blog post that everyone agrees with! But I do think there's only a portion of PR pros who really “get” social media to date. Hopefully that's changing….in the meantime, I am hearing clients say things like “let's put this out on Twitter so people will see it” when they have only a handful of followers. Some PR people think tweeting something is the same as getting Newsweek to write about it – a media hit. Obviously, it's not. If you haven't put the work in to building the following and attracting influential followers, your tweet will fall in the forest and no one will hear it.

          As for turning PR on and off, it does happen all the time. Companies, especially smaller ones, ramp up and ramp down on their PR based on their business objectives. Social cannot work the same way, and per Josh's Domino's example, companies who think they can just turn social media “on” get burned by it or at least don't get the results they think they can expect.

          mdeboard and Josh – thanks so much for your defense!

        • mdeboard

          To amplify Stephanie's point in her response to you, some PR efforts MUST be on-demand, especially story pitching/press releases. I think this is probably obvious BUT in case it's not, you don't want a constant stream of press releases or pitches coming out of your shop. Logorrhea isn't a desirable trait from the PR shop. It's a great way to annoy the hell out of the media.

          Sorry to disagree but every other department of a company is required to dissect their contributions into quantifiable chunks. PR people seem to operate under the delusion that since they do things that are difficult to quantify, they can't be expected to dissemble the complexities into easily digestible chunks. I know we are 'thought workers' but we still have to show our worth. I *want* to provide metrics. That means boiling down our complex role. (BTW, *everyone* has a complex role from their perspective. IT, admin/HR, security, etc., etc. PR isn't special, though the attitude that we are seems to be endemic.)

          I will stop my rant here, because I am about to launch into a longer rant (that doesn't pertain to your points per se Zackery) about PR 'professionals' and what it means to be in a team. I would rather save it for a more proper venue, however.

      • http://twitter.com/jmhedrick Josh Hedrick

        I can't speak from the perspective of an in-the-trenches PR pro, but I do attempt to inform myself, stay current with industry practices and look for broader trends in the profession. It seems to me that more and more companies are seeing the justification for preemptive tactics such as a strong social media presence to maintain their brand's reputation.

        Domino's Pizza, to name one of dozens of examples, didn't see the financial justification for social media outreach until their YouTube debacle. Perhaps the metrics still can't quantify their current efforts (other than perhaps their FourSquare/UK mayor deals, again I don't know), but the execs surely see the value of it.

        As an up-and-comer in the PR/social media field, this discussion is fascinating and invaluable to me. I'm intrigued to see where it leads as the issue develops.

        On a side note: This blog, and others like it, are invaluable to students such as myself. I hate those kids who constantly leave banal, self-serving comments on PR/SM blogs, but the ability to read and interact with your insights, musings and professional opinions mean a lot to all of our professional development. I don't usually post comments, but this was too interesting to stay out of. Thanks for doing what you do!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mickkparsons Papa Mick

    I don't work in Public Relations, but I am trying to build a web presence to sell and promote my own work. I use social networking primarily, but it does have limits and I know enough about marketing to know that it takes more than a Facebook page to find an audience. The biggest problem I'm finding now is that there's a whole underbelly industry of people wanting me to pay them to get my name/brand/work out there. They're worse than literary journals that charge “reading fees”, in my book.

    I thought this article was spot on in terms of what those of us who are trying to make something of ourselves in a new media world have to deal with.

  • http://twitter.com/GervaseCaycedo Gervase Caycedo

    Thanks for this article! As someone who is just exploring the emerging worlds of both social media and PR, I loved the comparisons. :)

  • http://www.virtualmeetingcoach.com The Virtual Meeting Coach

    What a fabulous piece, Stephanie! As a person who spent many years in PR, I so fully appreciate these distinctions you've made and the truth of them. I'm Amplifying this post right now. You've explained things better than I could in such a short space! Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/Mrcpartners mrcpartners

    I think that social media positively affects the Google algorithim. Properly orchestrated social media deployments tied into the website will drive organic search which reinforces pr as a marketing tactic

    Jonathon, Mrcpartners Toronto

  • http://twitter.com/richyoung Rich Young

    Great post with even better commentary. Love it. This hasn't been raised yet, but one of the bigger current hurdles I'm facing with clients in PR v SM is the issue of “command and control” v “letting go.” Many brands' (legal depts..) struggle with “letting go” and allowing the community to voice what they want and taking advantage of the discussion whether dealing with brand recommenders or brand detractors. The notion that churning out controlled corporate speak in hopes that anyone would care, is becoming less and less effective.

    -Rich

    • Stephanie Schwab:Socialologist

      Oh, Rich, that's a whole 'nother post! My fellow SME contributor Andrew Hannelly had a great post the other day about letting go with customer reviews:http://engage.tmgcustommedia.c…/ – covers the topic pretty well. They're going to have a voice whether you like it or not, better to have it at your house than someone else's.

  • Pingback: Top Five: December 10 – Jessica Malnik

  • Pingback: Social Media no es lo mismo que PR | Uberblogged.com

  • Pingback: Five for Friday 12.10.10 | Strategic thoughts on using social media and public relations in business from Jeff Esposito

  • Pingback: Aspectconsulting.fr le blog Communication Corporate et e-reputation

  • Pingback: Aspectconsulting.fr le blog Communication Corporate et e-reputation

  • http://twitter.com/fabienaspect fabienaspect

    Hi, as I said in my previous comment, here is a post about our vision of social media and PR where we try to explain how they are similar from our experience. I say “our” because even if I started it on my own, I ended up writing it with another guy from Aspect – the agency i'm working in. Can't wait for your comments :-)
    http://www.aspectconsulting.fr…/

  • Francois

    Hi Stephanie, thanks for your nice comments about our “reply”.
    At the end of the day, I'm happy you agree that openness and ongoing efforts are the common basis of any successful communication programme, either social or not ;-)
    Always a pleasure to read from you anyway

  • Pingback: Fav communications stories this week |

  • Lina

    Hi, my name is Lina and i am a graduator of a Greek College in Public Relations & Communication..I totally agree that public relations and social media are two different things but you can not deny that the social media can become a really useful tool in the hands of a PR Consultant.. Also, I think that the social media have already become a new powerful channel that any company has the opportunity to present herself and communicate with its publics when she hasn't got to include it to her budget because it is for free..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705260883 Judy Wallace

    I'm meeting with a PR director of an iconic Louisville organization, and l plan on printing this post and bringing it with me… & as you would say, heh.

  • Alisoncreamer

    I just referenced your blog on blog talk radio. The Crespo group, I think you did a great job. Thank you so much.

  • Pingback: Smile, Laugh, Marketing » Social Media And Public Relations: Compare and Contrast

  • http://twitter.com/Nitsy73 Anita Hovey

    I don't know…maybe it's because I'm such a social media advocate that I disagree, but I think you've used a very narrow definition of “PR” for this piece…almost like you think media relations is the only thing that constitutes PR. I agree with everything you've said about social media & how it can/should work. I just think that good PR can & should work the same way. GOOD PR is about building relationships, not just sustaining a small circle of relationships. GOOD PR is about adapting to make use of the up and coming promotional channels (ok…social media is further along than up and coming, but I think you get my point). PR isn't about one hit wonders and it's certainly not only passive (or reactive is what I'm really getting from your article), and can never be “turned off”. Any PR professional that treats their job that way is going to be a dismal failure.

    I'm not sure where the disconnect is…maybe it's that I have a much wider definition of PR that includes media relations, writing for the website, managing social media, writing/producing/managing outbound pieces. These should all be part of an on-going and inter-connected system that is ever-changing. Maybe you see them as two separate functions, but I think they're all part & parcel of the same function, whether it falls under the PR department, Marketing guru, or Communications specialist. Maybe I'm ahead of my time for a PR professional LOL

  • http://twitter.com/JGoldsborough JGoldsborough

    Stephanie, you make a lot of solid points in your post, but I think it needs to be clarified that most of your PR references are to what I would call traditional PR or PR 1.0. For those of us PR pros who have embraced the social world — and there are quite a few — our history in earned media tactics does lend itself to a more natural transition to understanding social and using it to build relationships.

    Many of the differences you describe above are not just differences, but issues, that have long existed for PR, advertising and marketing. It's the constant battle of short-term vs long-term vision and incentives as well as the old school sales funnel vs new customer journey discussion.

    Again, agree with most of your points, but if I only focused on relationships with few and had tunnel vision on campaigns and not community, I wouldn't have my current job and I think it would be very hard to find a PR job in today's world. In all actuality — and of course, I am extremely biased :) — PR has made the transition to social a lot faster and more smoothly than marketing or advertising in most companies, because those disciplines are historically grounded in push, paid messaging to reach the masses, which makes it harder to build trust. We could talk departments and silos all day, but ideally companies need to focus more on the customer and less on what discipline is suited to manage social. Just going to take us a while to get there.

  • Pingback: Tors Tips

  • Pingback: ソーシャルメディア・リレーションは、メディア・リレーションは違う? | PR FREAK

  • Pingback: What To Expect From Social Media Sites? « VT's Tech Blog

  • Pingback: Who rules the roost? | Roberts Wesleyan College

  • Pingback: Pourquoi les médias sociaux ne sont pas des relations presse

  • Pingback: Social media is not Public Relations « Esther Kanyua Journalism Blog

  • Pingback: abs

  • Pingback: garnicia cambogia

  • Pingback: Are They Bloggers? Or Celebrities? « MindCorp | Newsfeed