Social media and (not or) PR

There’s a level of frustration I and a few other colleagues have been feeling lately about social media and public relations. The issue seems to be that people are thinking of social media as a discipline — as something separate and distinct from public relations. That’s a false premise. It’s time for the thinking to switch away from social media or public relations to social media and public relations.

I was at an event this afternoon where Scott Monty from Ford was speaking to a group of PR students from several Michigan universities. The question was asked of Scott when Ford would be launching a new model solely via social media. His answer was, “probably never.” Scott noted that social media is just one component of an overall strategy that would be used for a product launch. It was refreshing to hear.

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of speaking to PR professionals from across the country at the Ragan Communications Social Media for Communicators conference. I’ve embedded a short portion of my presentation that was shot on a Flip camera. It’s not the greatest quality video, but it gets the job done. So, rather than trying to type out the point I was making, I’ll just say, “Roll the video…”

3 comments on “Social media and (not or) PR

  1. Ari,

    I completely agree that social media and PR go hand-in-hand. More people need to understand exactly what you said during your presentation – strategies, messages, audiences and ways to reach those who care about your company/product are the basic principles of PR. Apply those concepts to social media versus declaring your company needs a Facebook page without truly understanding why.


  2. Pingback: uberVU - social comments

  3. As new social media continues to emerge, it is easy to think of social media as a separate discipline. I agree 100 percent – it is not. Social media should be used as a communication message channel and as a tactic that is part of a larger public relations campaign. Thank you for reminding us of that. – Marie Patino (San Diego, Calif.)


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