Arthur W. Page Society

Social Media: an Unexpected but Welcome ‘Gift’ to Communicators?

It seems that hardly a conference or conversation about PR or reputation goes by without social media taking centre stage. Case in point being a recent Echo Chamber we hosted in New York this month, where Ketchum's Rob Flaherty argued that

"The digital revolution and the intersection with the economy provides huge opportunities for PR professionals. If the most influential source is another person, not earned or paid media, relationships become key. It is up to PR to develop content that grab audiences in the right way."

The eponymous editor and publisher Paul Holmes remarked that "in terms of social media, the marketing folk jump up and down and shout 'look at me'; the PR folk are at the other end of the spectrum, worrying about risk and wanting to listen. Both approaches are flawed - but the marketing one will likely dominate. Those who are successful in this area find a mid point in between the two and focus on engagement." I would suggest that social media is an unexpected and much welcomed 'gift' to communicators, who have yet to learn to fully embrace its potential beyond online 'press release-speak'. It's to that challenge that PR Week in the UK posted its latest op-ed on whether PR will do so or not:

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