The Role of Social Media to Marketing & PR Professionals

Jack Prot

Social media is evolving at the speed of light. We have only had a glimpse of what potential it may eventually have to marketers and public relations professionals. Twitter just recently added the ability to create lists to organize the torrents of data available. This will have an impact on the industry in ways that we are just coming to understand. We have ourselves implemented lists on our Twitter account in order to organize data and be able to read information by topic rather than when it was posted. In doing so we also discovered that it is a great way to find other relevant people to follow. A recent post at Mashable.com gives you ideas how others are using this new functionality.

A recent study tells us that employers place more value on social media skills than traditional public relations skills. According to the 2009 Digital Readiness Report, a study produced by iPressroom, Korn/Ferry International and PRSA, public relations leads marketing in the management of social media communications channels whereas marketing leads in managing e-mail marketing and SEO. Most of these activities revolve around communicating with audiences, producing content, and serving as a spokesperson for an organization, as do public relations activities, So this makes sense to us. It is and will continue to be very important for public relations and marketing professionals to hone their social media skills and knowledge.

As we have only seen a glimpse of the potential gains, we have also only seen a glimpse of the potential pitfalls and dangers of social media. It is important for companies and marketing and PR professionals to educate themselves about this new channel and to strategize and experiment as their budgets and time constraints allow for both of these reasons.

Though social media has revolutionized available communications channels, we believe that it will remain one of many marketing channels available to business and one that needs to be seamlessly integrated with the others.

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