Why PR is best placed to own social media

8 07 2009

Interesting article from an old colleague, Craig Pearce, on who owns social media, putting forward a solid reason that it is PR – and I agree wholeheartedly. See my earlier post too.

Having studied James Gruning myself, the web has certainly brought to life his fourth model of two-way symmetrical communications. In fact, with social media, you could make a claim now that it is two-way asymmetrical in favour of the audience, not the sender. More reason than ever that PR practitioners around the world need to be stepping more firmly into their shoes as the company’s ‘boundary scanner’, monitoring all aspects of social media to see exactly what is being said about the brand, products or issues, who is saying it, where they are located, and then how you will engage with them. That is absolutely the remit and responsibility of the PR team – not marketing, not the ad guys, not the digital interactive agency. You have to engage this audience, listen to them, and respect them.

Yes, there are creatives that can do competitions, post virals etc in social media channels, but if you have to participate in a conversation with the audience, especially if it is from a negative position, that is the PR function.

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