What it takes to work in PR

12 03 2010

A recent interview I did with Craig Pearce on the topic of what it takes to work in PR has been published on his blog – here is the article.

I am sure it will generate some debate. Having spoken to a number of people across the industry in recent months, it seems the jury is still out on the level of experience people think PR people should have in social media. As I said to Craig, I don’t believe it is optional.

Personally, it is a natural fit for social media to belong to PR people and organisations/brands that take a more strategic approach to social media will benefit in the long run. Every expert is telling you that social media leads to more powerful forms of word of mouth. Yet, here in Australia, we still see lots of tactical experimentation which has led to an inconsistent use of social media which, in some cases, may harm a brand’s reputation and the agency behind it. Short term campaign mentality will spawn Facebook pages or Twitter profiles that brands are not prepared to maintain or really engage through. Or abandoned once the campaign is over. They then just hang around on the social web like a bad smell, and for the savvy consumers, show that the organisation is still using social media as ‘push’ channel, and not an engagement channel.


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.

It’s about time

20 06 2009

Having eventually found the time, I have created my blog. I’m pleased to cross it off my ‘things to do’ list. I will use this forum to share my thoughts on public relations, covering a wide range of topics. This will include thoughts on social media, which is becoming a major change agent in the communications industry. I will also stay focused somewhat on technology public relations, the section of public relations that has been part of my life for the past 14 years. Occasionally, I may drift off topic, into another passion of my life, football (or soccer to those Australian’s that are still not able to understand that football is a round ball sport).

I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts and want to hear from the public relations community, both here in Australia and abroad.

I am also a regular contributor to Ogilvy PR’s global technology blog, TechPRnibbles, so do check that out.

Oh, you may be wondering why I have called my blog White Spirit. Well, the White is easy. That’s my surname. Spirit is simply an acronym which means ‘specialist in IT public relations’.

Anywaym, here’s to some happy blogging.