Last week was a challenging week for this young flack.In a bid to win business that we had pitched.I requested the company to let our PR team manage there social media account including the facebook page and their twitter accounts.
The advertising team thought that they were in a better position to manage the sites;their reason being that they spear head campaigns,we in PR only come in to support the campaigns.
All the same, I strong believe that PR should take the lead in social media.Here are my thoughts.
PR’s heritage isn’t selling. It seeks to influence and build relationships. This makes it more suited and better equipped to initiate, engage and hold a conversation.
PR is expert in content creation. They can’t be blamed for trying to get involved with social media but what expertise do media buying agencies have in content creation? Content creation is a central component of marketing and specifically social media.
The PR industry is subtle. The sector gets a lot of flack for spinning but subtlety is at the core of spin. Digital media requires subtlety, including the ability to understand context and respond accordingly.
The PR industry is close to the business leaders. The advertising team will always calls on PR in a crisis and is reliant on PR when the organisation’s reputation is threatened. PR has a central role to play in educating the top management about the benefits of social media and is a trusted advisor on reputation management, unlike other marketing disciplines.
Strategy is at the heart of good PR. It could be argued that PR has a been a little slow to come to the party. There are lots of reasons for this. PR’s approach is always circumspect, it has to add value when your dealing with corporate reputations otherwise its not worth doing. I think, this will play out well for the PR industry in the long term.
The culture of the PR industry is to allow others to create content. i.e. journalists. The industry has been built on this fundamental characteristic. The key message is designed to assert as much control as possible over the process of content creation. The approach changes in the context of social media but I think this is one of the strongest arguments in PRs favour. PR has never had control of the message when it comes to the end result.
Finally I think organisations need to adapt culturally to engage their customers in authentic conversations. I genuinely believe that the businesses that most effectively listen to customers and is able to incorporate their insights into product development and services will be the most successful. This, for me, is PRs biggest opportunity as the function that advises and implements change management strategies. PR has a great opportunity to take the lead in making this change happen – the outbound social media campaigns will become the natural output and realisation of this cultural and organisational change in business.
Over to you mobile telephony companies,FMCG's,banks and insurance companies.