Friday, December 20, 2013

No evading social media for Public Relations

As the year comes to an end, ( Yes all my clients have already gone on leave so apart from a few parties that I will be attending, I can comfortable say that the PR year has come to an end. Well, I know one friend who has an event on 31st, the Bacardi party.
You may choose to disagree with me on this but one area that many practitioners have struggled with this year is the impact of new media to our business, many are ill-equipped to capitalize on this new age platform because of the fear of technology.
Friends, the terrain of public relations practice is continuously shifting with new media bringing about substantial increases in stakeholder strength through facilitating communication within stakeholder groups and between different stakeholder groups. The most sort after information now pours out of digital spigots from different directions, various sources that are either genuine or not genuine. Place a goon on any computer with internet connection and the chap will have the ability to publish information for potential global consumption.

But all is not lost, the Internet  has given  public relations practitioners a unique opportunity to collect information, monitor public opinion on issues, and engage in direct dialogue with their publics about a variety of issues. When I joined one of the local agencies earlier this year straight from the telecommunication sector, I was not vastly knowledgeable with the banking sector, but nine months later, I can sit with bankers and chat about the banking trends and industry expectations.
While, we had the excuse of blaming our clients for not being keen on new media, we might not get away with blasting information out at an audience come 2014. The two-way communication social media based channel will be a tremendous opportunity for our clients to gain real-time feedback on messaging coming from their spokespeople. The hundreds of Facebook pages and twitter handles that we started for our clients have to create deeper connection with our target audience. We have to move the audience closer to a brand and soften the barrier that exists when people feel as if they’re talking to a company that views them strictly as a potential sale.

One thing I will not expect as a consumer is to be subjected to mass, non-targeted information because I believe my concerns should be addressed quickly and personally, after all social media is here to stay.

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