Social Media: Putting the Public in Public Relations

I was going to write a long and overwrought post building on Julie Rusciolelli’s comment in InsidePR #110 that “social media is about putting the public back in public relations”. Because, well, never a truer word was said.

I was going to write about how PR people no longer need to go through the media to get to their clients’ audiences.

I was going to write that blogging, social networking, collaborative work spaces, community marketing, word of mouth, email and search marketing are all allowing was for us, as communicators to speak with “The Public” on a real, personal level and create a direct, meaningful engagement between The Organization and The Audience.

But before I did, I did a quick Google search and found out many better, more qualified people than I have written about the subject. Like I had planned to do, they had spoken eloquently (more eloquently than I could’ve hoped for) about the “two-way street” that is opening up between our clients or employers and their audiences.

Reams have also been written about how people have been having conversations about your (client’s) brand since the dawn of time but now we can find those conversations, listen to the conversations and, more importantly track those conversations.

“They” have also talked about how the holy grail of past public relations campaigns has been to get our (clients’) products into the hands of “the influencers” so they could evangelize them to their circle of influence. But finding those influencers was so very hard. Now social media is allowing the influencers to self-identify, through blogs, through message boards, through social networks. Now we can find the influencers in any given sector quickly and easily.

So why should I put any effort into it? As one of my favourite quotes, from the simply fantastic movie American History X, says:

someone else has already said it best. So if you can’t top it, steal from them

Rather than steal from them, here are some fantastic reads about:

Putting the Public back in Public Relations

Brian Solis, PR 2.0

Frank Ovaitt, PR Conversations

Rohit Bhargava, 360 degree Digital Influence

Steve Rubel, Micropersuasion (geddit)

One Response to Social Media: Putting the Public in Public Relations

  1. ecairn says:

    Not sure you can find the influencers quickly and easily. 2 weeks ago there was a lot of debate around the influence of the so called influencers…and the fact they may not have so much influence after all. Here’s one of the many (100) posts I bookmarked on this http://blogs.mediapost.com/spin/?p=1273. So the good news is you can find the influencers thanks to social media, the bad news is that finding all of them isn’t easy. i’ve assembled lists of blogs in the 1000s relevant to a topic and it takes time. Not a one click affair in a search engine😉

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