How does social media fit into PR 2.0? What is PR 2.0?
Traditional role of PR:Public awarenessCreate news releasesManage media (and other) relationshipsAct as the voice, or spokesperson for an organizationRespond to crises
PR has changed substantially over the past 10 yearsPR tools 10 years ago: phone, mail, paper and if you were really lucky email
Typical PR firm activities 10 years ago:Paper paper paperMost companies did not have well established websitesProduct information was available via printed datasheets, not online documentsMany people in the media didn’t have email yet so all information had to be mailedInternet connections were diaup. 56K modems were top of the lineClip books were literally clip books
PR services were extremely expensiveAgency retainers paid for staff, media databases, mailing costs, send off info to the wire, online news databases, reprint rightsPR was only for big (or well funded) organizationsBrand monitoring was a full time job and the supporting tools were very expensive
PR today is faster, cheaper and more accesible
Today’s PR people can use the web to research their contacts, Linked in to track relationships and connections, Help-a-reporter-out to find stories to pitch (without reading editorial calendars), Google alerts to monitor brands (and other online services that search social media). The media is made up of publications: big, small, online, print and each medium can provide a boost to the brand or company. Specialized small audiences are easier to find as there are places for them to connect online
PR today serves the same function. With less expense, and less paper. The times have changed, but the role hasn’t.
A small percentage of people aren’t involved in some form of social media. (OK in developed nations. The numbers are growing rapidly for developing countries.)
The world around us is really really loud. There is information coming from all angles: online, television, radio, music, video games, text messages, online networks……
The way we communicate today has a lot more content than it used to have. Words, Pictures, Videos.
Where does information (conversation starters) come from today? Where do we get information to start conversation?
The government. Your company. Organization spokespeople.
CNN, NY Times. Conventional, established media (print, television, online)
Email. Blogs. Videos. Photos. Youtube. Texts. SMS. IM. Where the general public contributes to the body of content.
You learn from your connections. On Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, Myspace, etc.
Normal people have the same “weight” as the official channels.Twitter has become a source for breaking news (See the flight that went down in the Hudson River. First photos? A passerby with an iPhone who uploaded it to Twitter)Intuit’s TurboTax received a lot of flack from Amazon reviewers when they change the amount of free e-files. The result, Intuit restored unlimited e-file.
How does “PR” create the conversation? Can “PR” control the conversation anymore?
Here is how PR used to work
The audiences were awaiting your every word. There was no alternate source of information.
In the old PR, there are no unapproved messages, only official statements. The organization always controlled the message. Or covered up unapproved messages. There was no fast or widespread way for the public to be aware of the full story.This no longer works. Example: the San Francisco BART incident on New Year’s in 2009, where a young man was shot by a police officer on the subway platform. By the next day there were several cell phone videos of the incident, protests happened shortly there after, and the officer involved was already convicted in the court of public opinion. Before the transit agency had a chance to respond to the incident.
PR, the audience, and the medium have changed.
There is no more controlling the conversation. There are too many sources, too many conversations and too many outlets. Example: online publicationTechcrunch is no longer honoring embargoes. Because smaller, less high profile sites broke the rules and published the stories early. As a result, they were rewarded with a huge website traffic spike. And Techcrunch looked like they were late on publishing the news.
Today’s audiences are very distracted.
Conversations are 2-way and real-time
In 2006, Time’s person of the year was “You” or “anyone” or perhaps “everyone.”Information is always available. We are all interconnected. The networks, and the medium are no longer important since the information (and conversation started) can happen anywhere. And everywhere.Communications and conversations are real-timeParticipation = conversation
Users are searching for relevant info. Subscribing to sources they find relevant. And choosing the content the consume. They will self select what the want. This makes it much harder to break in.
Your audience chooses to filter information and conversations. Users choose what they want to hear. Instead of hearing everything (laser focus)
PR “2.0” has new tools. And a new role.
The public isn’t waiting to hear from you. They no longer belive the “spin.” They are looking for the story, and how it impacts them. Their lives, their community, their business. And they will seek out these answers whether PR or the official channels approve.
The “audience” wants to be treated like a regular person. They want to engage in conversation with you or your brand. You talk to them, They talk to you. It’s a two way conversation. And social media let’s you participate in the conversation with your audience. Instead of engaging in one-way communication. Today’s audience expects you to participate. And build personal relationships.
Remeber your audience is overloaded with information
Today’s conversations happen in a social way. Conversation are intersected around continuous content and connecting
The web is real time. And always changing.
As a result audiences (your community) are looking for a way to filter out the noise and information to find out what is relevant to them.
PR should help create conversations. Monitor conversations. Filter out the noise and participate in conversations. This role is constant. There is no launch cycle. Or crisis response cycle. It is ongoing.
Social Media and PR 2.0
Social Media for the
Next Wave of PR