Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Social Media and PR practitioners

Social media seem to have taken the world by storm. They experience an impressive growth, and you can never be sure about the extent you know about them, as everyday something new appears and grows in popularity very fast. There is a great debate about the use of Social Media in Public Relations, as to whether they can really add something new to the profession, or it is just a trend that will eventually fade away.

The results of Euroblog2007, a study that was conducted among PR practitioners from all over Europe dealing with the extent to which social media have been incorporated into the daily PR practices, reveal that there is a great turn towards them, comparing to the 2006 results.

More specifically, PR practitioners find the new media innovative, and the majority of them are of the opinion
in a few years time they will be as integrated in the communication process as the web sites are in our days. Additionally, the evidence shows a great increase in the involvement of the practitioners with blogs, either running one, or commenting on others, on a regular basis.

The greatest advantages that the practitioners believe that weblogs offer are, the scanning of the environment, the fast reaction time to issues and the opportunity for direct feedback. There is also some interesting evidence about the reasons that limit a company's adoption of the new techniques offered by new media.

The most important reason seems to be the lack of skilled personnel, highlighting once again the need for PR practitioners to keep updated about the new advances of technology, as well as the need for the companies to devote time and resources to train their employees.

The fact that the most important challenge for Public Relations and communications management for the coming years are perceived to be new channels that technology provides, illustrates the emphasis that practitioners lay on them.

There seems to be no doubt that we live in the era of social media, and the practitioners, having realised the need to meet the requirements of that new era, involve themselves with the new advents of technology. The challenge that this era brings to them and to the companies, is how these channels will be incorporated as smoothly as possible to current practices, so as to be as efficient as possible.

1 comment:

Nguyen Thu An Ha said...

Hi Evi,

As you said, Social Media is now very popular and perhaps is essential to every PR practitioner, how do think PR infrastructure as a result will change the way PR is practiced due to this change in the media flatform? You know like the way press releases are now...we saw an eg of that in our class not so long ago, Trudy's presentation.

Just a thought......