Read this post by Long Tail’s Chris Anderson about how social media relations brings a different dimension compared to traditional mainstream media PR. He blogs about the dilemma faced by traditional PR practitioners as captured by this quote:
“So now imagine that you’re one of those PR professionals. What do you do? Stick with the world you know, and continue calling and emailing releases to the traditional press (trying not to notice that their ranks are shrinking and influence waning)? Start spamming bloggers, too, and hope for the best? Or just treat alpha bloggers like traditional press and shower them with love, while ignoring the rest?”
His suggestion to evolve the role of PR from external relations to internal relations is radical. Can we as PR professionals coach the numerous employees in our organisation to do the outreach through their respective social media channels instead of doing it ourselves? Chris suggested some possible topics for coaching:
- Who’s influential in our space (and how we know)
- What/who influences them
- How to get Digged
- Effective blogging
- Using beta-test invite lists as marketing
- The art of begging for links
- Stunts, contests, gimmicks, memes and other link bait.
- Sharing versus oversharing. How to know when what you’re doing is ready to talk about.
In Singapore, I feel that the social media landscape is still at its infancy. Certainly PR practitioners must acknowledge the impact of the blogosphere on the way news and information gets disseminated.
However, unless you can offer something that is totally radical, tech geek related, or sensational, it is not easy to get the blogosphere buzzing about you. You still need to hustle, cajole, nudge and pitch to the doyens of mainstream press. The suggestion on getting every employee in the company to be a spokesperson though is rather refreshing and something which I would strongly advocate in the years to come.