NY through my rose colored glasses with a PR twist, and a splash of London/Trini flair!

Archive for September, 2012

Social Media: A PR blessing or curse?

We all know what PR is… or do we? PRSA’s definition states “Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” The key here is communication; the plan is to identify and understand what the public wants and challenge them to question their beliefs. Social media has provided an extensive platform for us to have a “conversation” with the public we are servicing. As a result, PR is always changing and evolving because communications is not a static industry, and media relations has a new dimension unlike years past.

PR professionals can now receive and supply information quickly due to social media. Media relations is no longer just about dealing with reporters and news stations, now we have to engage millions of “journalists” out on the streets because they are relentlessly blogging, tweeting and youtubing! With millions of active users on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, this has now become the perfect place for us to harness the flow of information to suit our needs. BUT, let this be a warning, both the good and the bad can be projected so it is our job to manage what is seen. If media relations is the boat, and social media is the sea, PR is the captain of the ship.

If we look at the more “traditional’ tools used by PR professionals (such as putting together media relations kits, press releases and events), social media has made it so much easier to engage the public. Campaigns can now take off for a client like never before. A great example of this is Go Red for Women. Their short film brought awareness to women about the dangers of heart disease. The video has over one million hits, and this is classified as a success for the client. Journalists are becoming more dependent on social media as a source of information too, and like them we need to focus on how this will make our jobs easier in the long run.

I am all for traditional methods getting us to where we are today, but PR needs to evolve with the pubic to maintain a consistent and up-to-date conversation that is vital to the direction a client may need to move in. So if Twitter or Facebook tells me whether you love or hate what I am endorsing, then I will be fully engaged. Don’t you agree?

Source: The Wall Street Journal


Has the rise of digital communication and social media changed the way we communicate?

How many times have you checked your phone today? Let me be more specific, how many times have you accessed your Facebook account, viewed your Twitter feed, laughed at your Instagram photos or read your emails?  Towards the end of 2011 81 billion minutes were spent on social networks and blogs*. Digital communication has been on the rise for the last 10 years, and has changed the way we communicate with each other for better or worse.

Before someone picks up a newspaper or turns on the TV, they rush to their mobile device, tablet or web pages to keep their finger on the pulse. With over 274 million Americans accessing the Internet*, information flows so quickly that we have adjusted how we communicate. With apps like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and many more, everyone is trying to communicate much faster to a larger audience. Companies can now reach a larger demographic of consumers to market their products; customers no longer need to walk into a store, see a commercial, or open a paper.

Let me give you a quick example. 30 years ago if a fire broke out in the Empire State Building at 6pm, an eyewitness would give a reporter a “tip” over the phone. That reporter would rush to the scene, get as much information as they could from police and firefighters, interview eye witnesses and rush back to the office hoping they got there in time to include the piece before the paper went to press. Flash forward to present day, you and I can tweet a picture to our local news station who can use it on air in a matter of moments. Media outlets now have millions of reporters and journalists walking the streets and providing stories, without having them on their payroll. That same story is posted on the newspapers website in 15 minutes and 30 minutes later it’s trending on twitter, (complete with uploaded interviews with the victims). In this day and age we want information now and sometimes that isn’t even fast enough!

So I ask you, why call when you can Facebook? Why wait for letters when you can email? Want to save a buck? There is an app for that! Information moves at lightening speed. If I can communicate with you on Gchat even as I write this blog, why would I want to go back when the light at the end of this high-speed tunnel is only getting brighter?