While different versions of social media are being born daily, what we do as PR people still remains the same. As many of us noted in our, “What is public relations?” discussion on the first day of this semester, PR is managing relationships through strategic communication.
In Bill Sledzik’s post about how social media is not changing the DNA of public relations “one bit”, he describes what we do in PR as, “We build and maintain relationships through 2-way communication.” We can see that whether you’re a senior in your last PR class or a public relations professor, we seem to agree on what PR is and should be.
We often hear that the growth of social media is changing everything. In Sledzik’s post, however, he talks about a presentation given by Peter Shankman at a PRSA conference last week in Cleveland. In this presentation, Shankman agreed with our definition of PR and explained why the booming social media should not change that at all.
Utilizing social media can help us reach the online population, but we are still using the same principles we’ve learned since our first ever PR class. Some of these principles include: be honest with our publics, present relative information, keep it breif and catchy, and gain and retain positive awareness. These are all things PR people have agreed are important to the business, also all things that are unchanging whether online or off.
“Introduce all the social media applications you like, but the practice of PR as defined over the past 30-or-so years will change little, if at all. The goal is to build relationships, and the tool is meaningful 2-way communication.” Just because the means of communication may be different, it doesn’t mean the building blocks of our profession have to change.