At the beginning of this semester I realized that a component of just about every single one of my classes was going to be social media. It was not until recently that I have begun to realize the impact that Web 2.0 and social media has had not only on me and my education, but on the entire profession of public relations as a whole.
I recently came across a post by Bill Sledzik’s blog ToughSledding about the love-hate relationship that PR pros are facing with social media. In it he discusses how the public has begun to take social media as the only version and are “unwilling to discuss alternative views and engage those who disagree with them.”
It is this idea that social media is the-be-all-to-end-all, that has me wondering about what other implications social media has had on the PR profession. Sledzik brings up a few good questions about the topic:
- How will social media affect my clients’ ability to connect with their stakeholders?
- What new skills and understanding of social media will future PR professionals need to survive?
- What changes in communication strategy are SM bringing to the practice of public relations?
- Are the “new influencers” we read about really as influential as some think — and how do we know?
- How much of the PR’s social media frenzy is “real” and how much is a product of our digital echo chamber?
Although I do agree that social media has benefited public relations greatly, do you think that it has affected it in a negative way?
I believe that social media has made the entire industry less personal contact driven and more application driven. It used to be who could you call and pitch your story to. Now it has become who follows you. I do also think that social media has changed the client/stakeholder relationship, and not for the better. It has become less personal, which in the long run could be very detrimental.
How do you feel about the relationship between social media and the PR profession?