In my opinion, this is down to one of two equally worrying points; either PRs aren’t using social media, or they don’t think it’s important to their role. I’m inclined to believe that the real reason is a combination of the two. PR companies are beginning to wake up to the value of social media, but they are not implementing a holistic approach to it. Rather than encouraging all their staff to get involved, they are relying on a small team of experts to drive the programme, and the skills involved aren’t being passed around the agency.
There’s obviously a lot more out there and it’s a steep learning curve, but ignoring social media isn’t going to get PRs anywhere. Online communities are here to stay, and I think that PR is going to increasingly centre on them. We have a duty to our profession to get involved, or we’ll start losing out to specialist agencies very soon.
Do you think it’s important for PR professionals to have a good understanding of social media?