PR Schizophrenia

Since traditional PR has always been a top-down enterprise—sending press releases and building relationships and story pitches for relatively few influential journalists—social media comes as a shock to some PR practitioners. It completely up-ends the way PR is ‘done.’ Now, PR specialists must also think from the bottom-up: getting their news and content to a greatly diversified and considerable larger ‘audience’ in a totally new way—without the traditional gatekeeper.

With social media, customers can be educated on your company, products and services by reading your blog, contributing to your wiki, following you on Twitter and YouTube, getting your RSS feed or a Google Alert. To name just a few.

So, the scope of PR has expanded—and it has become far more interesting (since the discipline now has to combine both top-down and bottom-up thinking to every marketing strategy). Fortunately, it also allows them to do what they have always done best: tell a story in a clear and interesting way to multiple audiences.

PR people, like me, just need to develop a mild form of schizophrenia—and we need to do it today. We need to do the therapy: join the conversation at social network sites, learn how to use the various research and organizational tools, and ENGAGE.


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