Social media vs traditional PR.

The showdown is on. Social Media vs Traditional PR. In the blue corner.. Social Media. In the red corner, Traditional PR. Who will come out on top? Or will it come down to these two disciplines working together collaboratively?

Despite an increase in technology innovations over the last decade, public relations practice hasn’t actually changed much. Most people have always seen PR as being made up of communication, writing, media relations and persuasion… or something like that… and to be honest it still is. But there is change in the waters and it is coming in the form of social media. Social media is forcing a change in the way public relations practitioners have traditionally done things and is forcing them to embrace and learn or be left behind.

Social media, as we know, is a method of communicating and sending out a message. In order to be successful in social media you must know how to communicate well and reach your audience. Therefore, who is the best person for the job? This is certainly not something to be left in the hands of IT. It requires a level of expertise and skill. Enter the public relations professional.

Social media is essentially growing into public relations for the online world with each aspect of social media, be it a blog, podcast or social networking, finding its roots in traditional public relations practice – writing, media relations and community relations.

The biggest challenge for PR at the moment is maintaining an expert understanding of this new technology, and effectively using these mediums to expand and promote their organisation and their clients. Lacking the ability to understand the benefits and impact social media can have on an organisations reputation, and how to ‘manage’ a reputation online can have profoundly negative consequence for all involved.

The days of simple media releases and marketing campaigns to sell a product are over, not only is the professional world seeing this change, but the academic world as well. Traditional PR Communications courses being reshuffled to include online and social media components aimed to ready the next generation of public relations professionals, who, are sure to be pushing to hold social media and online marketing as their exclusive domain.

Ellis Jones can help you create an online presence using engagement strategies to take your ideas, products and services online, attracting people and holding them over time.

Read more in the social media section of our website.

Image credit: helico via Flickr