Social media is many things, but social media is not PR. It’s no more PR than PR is social media, and here’s why, for those who don’t appreciate the difference.
PR is a practice which helps private and public sector organisations, and individuals, create and build awareness.
Awareness of a brand, a product, a service, a point of view; a place to visit, a means of getting there; something to do or eat which is good for your health; a means to deliver a warning on things that can harm you.
PR works in many ways, utilising all available communication channels to create awareness - print media, broadcast media, sponsorships, speaking platforms, white papers, and social media.
The biggest difference between social media and traditional media is that it puts complete control over content into different hands.
No need for PR professionals to spend hours, sometimes days, trying to find ways to persuade editors and other journalists, programme controllers and producers, to give space or time to a client’s story.
They set up and manage Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts, build up their own circulation, and deliver messages in images and words.
The other big difference between PR and social media is that you don’t have to work in PR, and you don’t have to have any real PR knowhow or experience, to be active on social media and reach big audiences.
Reaching an audience is one thing. Sending the right message and having the desired impact is another.
Social media campaigns handled by those without good PR skills can go wrong. When that happens, the fallout on social media can spread quickly to traditional media.
Knowing what to do in situations like this is part of PR, and this is something to think of before choosing who controls your social media campaigns.
As social media marketers, we recognise how important it is to take a step back and remind ourselves of the basics. It’s easy to get distracted by the latest technologies and innovations, losing sight of the fundamentals in the process.
My one and only boss in PR was in good form when he spoke at a party marking a milestone for the agency I worked for prior to starting my own.
Almost half of the world’s population is now on online. That’s approximately four billion people. Creating content to reach online audiences is what matters to businesses and what keeps our digital team well and truly on our toes.
Putting all millennials into one basket for the benefit of marketing is a bit like saying all defenders at the World Cup perform as if they were coached in Panama.
Well, not quite, but you know what I mean.
There are reasons why some observers say that the traditional press release is already dead.
The main one is that the press release is seen as a relic of days before the digital age swept over us like a tsunami.
There’s a great buzz in the United Arab Emirates following the news that the country is opening its market for foreign direct investment and talent.
We’re excited too by the opportunity to play our part in attracting international investors, and benefiting in real business terms.
One of the main problems we’ve always had in the Public Relations business is that not enough people understand what PR is.
There are various reasons for that, among them the fact that PR people have difficulty in explaining what they do for a living.
Many of our journalist friends say they live in constant fear of the threat to their livelihoods posed by social media.
It's understandable, as social networks have effectively removed the traditional media's monopoly as our main news source.
It's wake-up time for PR in the Middle East, and 2018 should be the year when agencies take more control over issues impacting their business.
Top of the agenda is the prickly questions of social media influencers, whose growing presence continues to split opinions.
PR agencies hate it when they’re asked to enter a pitch and find out after submitting a proposal that they were just making up the numbers.
It happens a lot, especially if you’ve been in business more than 26 years, as we have.