Can They Work Together?: Social Media, Public Relations, and Journalism

ShareSocial Media and Public Relations

Apart, they manage to function just fine. But what about putting them together? PR shouldn’t stand alone because “for everything they do, social media has become vital for optimal impact.” PR is important to any company because they are trained to use an organic voice to manage the company’s reputation, promote the company, and launch new products or services without coming off as a sales pitch. Combine these great PR qualities with social media’s “more accessible format” and you have a winning pair. Although PR knows how to tell the right story, they don’t always know where or how to share the story through social media. Knowing “how time of day impacts pitches and discussions, the placements that generate the most social conversation, and which reporters have the strongest influence over readers” are all incredibly important when considering how to use social media to strengthen a company’s PR efforts.

Social Media and Journalism

In a world where anyone with a smartphone can break headline news, it leaves me wondering what will happen to traditional journalism. It’s obvious that online media is more popular than print media due to its accessibility and ease of sharing. The number of “citizen journalists” is increasing. We are able to see minute by minute coverage during natural disasters and tragedy through the eyes of our peers. Because anyone can share information through social media and “crowdsourcing is easier than ever“, we must be sure sources are validated before we believe everything we read and pass it on to those in our social networks. Some platforms like Reddit offer “ways in which social media users can self moderate their communities.” It is a turning point for traditional journalists. They must embrace social media as a place for uncovering news and sources and a platform on which to share their stories and “analyze the results“.

Questions to consider:

  1. Do you see the potential for the PR job description to morph into one that requires proficiency in social media? Or would PR professionals just need to know enough to know when to ask a social media expert for help?
  2. Is print media at risk for extinction as we now see most of our breaking news occurring on social media?
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6 thoughts on “Can They Work Together?: Social Media, Public Relations, and Journalism

  1. Hey Erin,

    Personally, I think print media was on the course of extinction before social media. I think the Internet helped destroy print media just as email has brought down snail mail. I think it will be interesting to see what Amazon does with the Washington Post. Jeff Bezos is awesome (in my opinion). I think what he does with newspaper will be groundbreaking and could create the framework for the way online, social, and journalism interact. Nice post!

    1. I agree Sean, but just as snail mail still exists, I think print media will continue. I’m sure if will change drastically. You won’t get your headline news that way but you might find more in-depth stories covering the background information to the headline news.

  2. I feel it is good to have an expert in both fields and let each individuals strength play off of one another. Social Media Managers know how to effectively communicate on these platforms, but might lack the in-depth details to do so in the most efficient way. PR pro’s can assist with that, just as SM pro’s can assist them in relaying online information. Unless one person has the expertise in both fields, I feel it’s best two experts work together.
    I feel print media is steadily declining because nothing new is happening with it. As media is a constantly changing field, there is only so much you can do with print media and if they don’t come up with something more modern, I feel it will continue to decline.
    Great post, Erin.

    1. I agree, Gavin. Having an expert in each field would probably be best. However, I’m sure we will see some smaller companies utilizing individuals who are strong in one area but have basic knowledge in the other. Print media is definitely changing. I doubt it’ll ever go away but it will not look the same as it has in the past.

  3. I think the expectation for anyone in PR, marketing or journalism (at this point) should be social media experience. If you are in this field, teach yourself! You’ll be that much more marketable! As the field advances, this information will become a necessity. Many companies do not have both a PR and Marketing team so making yourself the best equipped is the way to go.

    I think print media has been at risk for awhile now– and it has everything to do with digital being the way to go. Social is just continuing to phase it out.

    1. I definitely think knowing about both fields would make you more marketable. Even if the company chooses to have two separate experts in each area it would be very useful to have knowledge in the other area to allow for smoother collaboration.

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