In my opinion, social media has changed the PR world for the better—for the most part. Social media allows PR professionals to easily and quickly access competitors as well as address crisis situations in an instant. Before social media, PR professionals burned a lot of shoe leather to keep up with what was going on with their clients and their client’s competitors. While social media is readily available for anyone to use, knowing how to effectively use them requires some knowledge, more in-depth knowledge, than just how to post a tweet or Facebook status. Knowing strategies to properly disseminate information is crucial and those strategies are taught to PR students. I find it incredibly important that someone in charge of disseminating information via a company’s social media platforms has a background in PR, even if it’s a couple of classes. Those few classes can still provide someone with the basic knowledge on how to effectively work with a client or an audience. Employing social media managers who have no background in PR is like allowing me to work on my own car. I have less than impressive knowledge of cars and how to work on them. I’m sure if I tinkered around with a car long enough, I’d eventually figure out how to do the task, right? Sure. But in PR, there isn’t much room for error and tinkering around on social media is a little reckless. One wrong move could be detrimental to a client.
Photo courtesy of Elevate.