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June 6, 2012
PR's Role Alongside Social Media
 
With social media channels like Twitter and Facebook to present and amplify messages, do entrepreneurs really need the services of a PR firm? Sharma Kabani, CEO of the Marketing Zen Group in Dallas, takes on that question in a Portfolio.com post. Sure, you can use social media to build relationships, Sharma notes, but the older media can extend your reach. 

"Today's consumer market is extremely segmented," Sharma continues, "and while there is overlap, with traditional media you can often reach more of your target audience than you would with social media alone." So do both new and old media, she advises.

Sharma doesn't address the question of how viable the older print and electronic channels are today compared to what they used to be. But it's true that putting all one's eggs in a social media basket involves market access risks an entrepreneur might not want to take. Whenever possible, counsel prospective clients to think these matters through in light of their own terrain. 

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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