The growing complexity of PR and the need for increased specialization in the field is indicated by this post on Communications Conversations, "What would your Social Media 101 syllabus look like?" Yes, here's an entire proposed course just for the study of social media. Something like it is very likely being taught somewhere. For social media is a new, increasingly pivotal, branch of PR.
Arik Hanson suggests some textbooks you'll need, "Content Strategy for the Web," and "The Facebook Effect," among others. (Of course, Facebook is changing virtually as we type.) There's also "Here Comes Everybody," by Clay Shriky who, come to think of it, is probably already teaching the course envisioned above.
Arik also recommends Research, Planning, Implementation, Measurement, the Psychology of social media, Tools, Content development and Community management as components of his envisioned social media course. Enough to keep you busy while you keep trying to maintain your traditional media contacts, while they last? We'd say so. Which is why social media specialists are increasingly needed on PR teams.
Until a social media course opens at your community college, Arik's post includes at least a semester's worth of material to study and apply.
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Hey, we just noted on Twitter that Jim Bowman, the PR Doc, is providing the outline of "Basic Online Public Relations, Marketing and Customer Relations Tools," at on his PR Doc site, the very sort of thing we're talking about above. Jim includes a telling PR Styles Comparison chart for traditional and online media, which pairs under Gatekeepers, "Journalists" and "Search Engines." Oh, wow!
And here's Gerald Bacon on Emergency Management magazine's blog giving a social media spin to emergency and crisis communication. It just rolls on...
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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