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January 3, 2012
Social Media's Utility No Longer In Question
 
2012 opens with social media being clearly at the forefront of PR tactics and planning. It wasn't always that way, notes Mike Johansson in a post on PRSA's "Public Relations Tactics." Mike quotes Deirdre Breakenridge as observing that "It's hard to say the exact tipping point. It may have been a culmination of real-life experiences through social crisis that caught the PR person's attention."

Whatever, social media tools are important for PR people to understand and use as part of a "connected media ecosystem." ("This is the dawn of the Relationship Era," proclaims a similar post on Advertising Age.) Mike launched a survey last summer to see how social media are being used by practitioners and has more than 70 responses to date.

"The survey responses," Mike writes, "overwhelmingly indicated that PR professionals think it highly important that college graduates understand fully how to use Twitter, Facebook, blogs and social presence management tools such as TweetDeck and HootSuite for PR purposes."

And, develop coaching ability in social media as well. "Being able to share social media knowledge with others will be critical. Many graduates will enter workplaces where social is still not yet completely understood. They will not be able to 'do it all' and therefore will need to train or coach others."

So get with social media as a PR skill set in 2012. There, we've said it, and will go on to other things as the year opens. But social media are firmly with us. Clients and prospective clients need to understand why that's so.

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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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