What differentiates PR in this era of social media? This is an especially important question when potential clients can do Twitter- or Facebook-powered marketing on their own, without PR budgets.
Mark Evans in the Globe and Mail looks at this question, as others are doing as well. He decides that, while PR firms may not be able to command their expected rates, they maintain a key advantage: expertise at storytelling.
"As practitioners in story telling, there is an opportunity for PR agencies to become vibrant parts of the social media ecosystem," he writes. "The challenge will be to offer services that make economic sense for clients, while still providing healthy margins to cover staff and overhead expenses."
Yes, the ability to step back from a client's harried setting and provide fresh insights into how its business can be presented and understood, and by whom, is a key skill. Call it storytelling or positioning, a fresh set of trained eyes on a business situation is valuable. This is especially so when social media communication is done in terms of essences -- 140 characters, or so, and out.
Begin to imagine how to talk about firms and services in bullet bites. "Compression skills" need to accompany a storytelling flair in social media-powered PR and marketing.
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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