Monday, October 27, 2008

My First PRSuccess Story

Twitter, Facebook, Typepad, LinkedIn: with so many ways to connect being thrown into the world of Public Relations, it’s enough to make any PR major’s head spin.
However, PR students need not be afraid. Although some may choose to focus their studies on all aspects of Social Media, many PR students will find that in their personal affairs, in their future careers, and in most major companies, utilizing one or two methods of Social Media is the most beneficial.
PRSSA President, Paul Matson, prides himself on the time he spends going through new Social Media sources, researching what’s being used, and trying to find new, effective trends in the Social Media world. Matson agrees that focusing on one or two of the many means is a smart choice.
“Just because you have a message, you don’t have to use every social media outlet,” Matson said, “if you want to put something in media, you need to figure out what will reach your audience.”
For Ohio’s PRSSA chapter, two mediums are utilized that Matson feels are the most efficient in reaching the local college-age chapter, as well as other PRSSA chapters. According to Matson, most PRSSA information is sent out through Twitter and the blog,, because they are the “easiest to update”.
When engaging in Social Media, individuals and companies alike must realize that not all outlets are for everyone. For example, Matt Dickman, VP of Digital Marketing for Fleishman-Hillard of Cleveland, Ohio, stresses that “not everybody should blog”.
“For some companies, blogging would be a terrible idea; they would have absolutely nothing to blog about,” Dickman said.
Although blogging may not be for everyone, it is evident that Social Media of some sort can benefit any and every company. Not all organizations, however, are ready to accept Social Media as a part of everyday life.
“People don’t take the time to understand [Social Media] because they’re not use to it,” Matson said, “The older a company is, the more they’re going to try to resist. We are threatening because we are really the first digital generation”.
Many companies are afraid to engage in certain Social Media mediums because many give anyone the chance to give comments about a company, product, or person. According to both Matson and Dickman, however, the fear of “citizen journalism” is a pointless one because “the discussion is going on whether you are there or not”.
“Good or bad, information spreads quickly,” Dickman said.
“They don’t call it viral for nothing”.

1 comment:

Matt Dickman said...

Heather -- Thanks for including me here. I think the conclusion is right on the money. Social media can benefit everyone, you just have to approach it strategically.