Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Social Networking as a Form of Public Relations

Most of us love our Facebook or Myspace accounts. We check them daily to catch up with friends, or creep on people we barely even know. However, these sites have the potential to have a huge impact in public relations work.

According to a blog by
Yaxley, when using social networking to promote one's organization, it is important that the practitioner manage their time well. From being both a Facebook and Myspace user, I can see how someone could get easily caught up in looking at other things and forget the task at hand. Another tip she offers is to not be a lurker, but instead be actively engaged in conversing with people and making comments. This is extremely important, as one the essential elements of public relations is relationship building.

Using social networking is a great way for a practitioner to manage their time and develop relationships. Most people in today's world seem to prefer to communication by typing in some way, through e-mail, social networking sites, texting, etc. It seems that no one is ever in their office to answer phone calls. By utilizing social networking sites, a professional can leave a message that the potential consumer can retrieve and respond to whenever they like, even if they can't get a hold of the practitioner. This is especially vital when working with clients in different time zones as well.

If a PR professional is going to utilize social networks, it is essential that they check their networks just as often as they do their voicemail and e-mail. Likewise, they must update their pages regularly so people will not get bored with them and lost interest. One of the worst things I find is a page that has outdated information. Along those lines, I hate when I send a message to a company's social networking page and I do not get a response. This definitely does not build a relationship with me, and instead works to destroy that relationship. These are important elements that a PR professional should consider before beginning social networking; it has to become a part of the daily routine.

As they say, go big or go home. :)


Margaret Orlando said...

You are so right on: Thinking as a consumer, if an organizations site is outdated or they don't answer would definitely break up a budding relationship. You make some good points and I like how you referenced 'Yaxley's' blog into your own. I clicked on the link and read some good tips.

Natalie said...

I liked how you linked to Yaxley's article too! Great post! I agree that companies must limit their "play" time on social networks. It is important to stay focused and remember that this is just another way to create that one image for an organization.

KC said...

Cute picture! Lovely post! I really enjoyed where you said to "not be a lurker, but instead be actively engaged in conversing with people and making comments." It is very important to engage and not simply be a viewer. Great tips!

Jeff Norris said...

Like Natalie said, I liked how you pulled in another blog and used it in your post. Like you said, responding is a must if an organization is going to use social networking as a tool. An organization can not build relationships if they are not talking/responding to their public.