How does PR and social media worktogether? In other words, how does it both overlap and how is it different? Yeah, I think the PR industry,sort of, doesn't really know what to do with social media.
Traditionally, social media has been owned by the marketing department and because it's a conversation with consumers,PR agencies say that they should be involved because in the same way theyhelp you get covered on national newspapers, we can help you getcoverage or get your message amplified through social channels.
So that's sort of the pitch the PRcompanies did in beginning, especially.
That this is just another channel of PR.
And then you had specialized socialmedia agencies popping up, which was sort of challenging PR companies, sayingyou're working with a PR company that's good at getting you coverage in a nationalprinted newspaper, or in a national TV station, or something, but they are not digital natives,they don't get this new media, they don't understand that operates in this space or exists in thisspace, you should therefore trust us.
So, because social media was considered to be a side, or a separated isolated type of activity, it was quite easy for marketing people to say you know what we're going to hire this social media agency to do our PR in social media channels.
So the challenge that PR companies now have been facing for a while is that how did they create a credible socialmedia proposition within the PR context, because they still argue thatthey are the best people suited to manage a conversation with the audience.
This is what they've been doing for decades, that's what they will continuedoing, and social media is just a new flavour I suppose.
So some agencies have decided to acquire an existing digital businesses, a digital agency, a PR agency.
Some companies have decided to take a couple of their employees and put them in a separate part of the office and call that the social media task force, or whatever, the kind ofknowledge expert hub or something.
And others have kind of giventhem a brand name, try to launch them as a separate business, still within the within the PR company's walls.
I think that's the challenge, how does a traditional PR company convince yourcustomers that you're suitable to communicate with this new audience or over these new channels, and how do you as a PR company decide,do you buy another existing social media PR company, do you create something internally, do you keep your brand or do you give it a brand new identity to kind of separate out and make it clear in the mind's of the customers that this is actually a separate part ofour company and they have a special skill set and therefore you can trust them, you don't have to go to this external company.
So I think that's the main challenges.