by helen on June 15, 2011

So, there’s a big debate on-going within the international marketing community about who are the right people to run social media campaigns.

Within an organisation there are lots of departments where social media can make a real difference to the way people communicate – with colleagues, with customers, with suppliers, with potential employees and customers… So I don’t think it’s as simple as thinking who should “own” social media – organisations need to think about what they want a campaign to achieve, how it can add value to existing communications campaigns, and then decide who is the best team to run it.

On this very subject, I have been “fired up” by another great post on Spin Sucks  by @ginidietrich – she speaks a lot of sense IMO.

This particular post PR Firms Botch 95% of social media campaigns  has generated over 100 comments in just two days. Wow – one day maybe I will have a community as engaged as that!!

To summarise, the post is about a book Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk. In it, he says:

Please, companies, stop hiring PR firms to do your community management. PR is in the push business; they send out press releases and book appearances and work B2B. They’re used to talking to editors, writers, and producers, not the public. They have no idea what’s going on in the trenches, and they’re awkward and shaky when they try to go there. The only reason PR claims they can do it is because they see which way the wind is blowing and it’s not toward them.

Go and read the post and comments – it’s a great way to spend ½ an hour…

@ginidietrich points out that PR is all about building relationships – with a wide range of people that matter to an organisation. Media relations is only a small part of what we do.

I agree wholeheartedly. But let’s not forget that in building relationships with the media we are constantly thinking of ways to make what our clients do relevant to the people the media are targeting.

Only Connect

The first rule of “selling-in a story” is to make the journalist see its value for their readers, whether they are members of the general public, teachers, engineers, doctors, builders, accountants, lawyers – you get the picture.

PRs know how to find the right stories, to communicate the right messages to the people that matter to an organisation. It’s what we do – day in, day out. We “use” journalists, newsletters, events, websites, or email campaigns as our messengers. Now, we can add social media to this list.

Anyone else think PR firms are social media naturals, or do you agree with Gary?

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