When this whole social media movement began a few years ago, it was widely accepted that any corporate responsibility in this arena belonged to PR practitioners. If you think about social media and what it really stands for, you can see why it naturally fell on the desks of the PR departments.
Social media is all about transparency and communication. Public relations practitioners communicate with the public in a transparent manner. For this reason, social media was obviously a great collection of tools for them to incorporate in their communication strategies.
What about Marketing and Advertising?
The social media journey for marketers has been significantly bumpier compared to that of PR. It has taken advertisers years to figure out how to make it useful and many would argue on what is and isn’t working.
As I stated before, social media is about transparency and communication. In order to utilize social media in marketing, you must adhere to the rules. You must be transparent and you must be willing to communicate. When I say communicate, I mean two-way communication. Not a billboard or a commercial. If you engage in social media and fail to follow the rules, your efforts are guaranteed to fail.
The problem with most social media marketing ideologies is that they revert back to the old. Patterns. People want social media to behave the same way as past marketing models did. This just isn’t possible. It’s about two-way communication and transparency. A billboard can’t achieve this.
Many professionals think that Marketing and Public Relations are merging. I do think that social media success requires that the two work more closely together, but the goals of the two disciplines are still very different.
Marketers are starting to understand the rewards of communication and transparency. Social media is teaching marketers how to advertise more effectively. Many would say social media is teaching us the right way to market. I would agree.
So are the two merging into one? I would say no. Are they beginning to look pretty similar? Absolutely. Like I always say, before you decide on social media tools, you need to decide on a goal. Is it a public relations oriented goal or a marketing oriented goal? Making this decision at first