The social media age and its downfalls, according to PR pros

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Like and DislikeA strong emphasis has been placed on social media over the last several years, especially for those who work within the media industry. But every trend, whether it’s here to stay or not, has downfalls. inVocus asked PR pros to share some of the pitfalls they’ve come across with the advent of the social media age.

Anna Patrick, digital publicist & social media strategist at Media Connect

Recently we provided social media consultation and services for a Thai spiritual master who had over 1 million likes on Facebook and a similar audience on Twitter, however she wanted to come over to the US market, so the fact that they were only sending out Tweets/updates in Thai instead of English worked against her favor, as it made her appear closed off to English speakers and ignited doubts with the producers we were trying to book her with since they were afraid she might not speak enough English to give a live interview. We overcame that by integrating English content alongside her pre-existing Thai content, and the result was that she was able to successfully make her U.S. debut and gain an American following.

Elias Ghosn, marketing director at Voodoo Alerts

Some of the best social sites for getting eyes on your company or product are Reddit and Hacker News, but they are also the most tricky. Neither of these user bases like seeing self-promoting posts and they will go out of their way to investigate each poster. Getting caught in self-promotion on one of these networks is a huge downward spiral, you can expect your posts to be down-voted deep into oblivion. Unless you have an incredible angle or product that people *actually and legitimately LIKE* then it’s best to stay clear. However, the great thing is that the Internet has a very, very short attention span. Within a couple weeks everyone will have forgotten about you and your product and you can try again, learning from your mistake. But be wary, if you fail a second, third, fourth, time they remember a bit more each time.

Joshua Kail, co-founder of Glass Lantern PR

The biggest negative impact of social media on a PR campaign has nothing to do with media relations or content delivery and has everything to do with client expectations. Because we work in an industry terrible at defining itself in a clear and easy to understand way by the very businesses we look to take on as clients, the recent emphasis on using social media as a PR tool in many cases has been understood as “Social Media is the new PR.” The expectations of strategy and measurable results from a PR campaign have an unjustified weight put on social media outreach. Social media is an excellent tool in achieving real PR goals but it is one as an aggregator of information and continuance of communication not the
content origin point. There is still a balance between traditional and digital media outreach and social media distribution. They both rely heavily on each other but it is important not to confuse the emergence of social media as the replacement of every other outreach technique and strategy.

Michael Bilello, founder and CEO of Centurion Strategies

Social media has empowered media with the ability to directly contact and interact with clients. As an agency, it creates challenges when managing communications content and lines. Additionally, you have to be aware of all information posted to social media by clients as this is ‘on the record,’ and can be brought up on the spot. You have to be more prepared, which typically means more time to manage work. While technology has made us more productive, it has also required more time, attention and tools in order to be competent.


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