Integrated communications: Are YOU a communicator?
If you work in PR, you are probably finding yourself involved in tasks that involve a lot more than traditional media relations… from marketing to customer service to advertising and grass roots interpersonal communication.
Over the past week, social media heavyweights Geoff Livingston, Jason Falls and others have been debating the role of PR pros, marketers and advertisers in the social media space. Falls’ post on Social Media Explorer, Advertising Agencies and Social Media: A Culture Clash, explores how advertising professionals can reconcile their experience with reaching out to mass markets with the necessity of engaging in social media on an interpersonal, one-on-one level. Livingston’s post Why Being Dubbed a Social Media Expert or PR Guy Rankles Me on his Brand Box blog discusses the negative association we have with “PR” and “Social Media Experts.” He suggests, rather, that those of us who work on brand building, engaging with stakeholders, working with the media, etc. should actually be dubbed communicators. Michael Bush wrote How PR Chiefs Have Shifted Toward Center of Marketing Departments in Advertising Age and explores how public relations professionals are taking a larger role in a brand’s overall communications and marketing plan.
Some of this may seem like semantics until we explore the nature of the role of a communicator. The world of public relations is changing and the role of a PR professional is different today (and will continue to morph in years to come) than it was even five years ago.
“So in this business, I think the right term is communicator. Consider this definition:
A person who communicates, esp. one skilled at conveying information, ideas, or policy to the public.
Yup, sounds like me. It doesn’t limit me to a box, and allows me to integrate across tool sets.”
Brands can decide to integrate their communications with a team of social media mavens, marketing pros and PR people, or they can find that rare combination of an executive that understands it all and how it relates. Regardless, the walls are coming down between departments and who social media “belongs to” is not a cut-and-dried answer. CisionBlog blogger Jay Krall and I discuss this topic in the free Cision social media webinar Walls Coming Down (new dates coming soon.)
How is your role changing as a PR professional? Do you work effectively with others in the space from marketers to advertising pros to customer service reps? Or are you a marketer who has found yourself engaging as a public liaison?
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