I’be been pondering the challenge Richard has set in his latest post – trying to decide whether or not social media means the death of PR. The huge effort that the Obama campaign is still putting into new media (yes, I know not all of it can be defined as “social media”) seems to suggest that for PRs this is just a new channel – albeit of a new and so-far unpredicatable type – which they can use if they know what they’re doing. There’s a piece in today’s Observer which details the enormous returns Obama got from his very well crafted online campaigning which tends to suggest that, IF the message you are trying to spread resonates with the audience you are trying to reach AND members of that audience use social media networks to communicate with each other, then social media can be a means of spreading a PR message which is exponentially more powerful than more traditional methods. So the answer to Richard’s question is : no, as long as the PR is adept at finding messages which resonate – and that’s always been the trick that good PRs know how to work. Right?
My pondering has been interrupted by my niggling doubts as to why Arianna Huffington, queen of bloggers, is advertising a proper, old-fashioned book she has written about how to be a blogger. Surely, if you want to be a blogger you already know that such things exist, so you’ve seen them online, so you are web savvy enough to use the internet. So, wouldn’t you use google to find a site that tells you… I appreciate that won’t have the Arianna Huffington seal of approval on it, and I’m quite cheered to see that books still count, even on HuffPo but I can’t stop wondering about who on earth is going to read this. What have I missed?