Social Media is no longer a fad, or something to try out. It will become an integral part of PR programs in 2010. And PR people have to master social media and use it strategically to be effective.
Nothing backs up predictions like cold, hard facts.
Joseph Thornly posted this graph from Google Trends that shows searches for public relations have been declining since 2004. Interest in social media and social networking started to pick up in 2006, grew slowly through 2007 and 2008 and really gained ground in 2009. In December 2009 searches for social media and social networking passed the number of searches for public relations.
The news reference numbers are just as interesting. News about social media grew rapidly in the first half of 2009 and passed PR about mid year. Social media and social networking are neck and neck in news volume.
Of course we don’t know who does the searches, or exactly what they’re looking for, but it does give some insight into what people are currently interested in. And social media seems to be the winner.
The Econsultancy report on social media and PR revealed that only about half of the companies who participated in their survey are “satisfied” with their agency’s level of social media and online PR knowledge. Only 13% are “very satisfied”. More than one quarter are dissatisfied – 16% being “mildly dissatisfied” and 11% “very dissatisfied”.
It seems we need to up our game. A poll of 450 PRSA Counselors Academy members listed mastering social media as one of the most important things for PR practitioners to do in 2010.
Learning how to do a social media strategy would be a good place to start.
Your social media and online PR guide