MY THOUGHTS ON WHY PR PROS MUST ENGAGE IN SOCIAL MEDIA.
As PR practitioners and communicators, we must engage in social media.
It is a key component of our field of specialty, it is what we do and it will be a part of our future.
For those PR professionals who are still considering venturing out into it, a special workshop awaits you and it will provide you with the tools and the knowledge you need to jump start your efforts.
It is critical that PR pros be interested and willing to be immersed in social media and see the value in it. Sure there were people who shook their heads in 1803, when Thomas Jefferson first combined the words "public" and "relations" into "public relations," or those who thought Lee or Pultizer didn't know what they were talking about in the early 1900s when they introduced the concepts of press agentry, publicity, "muckracking" and PR campaigns, but that didn't stop them from doing it or others from learning from them. (SOURCE OF HISTORICAL NOTES: This is PR, Newsom, Turk, Kruckeberg.)
We are in the midst of the evolution of our field so if we don't own it and master the new technologies and tactics then there will be another professional field that will. (For additional reading on why "Social Media is the Responsibility of PR" follow Jason Falls on Twitter http://twitter.com/jasonfalls or read http://bit.ly/brAZG).
If you are uncertain of how to begin a social media effort, I'd suggest you just get your feet wet and start small. You'll be glad you did.
How easy is it? Sign up for a Twitter, Facebook or Blogger account. Start listening, reading and monitoring what is happening in your fields of interest, then perhaps consider jotting down your thoughts in a blog.
What I so appreciate about social media is the sharing of knowledge and resources.
Pioneers in social media are more than happy to make available their best practices, missteps, and recommendations. Being involved with social media is like being in front of PR thought leaders all day and being in a super interesting grad school class with an engaging speaker each week. (I loved grad school at TCU http://twitter.com/tcu so this is a real treat for me!)
Social media is also a chance to hear what your customers and community members think and believe about certain issues and where they are focusing their energies and resources all on a real-time basis.
By listening and engaging in social media, one has a golden opportunity to soak up knowledge and become a more skilled practitioner and strategic communications professional.
Want and need the how-to? Need the basics, only a refresher or just want to hear from the pros? Then please consider joining Greater Fort Worth PRSA on May 13, for our Professional Development Workshop with http://twitter.com/vedo http:/ /twitter.com/morate and http://twitter.com/BethHarte
Details here: http://fortworthprsa.org/events.htm
Don't wait, register today!
Then while you are at it, start listening and reading blogs, Wikipedia, or get a Twitter or Facebook account and get engaged. As our friend Geoff Livingston http://twitter.com/GeoffLiving has said more than once "Now is Gone" and very simply the future is NOW! (NOTE: There is a book on genetics titled "The Future is now" by William, Kristol and Cohen but I'm just writing those words in general terms.)
Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vanhoosier
RESOURCES MENTIONED ABOVE:
http://www.problogger.net/ (Now offering a free 31-day effort on building a better blog.)
P.S. If you are unable to attend May 13, several GFW PRSA members will be blogging or Twittering live from the workshop.