Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Has Social Media Marketing Replaced Public Relations?

We have entered a new era of what has been called public relations over the years. I remember when PR became corporate communications, then marketing communications, and now many are saying that they believe PR has become social media.

I believe that PR is here to stay - although it is not the old school publicist in a telephone booth dialing the media to share the latest news tip on the street. It has changed from one way publishing and broadcasting to two way conversations.

Over the last year and a half, more than 300 newspapers have folded. Around eight magazines with a circulation of 1 million or more stopped their presses, while more than magazines completely shut down. 600 top-tier publishing employees were laid off. In the radio business alone, more than 10,000 jobs were lost. Bankruptcies have overtaken 100 plus television stations after their parent companies filed Chapter 11 bankrupsy.

It is no surprise. 2010 started out as the year of transformation. Whether it is due to the economy, in part, or just a social uprising - we are in early stages of a re-engineering of business as we know it, driven by social networking which has almost replaced the traditional media. (Source: Vocus Media Research Group.)

Today, people interact online in real-time dialogues with each other. Businesses now speak to customers with the hopes of influencing them. And people listen watch and read what other peoople have to say about products and services. Full disclosure. No longer can companies hide behind brand messaging.

However, marketing and public relations do go hand in hand with online strategies today, helping to launch and maintain social media campaigns. As a Los Angeles public relations agency, MarCom will always believe in synergistic campaigns and using the foundation built by yesterday’s public relations strategies.

As of today, 65 percent of marketers have only been involved with social media marketing for a few months or less.; 56 percent, are using social media for six plus hours every week; and only one in three – do social media for more than 11 hours per week. 85 percent of marketers indicated that the number-one advantage of social media marketing is generating exposure for their business.

For more information on MarCom's social media marketing services, call 323.650.2838.