PR, Customer Relations and Social Media

In my previous post I spoke briefly about the time implications of social media outlets when they are used for entertainment purposes. For the purpose of this post, I would like to elaborate on the professional uses of social media sites (like this blog) in the realm of public relations.

On a recent post on PR Squared, Todd Defren begs the question, “How much tweeting (or other Social Media interaction) is ‘too much’ while on the clock?” In response, Doug Haslam of Topaz makes an excellent point about the positive uses of social media like Twitter. He says that Twitter helps him communicate with the media and analyst communities, in addition to employers, clients and colleagues.

Furthermore, in a post by Marcel Lebrun, he points out that because of the recent surge of the Internet and the social media sources on it, businesses are lining up for customers instead of the other way around. A new and innovative way for businesses to create customer relations has been born, and those who take advantage of it first are likely to benefit the most. He shows how Comcast is a great example of this.

Social media outlets give companies an opportunity to reach out to their customers, remain transparent in their business decisions, brand themselves and provide the opportunity for customers to weigh in their input. As the 21st century pushes away the option of personal consumer relations, the future of social media provides an outlet for gaining it back.

Sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn have become customer service tools that supplement other social media like blogs and e-mail. It is important for businesses to realize the potential of these sites, take advantage of them and utilize the appropriate outlets effectively.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “PR, Customer Relations and Social Media

  1. Hey, Stephanie. I’ve been struggling with these questions lately, too. I wonder if I have students doing too much in the social network area. Is there “too much blogging and tweeting” line that we cross?

    Certainly it can go to extremes. Right now, for example, I have students blog once weekly on a PR topic. They write weekly on a local news item and produce a video. Other than that, I only encourage PROpenMic and Twitter, etc. Of course, we do have other exercises like PRXBuilder and more along the way.

    I know this takes it away, a bit, from the company question and social media … but, what do you think. Is there a line where too much social media can creep into the discipline? your studies?

    So fun to see a PROpenMic conversation make its way to people’s blogs. I’m lovin’ it. So glad you’re involved there. Thanks!

  2. stephaniemcculley

    I think that there is a delicate balance between the use of social media in terms of learning and its use as a procrastination tatic. I think its important that we are learning PR tactics that are still really modern because when we graduate, the modern knowledge we have will be the thing that makes up for our lack of experience. However, the point I was trying to make here doesn’t have to do with our learning about the outlets so much as our overuse of it outside of the classroom. One example: Facebook’s newest creation, Facebook Chat. It’s really interesting, but oh-so-addictive.

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