Blog — The Snow Report

The other day I met the owner of a small technology start-up at a local fundraiser. As we were exchanging pleasantries and small talk, I told him that I worked in public relations and he asked me if I thought social media was replacing traditional media relations, and if I thought that reporters were becoming less influential. I do get asked this from time to time and my answer is always the same. I read something recently that sums up my feelings:

“The trend we need to see emerge for the industry is the understanding within the broader profession and the business community that public relations is not communication – PR is about identifying, developing and maintaining mutually-beneficial relationships between an organization and its stakeholders. A public relationship is the end goal; communication is merely the means to the end. “

(Stephanie McFarland, APR)

In essence, one form of communication should not be judged against another as my new friend suggested, but merely analyzed and considered in terms of what is most relevant for a company or organization in order to help them build their public relationships. The value of print media is no less critical today than it was ten years ago. Even though newspaper circulations across the country are declining, niche, community and trade publications that serve a unique audience are showing sustainability and growth. Besides, if you look at what people are posting on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, chances are you will see some news article links to all kinds of traditional media.

When we view things from an “either/or” perspective in the PR world, we limit our potential for success. The best recipe for achieving valuable public relationships is usually a creative mix of programs and activities that will best serve your overall marketing objectives.

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