13 reasons why PR should lead social media efforts

No department is as qualified to run social media as public relations, argues this, well, PR pro.

This story first ran on PR Daily in July 2011.

I’d rather not write this post.

It’s counterproductive to claim territories when there’s more than enough work to go around.

But the fact is that there are a lot of people who want a slice of the social media pie. PR leaders are being asked to defend their marketing credentials to folks who may not even understand what public relations professionals do each day.

Our colleagues in sales, advertising, customer service, HR and IT all want control of the digital media PR budget. I understand why they would ask for it, but I just don’t think they’re as well-equipped to head the effort as PR pros.

Here’s why PR should lead:

1. We are storytellers. Thought leadership is already in our DNA.

2. We begin—not end—every project with an analysis of how to approach influencers.

3. We are already trained to empathize and converse with different audiences (at the same time).

4. We know how to earn—and keep—attention.

5. We think strategically, but are willing to do tactical “dirty work.”

6. We can build marketing action out of customer service activity.

7. We understand that it’s not about us. Our job has always been to connect others.

8. We’re falling in love with analytics, not running away scared.

9. We are sensitive to the new “reporters,” from customers to bloggers to organizations.

10. We can mix story spectacle with practicality, the Holy Grail in social media.

11. We’re required to leverage “what’s next” for our clients.

12. We build content all day, every day.

Bonus reason?

We understand that the PR label may not exist in a few years, but we’re not sitting around waiting for the axe to fall.

Do you think PR should lead social media? Or are you annoyed that I opened up that can of worms?

Elizabeth Sosnow is the managing director of BlissPR. She writes for the firm’s blog , where this article originally ran.


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