Preparing for Your Public Relations Future with Social Media

It’s our nature in this day and age to immediately be critical of new forms of social communication. I’ve been part of that group at times. I criticized Foursquare and I didn’t see the immediate value of Google+. Even MySpace is back in the picture, with some still blasting it.

One of the things we need to realize is that being critical of these new tools will put you behind the eight ball for the future. I have no problem with taking an in-depth look into what each network brings to the table. But, it’s not worth your time to shoot down every new shiny thing that hits the market.

Let’s look at the “Big Three” platforms: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It took a few years before they hit mainstream. Even now, though, people are still dismissive. You will never have 100% of professionals understand these established platforms. Some will be on Facebook, but not Twitter, or vice versa. Regardless of what platforms you prefer to use, you need to understand everything.

So, what platforms will impact us a few years down the road? This is tough to predict because the next “great” platform may still be in development. What I can tell you is how I can see newer platforms emerging to assist us as public relations pros.

Vine
Imagine sending a quick ribbon-cutting video out or even a product teaser. Vine can be that app for you. It’s also a way of staying ahead of the “I want my information yesterday” crowd.

Instagram
Sure, we have already seen this photo-sharing app blow up. But, the InstaWeather and InstaPlace apps are great supplements for Instagram. Use these to create unique photos and “time capsules” for your events.

Bump
This app was introduced to me by my wife a few months ago. I’ve since used it with colleagues to share files, swap contact information, calendar dates, photos, social profiles and apps. Bump transfers the information right into your contact list.

If you find yourself thinking negatively off the bat about new, shiny social media networks, apps or platforms, keep these two things in mind:

  • How can I gain an advantage with my clients by truly understanding it?
  • What is the downside by learning something new?

Keep your mind open and your eyes sharpened. You never know when you’ll find something that a client will thank you for guiding them to current and future success.

 

Jason Mollica is the president of JRM Comm, a public relations and social media marketing consultancy. He frequently speaks to PRSSA Chapters, schools and Fortune 500 companies around the country. Jason blogs at OneGuysJourney.WordPress.com, and can be found on Twitter, @JasMollica or at Facebook.com/JRMComms.

1 thought on “Preparing for Your Public Relations Future with Social Media

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      I agree, Jason Mollica. As much as public relations students and professionals are technology testers, we are also technology critics. I can tell you a number of platforms that I refuse to use but have more than adequate knowledge about. For example, the goetagging ability of Foursquare for ages had turned me off. Now as the marketing and public relations manager for a clinic, Foursquare found its way into my plan. I still can remember my thoughts as I downloaded the Foursquare app. But the fact is I did and I also tell people the benefits of downloading the app. Ha!

      But the truth is we’ve got more than a million platforms and apps. And each day, more will be unveiled. It will be suicidal to jump on every train. So, I think the best practice will be familiarize yourself with every new app without tech testing everything. Theoretical knowledge about every aspect of a new platform or app you’re not currently using will not hurt in the future. You will be able to pitch the idea to your client as if you’ve been using the app or platform for years.

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