Embracing Social Media is the Top Public Relations Resolution of 2012

It has been over a month since the new year began and we made our resolutions. And while gym memberships may have gradually fallen since January and not all of us have managed to quit smoking just yet, it is interesting to see what has become of the PR professionals’ top resolutions of 2012.

The Poll

With this in mind, Image Management had run two simultaneous polls on LinkedIn as well as on our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/ImgMgt) during resolution season to gauge what Public Relations professionals across the world thought would be their most important resolution of the year.

Our question asked them to identify their top PR Resolution of 2012 from a list of pre-determined answers which included:

1) Increasing investment in training and market research

2) Not easily giving in to clients and journalists

3) Better differentiating between strategy and tactics

4) Embracing social media

5) Offering more insights and research to clients

The Results

As demographically varied responses came in from public relations professionals across the world – which PR practitioners from India, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Canada, and the US contributing – the results were clear. A staggering figure of 50% of the total responders said that embracing social media was their biggest PR resolution, clearly outgunning the second most popular responses of Differentiating between strategy and tactics as well as Not easily giving in to clients and journalists, both of which got about 21% of the total vote. The final two results of offering more insights to clients and increasing training and market research investment were the least popular, with less than 5% of the total vote each.

The Verdict

It’s clear that 2012 is the year of social media for the public relations industry. As more firms move away from traditional PR and clients are increasingly becoming open to alternative, online PR, there is little doubt that PR professionals need to embrace social media more openly. This may be difficult for some older professionals who may have become acclimatized to the kind of public relations that is more about newspaper column inches and events than about virtual “likes” and hash tags, but it is important that they develop a good grasp of social media that will allow them to thrive as dynamic, cutting-edge professionals in the industry.

Social media provides the opportunity to creative conversations with customers instead of directing messages at them; it also creates organic communities to receive your message and can offer a more personalized and targeted service for your clients.

There is little doubt that social media is radically transforming the public relations space and it is a good sign that PR professionals recognize the need for them to embrace social media. Let’s just hope that, come December, they’re still sticking to their resolution!

Some Key Social Media Services that Clients are Hiring PR Firms For

1) Online audit

2) Online tracking and monitoring programs

3) Blogger and social network engagement program

4) Online promotion

5) Online crisis management

  • Identification, tracking and correction of misperceptions and false statements
  • Rumor control/management
  • Fast collection of customer or client populations’ data to determine if unknown defects are occurring or known defects are creating customer dissatisfaction

6) Ethical search engine optimization

7) Media planning

8) Podcasting

9) RSS

10) Online Corporate Identity

11) Corporate website, microsite and Intranet development and design

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