I was reading this post on SocialMediaToday called ‘Social Media Is the Responsibility of Public Relations’. The post talks about PR taking ownership of Social media within an organization to which I don’t entirely agree with. I feel the responsibility of Social media falls under the overall marketing division of which PR is just a one important functional area. Social media in its true sense which is based on user participation and user-generated content like blogs, forums, communities and social networking sites requires content experts from product marketing team, services team, pre-sales and sales teams. Depending on the audience and topic of discussion the respective functional owners can actively participate and contribute on behalf of the organization. Without the relevant content experts, honest, warm, factual and intelligent conversations on Social Media are not possible. PR can still facilitate media and blogger relationship’s but it can’t be the only interface and has to be backed up by content experts. Also we should consider the need for real time responses and participation in this new media and hence making available the right content experts is important. It makes a case for companies to have dedicated content experts that can be readily tapped upon by the marketing leads that want to participate in Social Media projects. An obvious requirement is that these content experts should not only be media trained but Social Media trained. Why Social Media trained? Because traditional politically correct and to the book answers will not work. The tone needs to be transparent, honest, to the point and should appear unbiased.
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