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Why Can’t We Be Friends!? Social Media, Public Relations & Journalism

on November 5, 2013

Social Media & Public Relations

imagesSocial media and public relations, to the casual onlooker, seemingly go hand-in-hand. However, convincing businesses of this realization seems to be a little more difficult. For the better part of history, these two departments have worked separately – up until a few years ago, the social media world didn’t even exist! While social media may be the new kid on the block, public relations teams should not be kicking them to the curb any time soon. Essentially, social media is now allowing public relations to do what they’ve always done – just in an easy to access format. “Social media allows us to build real relationships over time, not fakes smiles put on during trade shows and events.

Public relations is an crucial piece of the business puzzle, as they are the trained professionals in place to conduct damage control as well as deliver messages to diverse groups of stakeholders and audience members. Social media is now an incredible place to not only communicate but to help businesses sell and inform their audience members. The best way to determine how these two departments should work together is to look at your overall goals and how you truly define success in terms of your business. The answer does not lie in whether or not you need one or the other – the answer is how efficiently and effectively you choose to utilize both of these department’s talents.

Social Media & Journalism

mediaWhile there seems to be a hard line between “traditional” journalism and “new” journalism; the solution should again lie in how you can combine these two methods into the best avenue for you and your business. In fact, those hard hitting traditional journalist should be relieved with these new advances as crowdsourcing is easier now than ever before.  There are thousands of citizen journalists that are posting photos and videos every day, helping to create a searchable database of archived and sourceable content. Journalists should not lose sight of those traditional skills of seeking out stories and hunting down facts; however, journalists can now use social media to build and maintain relationships with people, learn about others in an intimate and real way and reach out directly with story ideas.

 Questions to Ponder:

  1. Do ever see Public Relations and Social Media teams truly becoming one? Or do you think that these teams should stay separate, but work together in a more efficient and cohesive way?
  2. Do you think that “traditional” journalism is truly going to be overtaken by this “new” way of reporting? If so, do you see this has a bad situation or simply moving toward a more effective way of delivering stories?

Ta-ta for now!


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8 responses to “Why Can’t We Be Friends!? Social Media, Public Relations & Journalism

  1. blduckworth says:

    I think that PR and Social should stay separate but work together. If the company is big enough I think it makes sense to keep them separate so that PR can focus on crafting a message and social can focus on pushing it out.

    • lutt09 says:

      Hi Blythe!

      I agree – if a company is larger enough to warrant separate teams, then of course! Like I said, businesses should be focusing on the best ways to reach their goals and allocate their resources appropriately in order to meet said goals.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. VictoriaBetz says:

    I have seem PR and social media teams work together and separate. I always feel as though it is better to work together to keep a more consistent personality and brand for your company. Traditional journalism will stick around in some form, it may not necessarily be what it is today but I do believe that citizen journalism will drastically change the way traditional news outlets report information. Great post!

    • lutt09 says:

      Hi Victoria!

      I agree – it’s better to work together to keep things streamlined and on the same page. In terms of journalism, I agree! I think it’s all about shifting your way of thinking and adapting to the new tools and resources that are available to you!

      Thanks for reading!

  3. lesleygeyer says:

    I agree with Blythe. SM and PR should be separate but work together to achieve a common goal/mission statement for the marketing department. Great post, by the way!

    • lutt09 says:

      Hi Lesley!

      Working together to keep things consistent seems to be the overwhelmingly popular vote – and I couldn’t agree more!

      Thanks for reading!

  4. jbutkevics says:


    I do believe that social media and PR will at some point merge into this great, weird ball of relations and social media. I am not sure what the new snazzy name will be though. It will be interesting to see as every social media manager and PR individual has an opposing opinion on how things should work,

    I don’t believe that journalism will die but it will have to change. News cycles have to become faster and journalists must try and keep up with social media.


    • lutt09 says:

      Hi Janis!

      I love it! I agree – it’s an interesting and exciting time for PR and social media in terms of partnership and relationship building. I think the sky is the limit for both teams – individually and together! Same for journalism – it’s an exciting new adventure to learn the new tools and resources available to journalists now. I think again – the sky is the limit!

      Thanks for reading!

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