Question #1

Q: In Deirdre Breakenridge’s article PR 2.0, Brian Cross discusses how changes in technology will change the function of PR practitioners. In what ways do you think public relations will change and what role will PR professional’s play in these changes?

A: More direct conversations.  More and less control at the same time. Relationship building.

This is how PR is changing with the advent of social media and new technology.

PR people have to listen more than ever. We can’t expect to be doing all the talking. Direct conversations have to be two-way. In order for a PR professional to understand their target audience, they have to engage in social dialogue with them. Example? The Food Network on facebook. Their page asks fans who the next Iron Chef should be. 155 comments later, they have their interaction and feedback.

Control is gained and lost. PR professionals have more control in the sense that they can give out information on a variety of platforms and also respond on these multiple platforms when a crisis or issue arises.

They lose control though, because everyone else also has access to these platforms and the general public can also disseminate any thoughts and opinions they have on your company. It makes damage control easier and harder at the same time.

Relationship building. We can’t just observe from the outside—we need to be on the inside. “Blogger relations is the new media relations.” Cross hits the nail on the head here.  You cannot simply reach out to bloggers and pitch them about something cool that you want them to write about if you haven’t done your homework. You now have to build relationships with journalists and keep up an ongoing relationship with bloggers.

Essentially, with social media, PR has become all about building a community.

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