Social media goes mainstream

Don't Panic Guide to Social MediaA conference on social media has shown the widespread adoption of new tools and approaches in public relations.

From a small unitary authority to a large police force, speakers told how they had fought and won battles to gain acceptance for their new approach to communication and consultation.

Edelman’s Marhsall Manson said we shouldn’t focus on technology, but on helping groups to form around shared interests.

The Guardian’s Meg Pickard showed a photograph of her usual south London bus stop. There were three people queuing, standing apart from each other. Are they a community, she asked? Potentially, yes, since they share a common purpose and a means of communication.

The message was clear: practitioners should become community builders, but not treat bloggers as another media channel to be targeted with news releases. Stephen Davies related the 100 year history of the news release, and updated it for the new century in the form of the social media news release (SMNR).

Frank PR’s Graham Goodkind said the door is open for PR to own viral marketing, because it’s all about the idea (‘PR = ideas = content’). Ideas with the potential to go viral involve sex, celebrities, humour and human interest. Nothing new there.

The conference was organised by Don’t Panic with the support of the CIPR North West regional group.

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