Tag: education

Not Yet On Board With Social Media? You May Already Be Left Behind

social media pr

I received the following note the other day via LinkedIn, from someone who has apparently been in the business for more than 20 years:

“I found out on a web site called social media today that you have considerable experience in PR and social media expertise.

“Although I also have an extensive PR background, I up to now haven’t needed to get involved in social media very much. My PR areas of expertise are media relations, writing, research, and special events.

“I have developed many customized media lists using Excel.

“Can I somehow use Twitter also to develop customized media lists using media data that I find from a variety of sources, which I do when creating Excel media lists? If I can, how do I go about creating customized Twitter media lists that include writers’ names, title, media name, email address, etc.

“Also, I want to find some articles/case histories that detail how companies have specifically used Twitter and Facebook to in PR campaigns to boost awareness of products and services,

“If you can provide me with links to such articles/case histories, that will be fantastic.

Any questions, send them.”

I responded that the person in question should read this post, and if he wanted to chat further, he could book a two-hour (paid) consult via my assistant.

To which he asked where he could find the post, and made a snarky comment on how perhaps he should become a “social media expert consultant at that hourly rate,” as it’s more than he’s “ever received in PR on hourly basis.”


When PRSA asked me to author a guest post on the evolution and elevation of social media, I was wondering how I could do so without stating the obvious: that social is here to stay, it’s not just for the “kids,” and if you haven’t gotten on board that particular bandwagon yet, you should start dusting off the old drum kit pronto.

Then I received this note. And it seemed to me to illustrate exactly how our industry needs to evolve vis-à-vis social media and the elevation thereof.

Clearly there is a sizable group in the industry that is still grappling with social, while grudgingly realizing they need to learn how to deal with it. Despite my irritation at this interchange, I sensed that the arrogance (“Tell me everything I want to know! Do it now! Free!”) and snark (“Whaaa? How do you get away with charging that?!”) were layered on top of confusion and, perhaps, fear. Because while this gent and others of his ilk may see the writing on the wall, clearly they don’t like the story it’s telling.

Social media cannot be elevated from the tactical to the strategic if it continues to be boxed in or silo-d. While its evolution has been breathtaking—a day does not go by that I don’t marvel at what a remarkable time we live in, to literally see technology change the world, minute by minute—it must be invited to sit at the family table, not banished to the kids’ corner.

Public relations practitioners of all stripes must understand this. They must start to respect what social brings to the table, even if they choose not to make that a core part of their business offering. They must start looking at public relations in an integrated and measurable way, because that’s the only way it will be regarded as an integral business function.

That means a genuine desire to learn, grow and engage, resisting the urge to make digs at those who’ve taken the time and trouble to at least be in step with today’s world. That’s what I hope to see happen, and our industry take larger strides toward, in 2014.S Burke

Shonali Burke, guest blogger


Shonali Burke was named to PRWeek’s inaugural top “40 Under 40″ list of US-based PRprofessionals and is considered one of 25 women that rock social media. As President & CEO, Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc., she helps take business communication strategy from corporate codswallop to community cool™. Shonali is also Adjunct Faculty at Johns Hopkins University, and publisher of the popular PR and digital media blog, Waxing UnLyrical. The Washington Business Journal recently named her one of 10 CEOs to follow on Twitter… follow their advice by finding her @shonali.

Reposted from: http://prsay.prsa.org  PRSA/Editor’s note: This is the final in a series of guest posts from industry thought leaders predicting key trends that will impact the public relations industry in 2014. Hosted under the hashtag #PRin2014, the series began Jan. 8, 2014, with a compilation post previewing some of the predictions.


The Values of Interns and Interning

Photo Credit: http://channel2.typepad.com/uvu/2012/01/interns-wanted.html


If you need some extra help at your company but may not have room in the budget to hire someone, why not get an intern? College students and recent graduates need the experience and are more than happy to earn college credit or some extra cash on the side.

In many college programs, students are required to take an internship in order to graduate. Other students or college graduates are looking to gain more experience in their fields. This is a great opportunity for companies to take advantage of.

Internships are a valuable part of the learning experience in addition to what students and graduates learned through college. Although some college courses are designed to teach students how to do things hands on, not everything can be taught in a classroom.

It is important when taking on an intern to delegate meaningful tasks that will help them gain experience rather than just giving them “busy work”. Also avoid using your intern for purely job shadowing because experience is best learned through practice.

Not only will students and recent graduates gain useful experience, but they will also get a sense for what your specific industry is like. Interning with a company provides a sense of the work load, environment, and the expectations of the employees. They will also learn valuable skills such as time management and how to be professional in the workplace.

The benefit of a company taking on an intern is multi-fold. The main advantage for a company is that they can save money since they since companies don’t have the overhead of paying for benefits for a full time hire. Interns can help lighten the work load, they are knowledgeable about modern methods, and they can bring new and fresh ideas to the table.

Inviting someone to take an internship also allows the company to observe their work ethic, growth potential, and dependability. This will help determine whether or not they are a team player and if they are a good fit for the company.

In many cases, companies find their interns to be valuable enough to hire on as an employee once the internship is over. Interns should take their internships seriously, because you never know if it will turn into a career!