A few weeks ago I went to an Influence People conference in London focused on Social PR. IP’s conferences (now under the ‘Our Social Times’ banner) are always time well spent and I found this one particularly constructive. But it triggered something of a re-think.
Like many PR’s I have embraced the ‘Social PR’ label, feeling that it was a useful way to explain the point at which PR and the social web converge. Indeed I have blogged and tweeted from ‘Social PR blog’ for a while now. But the various panel discussions which included the likes of KD Paine (always good on measurement), Katy Howell (a breath of fresh air – even with a cold!), Jane Wilson (first time I’d seen her speak but I was impressed) and Philip Sheldrake (always v engaging), got me thinking. Here’s why Social PR blog has gone a bit quiet of late…
Although ‘Social PR’ is a term I’m hearing more of now, I wonder if this is driven more by the technologists than the PR practitioners? Yes, social media is maturing and more PR’s are embracing it by the day. But many are embracing it as an integral part of what they are doing. Not a separate discipline.
I’m speaking as someone running a small B2B agency. The big ones have dedicated digital media specialists with team structures that reflect this. Nonetheless, unless I’ve missed it, I am not aware of any agency opting for a ‘Social PR team or division’.
To my mind, PR is PR. The way we deliver results is changing dramatically but that doesn’t necessarily mean PR needs a new label. I am unlikely to describe myself as a ‘Social PR’ just because the social web features in my tool box. It smacks of trying a bit too hard.
In short, I am not convinced that ‘Social PR’ as a term will stick. Maybe I will be proved wrong. Time will tell. But in the meantime, I have decided to put all my eggs in one basket and co-locate my Social PR blog posts alongside news and other content on The Foundry House website. This is partly because of my view on the durability of ‘Social PR’ as a term and partly to allow me to join up my Social PR posts better with the work I do with my Associates.
I will still blog about (Social) PR but I’ll blog about other stuff too. And because of the joys of WordPress (and some clever web development thanks to @maltpress), it’ll be clear which posts fall into which category. The great thing about all this is that there is flexibility. The road I took wasn’t working for me. This one feels much clearer and more manageable. To me at least! Call me tidy minded but ultimately it’ll be easier having everything under one roof. For the time being, I will continue to post here (duplicating these posts on The Foundry House blog) and keep an eye on the analytics.