According to the latest PR GAP study, PR “owns” social media. More than a quarter of companies they surveyed stated that they gave 80 per cent or more of the budgetary control of social media to PR. In addition to control of the budget, almost a quarter said that PR is also the strategic lead when it comes to social media. But, does PR really own social media? Can you possibly own an entire communications channel? The answer is no.
Does advertising own TV? Media buyers outdoor display? Do the spin doctors and publicists get the red tops? Again, no….PR doesn’t own social media, we just get it more than the other disciplines. Ask any PR person what the key to their success is and they’ll tell you – developing and maintaining relationships with a diverse range of media, making sure that the conversations they’re having with each one is both meaningful and rewarding. It’s this that put’s PR in the driving seat when it comes to social media, but it doesn’t give us ownership of it.
This space is going to require a truly integrated approach to make it work, having a conversation is fine, but what are you going to talk about, what do you want to share? Ultimately, the question is this – what’s your brand story? This isn’t a PR-only job, it’s a wider job that requires brains from our buddies in advertising, branding, media buying, research. Don’t agree? Put it this way, if PR owned TV, there wouldn’t be any TV.
So, I go back to my initial point – you can’t own an entire communications channel. But there is something that you can own in social media – you brand story. But like any good story, it’s got a lot of different characters involved, many twists and turns and ultimately, that story means something different to everyone that reads it….you get me?