Stowe Boyd tells it like it is. It seems most PR folk are STILL pretty clueless about Social Media:
Please, please, please don’t talk about audiences when you are theoretically promoting social media. As Jay Rosen has suggested, we are the people formerly known as the audience. Blogging is not just another channel for corporate marketing types to push their messages to markets, eyballs, or audiences. Social media is based on the dynamic of a many-to-many dialogue between people. Yes, people: that’s the word that should have been used. Not audience.
Agreed, the blogosphere is not a good place to “push” corporate messages.
That being said, the ‘sphere does have its uses for corporates, the same way it does for individuals. As I see it, the ‘sphere is the world’s largest “Idea Incubator”. It’s a great place to seed ideas. It’s a great place to test which ideas have traction, which ideas are “Beyond Lame”. Which conversations get people’s attention, and which conversations make people roll their eyeballs.
If your ideas have merit, bloggers will talk about them. If they don’t, they won’t. This lets you know what to expect when you finally unleash your ideas for real on the big, bad world. Without spending a king’s ransom finding out the hard way.
It’s simple and brutal and it works.
None of this is rocket science. And the PR folk have no excuse. All the relevant information is easy enough to find, if one takes the time to actually look.
The fact that lots of them aren’t bothering to take the time, well, that’s another issue altogether.
[Afterthought:] If you wanted to find out more about the future of social media in the PR industry, you could do a lot worse than by giving my friend, David Parmet a call.
[Bonus Link:] The story on Techmeme.