Saturday, September 15, 2012

You are part of us now...

Pretty ominous heading isn’t it -- sounds like we’re being attacked by The Borg. Now I know I lost about half of you there with the nerdy Star Trek reference, but the point of the heading is that whether we like it or not, the social web has caught us, and has no intention of letting go anytime soon. Social web platforms, specifically designed for ongoing online interactions including YouTube and Skype, are becoming a regular part of our daily lives, whether it’s work or recreational related. Unless you're super web savvy, keeping up with the constant changes can sometimes make you feel like this:

(pictures courtesy of

Whatever your feelings are regarding the social web, it’s here to stay. I know that last bit of news would make most of my fellow Canadians pretty happy, because we really like to be connected. Recent statistics have shown that Canadians run the world in online social activity. A quick classroom poll showed that about 90 per cent of my classmates have a Facebook page. Not all social platforms, however, are created equal. Check this out for an interesting look at a few social platform meltdowns and failures.

Businesses are now understanding the benefits of joining websites like LinkedIn or Foursquare. Not only is it good business sense in today’s world, but the social web also:
a) Provides a huge forum to promote and measure/track reactions to services or products, and;
b) Enables businesses to network, as well as establish and strengthen customer relationships.

Public relations practitioners know that the social web has forever changed the way communications are performed. Thanks to social platforms like Twitter, situations that once took a few hours to be noticed are now instantaneously captured and transmitted virally within seconds. As a result, public relations practitioners have been forced to play catch-up, becoming much more reactionary with shorter, tighter, response times to events. The flipside of this are the pr practitioners who are well versed in social web training, and are rewarded accordingly for staying on top of trends and situations. The public relations world is realizing that this is the future for communications, but a question remains: are public relations practitioners as vigilant as they’d like to be in keeping up with the ever shifting social web world?

1 comment:

  1. It's tough going, keeping up with the Joneses. I think that in making decisions related to PR we should listen to what clients have to say about their own social media engagement, then also survey and try to understand what level of acceptance their customers have for a given technology.

    We hear a lot about social media success stories, but there are a few examples where the mass market appeal of it all failed to get off the ground. See The Guardian's story, which begins with, "Farewell, Ping. We hardly knew you . . .", at