How Social Media is Changing PR both in Practice and in Recruitment

GUEST POST by Carlo Pandian

Almost every day, the News is full of woeful stories of redundancies and long-term unemployment, especially amongst the young. Inevitably, those stories are typically sidelined with tales of hundreds of people applying for a small number of jobs. However, the statistics don’t stop young adults from striving to find a job in their dream career.

PR jobs are rapidly becoming one of the most popular career choices amongst University leavers, alongside Publishing, the Media and Marketing. As a result, PR recruitment is big business, as the industry moves to change with the times.

Back in the “good old days” as your Nan would probably call them, the words “Public Relations” and “PR” were synonymous with newspapers, magazines, television and radio, however, moving forward eleven/twelve years, and the world of PR is a completely different place.

What Has Changed?

The answer to this question is fairly simple, as it is of course all down to the Internet. Ten years ago, the Internet was sparkly and new for the majority of the population. Move forward to today, and interestingly, many Internet-based activities that were popular ten years ago, including perhaps even email, have been swiftly bashed into near obscurity by something called Social Media. Chances are that you’ve heard of it, and are probably a part of it, no matter whether you are a job seeker or a company looking to hire.

What Effect Has Social Media had on the PR industry?

Interestingly, the PR industry has probably experienced one of the biggest changes thanks to Social Media.

Firstly with the way PR works, because whilst in the past, companies could just advertise a product and completely control what information is given about a product to the audience, the rise of Social Media has pulled a lot of that control more in the direction of the consumer, with people sharing their real experiences and sometimes even grievances, regarding products.

As a result, PR has taken on a new genre of handling all feedback, in a very public forum.

In the sense of PR jobs, whether you are thinking of applying through PR Recruitment Agencies, or perhaps you are the PR Recruitment Agency yourself and you are looking to hire everyone from PR freelancers to the Project Managers, then Social Media has had huge ramifications for you too.

Barely a few years ago, before the Facebook and Twitter boom, PR Recruitment would have been managed solely from an office or the PR Agencies websites. However, today, many PR freelancers are looking for work in Social Media, meaning that this is where the PR Recruitment companies need to be, and they need to be highly visible and approachable.

Any company, not just PR-related, would lose a large amount of business if they are not happy to make the transition into the hands of the Internet.

Carlo Pandian works in London for a PR recruiter, drop him a tweet @Mediarecruit to talk about PR
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4 thoughts on “How Social Media is Changing PR both in Practice and in Recruitment

  1. Social Media and blogs have expanded the range of PR jobs. At the same time they have made the job more complicated as there are more influencers, we are not talking to the Times Editor but also to bloggers and users.

    Sometime there’s also a collision between the work of pr agencies and SEOs (in particular link builders). I have experienced that in my job where a PR company even put a Digg bookmark in their press coverage

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  2. In this blog post you say, “companies could just advertise a product and completely control what information is given about a product to the audience, the rise of Social Media has pulled a lot of that control more in the direction of the consumer, with people sharing their real experiences and sometimes even grievances, regarding products.”

    But companies have never had complete control over their messages or how they are perceived. Before social media, people would discuss brands and complain or compliment about their product or policies. Social media allows companies to know have a voice in the conversation. It allows companies to address complaints and to alter their behavior to fit consumers needs. Thus, social media actually gives companies more control of their messages than ever before. Do you disagree?

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  3. I agree that social media plays an important role in the PR industry. These days most companies tend to hire people who know how to manage social media. I think the traditional media shouldn’t be ignored as the public tends to trust traditional media over social media outlets. Perhaps business should use more variety of media to approach its key public.

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