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Friday, 12 June 2009

It’s the future Jim, and some of it we know

The debate around the impact of the social web on communications continues, and continues, and continues. As a lifelong PR its hard not to feel a little dispirited as those in PR, a bit like lemmings, continue to jump into an abyss of self doubt about whether the sector can rise to meet the digital challenge. Witness the cyclone of print and online comment around the implications of the first new business pitch to be advertised only on twitter.

We need to evolve, no mistake. But, we need to recognise that the good, strong, traditional, PR skills have never been more important than in the age of the social web. As a sector, we know how to generate interesting, engaging, relevant content that people take and make their own. A PR professional should know the right people, who are in the right place at the right time and then be able to mobilise these influencers. This is underpinned by our core skill, identifying and then mitigating reputational risk.

There are of course fundamental differences in how we have to work, not least of which is equipping our team with the skills to distil a vast amount of information on a continuous basis. But, as an industry, the social web presents a massive opportunity to prove the value of PR. The lemmings just need to step away from the edge.

Natalie Orringe
Associate Director - Teamspirit PR

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