Social Media And Public Relations Notes

Summary: The purpose of the book is to help those already within the field of PR make the transition from a traditional method to a modern one, structured around social media. The book aims to enhance the readers skills and practices based on the technological environment that governs communication today.

-An expertise is expected but not about social media

The books breaks down this transition into 8 practices that all PR champions must strive to achieve, they are:

  1. The PR policy maker : the professional who spearheads and guides the social media policy development process  / helps the company, its employees and the public join in conversation the right way / Must first begin by developing a social media plan
  2. The internal collaboration generator : is the PR person who works strategically to evaluate how social collaboration can start internally — better communication on the inside results in better communication on the outside
  3. The PR technology tester-is the PR person who takes the time to research, test, and implement technology as a part of his function
  4. The communications (COMMS) organizer : the PR pro who knows an old communications process does not enable the company to reach social media success
  5. The Pre-Crisis Doctor :proactively monitors social media conversations and track the sentiment of customers and other stakeholders when conversations are “under control” / has to be aware at all times given that the brand will always be in the public eye
  6. The relationship analyzer : digs into the psychographics of people based on like-mindedness and common critical issues and the study of behavioral actions between people in your communities as a key to higher-level in
  7. The reputation task force member : proactive with the brand reputation, provides internal education about brand value and voice, build a team of relentless sentiment auditors  / many times involve free labor like creating a profile that will then reflect on your company
  8. The master of the metrics:must be aware that its not only about “you” anymore, but about how you are performing relative to the marketplace that your company belongs to

The book also changes the way that we think about communication

  1. We see that a relationship is now between business and consumer – closing the gap
  2. We begin adapting to the affordances that technology allows in order to keep the communication going
  3. We realize the strategy for communication can no longer consist of a top down approach

Going from one to one / one to many conversation and transitioning to many to many conversation

Social Shaping – the book most closely relates to Baym’s description of social shaping since the argument is shaped around the idea that in order to become a successful PR champion one must incorporate the traditional practices of PR communications into the new social media landscape. 

-have to shift your mindset to unite communications and collaborative technology

“Your PR Practices must reflect how communications unites with Technology” (p.152)

Gives the idea that if you do not adapt to the technology then you will be left out – idea that the technology is spearheading the social shaping

Techno determinism- a lot about the technology, but not how we understand, she is simply claiming that we don’t really have an option technology is inevitable for use in order to be successful

Audience : the way the book is structured and written involves some previous knowledge on technology as well as PR practices, therefor it is likely that this book is for someone who is studying and / or working the communications or PR fields, but is struggling to grasp the concept of social media now being directly linked to the communication that takes place within and without the company about the brand

-The audience member is most likely someone who already works in the PR department, but is looking to                         gain extra skills and practices in order to enhance their performance

Social Ties: the book is constantly referring to the power of social ties and the advantages of having multiple social ties on multiple levels for best communication practices / PR practices to be applied

-It is the PR’s (The relationship analyzer) job to nurture and leverage relationships in order to continue to make them stronger in the future  

-Relationship stairway – the different types of relationships that one can have (going from latent to weak to strong ties as you move up the stairway)

Surveillance: emphasized as one of the most important functions that the PR champion must perform

-Referred to as “listening” which involves listening to conversations on social media through the use of search     and keywords (having the ability to monitor conversations and track them across multiple platforms allows you to figure out your Share of  Voice in any given platform)

Using the media influence tools:

Social Media Influence Tools:
-an algorithm that helps you capture the most powerful people in your network
-Influence is directly related to creating a voluntary action (free of immaterial labor):
-direct influence is easy, what is hard is when you are trying to figure out your potential influence 
-To best predict potential influence you have to understand three things:
1. Audience Size
2. Audience engagement
3. Relevance
-being able to predict ones ability to affect your target market is at the core of the PR function and skill set

Dissembedding: talks about the power of communication via social media in order to keep ties and connections within the company even if they are not all in the same location

Lurking: people who do not necessarily add to the conversation but are a part of it because they are witnessing the conversations going on in the SNS that they are involved in (Internal collaboration generator)

-this idea is suggested within the company

-employees are encouraged to lurk on other employees and customers pages in order to keep others in check as well as learn about different social media practices

Free Labor / Immaterial Labor: 

Free Labor = relying on customers to keep the popularity and brand name alive within in the online community

Looking for influencers that are going to benefit you and your company and tailoring your communications to them. Involves maintenance practices (social ties) – idea of turning latent ties to weak ties and maybe strong ties

-peer to peer relationships = creation of bi-directional relationships

-encouraging the employees in the business to create their own presence on social media in order to connect to       customers (people will communicate with people that they trust)

-employees are performing immaterial labor

-audience and other users on the social networks are producing free labor

Measuring “Share of Voice” = reach and measuring how much your company is being mentioned in conversations online (creation of the matrix=following where the communications are taking place and where to incorporate the time and effort for your company)

Self Face / Other Face / Mutual Face: representing yourself as an individual but also keeping in mind the reputation of the company as well as your relationship with the company

-Self Face: creating your own voice and knowing how to use social media in order to create a trust worthy profile

-Other Face: Being aware of your customers and what they are posting , making sure that if they are upset you are responding to them in order for them to remain happy with your company

There is no real clear audience – we don’t know if she is talking to one person a group of people, someone who not technologically savvy, but at the same time knows something about technology


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