Why PR hasn’t taken the fun out of social media

While scouting the web for interesting news this morning, I came across an intriguing article in which Chris Lee of New Media Knowledge asks the question 'is PR damaging the Facebook experience?'

I can’t help but wondering what this ‘Facebook experience’ consists of. CNN has recently published the results of a survey conducted on Facebook users’ behaviour. Amongst other things the research revealed that ‘47% of its users have profanity on their walls’ and that ‘Facebook links about sex are shared 90% more than average’.

And yet some people claim that PRs are the ones ruining this uplifting experience!

My view is that we choose to follow or friend the people we are interested in. This is an educated and completely free choice. If we find that a particular twitter account bombards us with fifty promotional tweets daily (and if we find that ‘slightly’ irritating) then we can just choose to unfollow.

Granted, PR’s intrusion in social media means that there is no ‘throne’ for us consultants to be the power behind. The message is communicated without the aid of the public persona or journalists and PR practitioners can speak directly to their audience.

My thoughts are that PR firms using social media for campaigns don’t take the fun out of Facebook; the social network is still there, free to be enjoyed as its 600 million active users see fit. Public relations people only add another voice to the already diverse chorus. If the tune is not to your taste, you can always change stations!

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Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

1 comment:

Fi (childcareisfun.co.uk) said...

I don't think PRs have any power to 'damage the Facebook experience' as Facebook is still a private social network.

I think the figures relating to sexual content on Walls is actually caused by spam! I know at least half of my Facebook friends have had accounts hacked and posted things on others Walls they are unaware of.

Twitter is totally different and I would agree that some PRs completely take up time lines promoting clients products and buisness, but they only 'spoil it' for anyone still following them! It's easy to block followers or unfollow then their posts won't appear.