Welcome Social Media Relations Agency. Wither Public Relations.

Note: Emergence-Media is still officially on a break. This is just leisurely Ritual Coffee Roasters/Grove Cafe blogging.

Quick Commentary

Steven Rubel recently proclaimed that there’s no such thing as Social Media because “in 2006 all media went social“. Throwing up RSS feeds and enabling comments – or SMOing articles in the Washington Post– does not make you newspaper a social media newspaper. That’s just retrofitting, like PDFing your brochure and placing it online and calling it a website. I’m siding with Karl Long on this one.

We have a long way to go before social media becomes a fundamental element of what it means to be on the web. One of the important factors in helping shaping “old media” to “social media”, will be in the new, evolving synergies between public relations and online marketing.

As PR agencies – even cutting edge ones like Edelman (See the Vista/Vista/Blog Issue) – struggle to come to terms with how to engage social media, PR must have a mindset of shift away from pushing material into engaging, learning and shaping the conversation more intimately. Remember, its less “Old School PR” or “Cluetrain Manifesto” but “How to Win Friends and Influence People“.

We must frame the shift from generally thinking of managing “Public Relations” (PR) to that of the more specific act of engaging in “Social Media Relationships.”

It is difference of degree, but not in kind. PR has always been about helping shape a positive image of a brand or product – but now the connections are more intimate and less amorphous than some vague “Public”.

Yes “Social Media Relations” is another yet another meme, but it serves an important cognitive shift. PR agencies need to revamp themselves as helping companies empower their own voice and orientation in the “Conversation” (again, excuse the meme). PR should not be contacting bloggers directly, PR agencies should educate their clients on how to do so as a normal marketing/pr procedure.

Attention! PR appears to be the first agency to use the term “Social Media Relations Agency” and surprisingly not many other have. Unlike other memes, I’m hoping we’re see this a little bit more as some PR agencies attempt to reinvent themselves in the Social Media area.



, , ,




5 responses to “Welcome Social Media Relations Agency. Wither Public Relations.”

  1. LorriM Avatar

    Congratulations on making it into 9rules!

    I have been a member since Round 4.

  2. Dave Forde Avatar

    Do you think the PR firms will be able to reinvent (turn the Titanic around) in ’07? It seems that many of them are talking a good game, but few are applying social media to their own businesses.

  3. Daniel R Avatar
    Daniel R


    Thanks so much! I’m really excited and looking forward to being part of the 9Rules community of websites. I’ve checked out some of your flickr photos. I’ll be adding you to my FlickrStream. 😉

    @Dave Forde:
    I definitely agree. Edelman with Steve Rubel is making the most noise, but they are still making what appears to be very simple mistakes. YouTube is a barely a year old, so the landscape has shifted quickly and the PR firms will have to move as quick.

    I should also note that the online PR/marketers will also have a tough time integrating all online (and mobile) activities. 2007 will be an interesting year for everyone, not just PR firms.

  4. […] I do like Daniel Riveong’s ideas about “social media agency” in contrast to “public relations agency”. Chip Griffin seems to like “online media” and Brian Solis presents a spirited counterpoint to Rubel’s “death” post that I think is worth reading. […]

  5. inflatables Avatar

    Nice post. I like it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

four × 1 =