I’ll start this blog off by telling you a little secret; I love social media! But, I’ll be the first one to admit that although I love social media and all that it has to offer, I don’t know too much about writing blogs. Being a soon-to-be graduate with my degree in communications, I know that I should be well-versed in social media and that includes blogging. I’ve started a couple blog prior to this one, but I hit the writer’s block wall that I feel every blogger must hit a one point or another. So, here’s to starting fresh!
Recently, I read the first chapter of the book Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals by Katy Howell. Like I said before, it’s important as an aspiring PR professional to be well-versed in social media and Howell does an excellent job explaining why that is. Let’s be real here – “57% of people talk more online than they do in real life” (Howell 4), that doesn’t include the amount of time people spend talking on cell phones. So what does this mean? It means that our lives are becoming more and more virtual than ever before and as a future PR professional this significantly impacts my job.
Let’s take a second to thank Web 2.0 for helping us maintain and establish relationships easier and more accessible than ever. According to Howell, Web 2.0 principles are found throughout the social media landscape. These principles are ones that “ensure communications are two way, interactive, and above all, shareable” (Howell 7). I mean think about, that’s what we all look for when we log in to our social media sites, right? We look to communicate with our friends, family and coworkers; we look to share our interests, beliefs, and personal (sometimes too personal) feelings; and we all look for the same thing in return. “Social network sites are the vehicle, not the destination” (Howell 5).
My favorite quote from Howell on page 12 that I feel captures the significance of social media in PR.
“Tapping into conversations that are relevant to your stakeholders allows businesses to build relationships, influence communities and ultimately inspire advocacy and trust.”