ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
April 13, 2009

Put Skeptics to Rest: Social Media Impacts the Bottom Line


Social media is increasingly influencing public opinion around corporate brands and dramatically changing the landscape in which every company operates. While a growing number of companies are embracing the change head on, there remains a fair amount of skepticism among some businesses regarding the tangible benefits of “blogging” about industry trends or “Tweets” about what the company is up to at this very moment.

Adapting to this change, and embracing it, can’t be ignored. The new reality is that our audiences don’t even need to interact with us in order to form opinions or make decisions, and can easily obtain an unbiased view elsewhere. Conversations around topics that can collectively impact the bottom line — such as corporate reputation, communications crises and customer insights — could be (and are) occurring independently of our involvement. The upside is that companies who understand and embrace the opportunity to communicate directly with key audiences, and take an active part in the online discussions that are most relevant to them, are well poised to see meaningful returns.

The sheer number of options out there — like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, just to name a few — can be overwhelming and even threatening if entered into without careful consideration and preparation. The conversations being facilitated within social media outlets are more real and (sometimes painfully) honest, and negative feedback can shock a CEO into renouncing these new mediums altogether. As public relations professionals, it’s imperative that we empower our clients to fully understand the impact of social media on their larger business strategy. By identifying, listening and ultimately engaging with relevant communities via social media tools, CEOs can obtain deep insight into relevant conversations, gain mindshare in their respective industries and tap new audiences (and potential revenue streams) to fuel growth, particularly critical in today’s economy.

Aedhmar Hynes, chief executive officer, Text 100 Global Public RelationsBy Aedhmar Hynes, chief executive officer, Text 100 Global Public Relations, has worked in the public relations industry for more than 20 years, 19 of which have been with Text 100. Throughout her career she has worked exclusively with technology companies consulting on behalf of both large corporations and small startup companies. She is a member of the Aspen Institute Roundtable on technology, a member of the board of trustees of the Arthur W. Page Society and sits on the Foundation Board of her Alma Mater, The National University of Ireland – Galway.

Join Hynes for her keynote presentation “Selling Social Media to the CEO: Translate New Mediums Into Bottom Line Growth” at the Digital Impact Conference: Learn to Profit From New Media, April 30–May 1, in New York, NY!

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