In 1971, the American scholar Herbert Simon wrote that “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” Not surprisingly in the age of information overload, we have become dependent on circles of friends, family and colleagues to help us decide what’s worth reading and watching. The Facebook status updates, tweets and blog posts of people whose opinions we trust to determine which content warrants our precious time, and this “social news filtering,” has huge implications for communications professionals. As these content-filtering clans strengthen and grow more intimate, landing a mention for your client on a popular news site or blog may no longer serve as the definition of success for public relations professionals on the Web. Increasingly, savvy clients and bosses are asking that you prove not just that people saw the mention, but that they recommended it to others.

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