June 21, 2012

Social Media as a Source?

Ok, so it's been a long time. A VERY long time since I've posted. I went on vacation in February for a friend's wedding and came back to a new job. One that has me deeply entrenched in consumer PR. Ah the shock and horror of it all. I'm sure many of you are still wondering what the hell I'm doing. But rest assured it's been a great ride so far and I'm learning a lot that one day I'm sure I'll bring back to the land of communications for the aerospace and defense industry.

I had debated whether or not to continue this blog or to create a new one. And, given my lack of time to post anything these days, I thought I'd keep DTP going though the scope of the posts may get a little broader.

What prompted this return you may ask? A UK study that showed more than half of journalists use social media sources to source and verify stories. More shock and horror? This really is turning into a mixed-feelings kind of post isn't it?

I have two streams of thought on this. The first is WHOO HOO! All that effort (it's been years people!) getting executives and experts at your company has paid off. Journalists are using blogs as a credible source of information. That's a huge win for us PR folks. What was often viewed initially as an opportunity for blatant promotion, has now turned into a go-to-resource for people to find information. That's great news!

The other thought is, how much does the telephone-game change the truth. We all know that messaging, positioning, and a variety of angles are used to present information in the best way possible. In many cases that can get diluted and twisted around while it travels through social media forums. After all a lengthy bylined article can get stripped down into 140 characters in a matter of seconds.

I recently experienced such a challenge when a local reporter used a UK-based blog that referenced an article about a report to request an interview. Let me tell you, the premise of the interview was so skewed and in fact had nothing to do with the original report (though that was where the reporter's credibility was meant to lie) that the resulting piece was completely unfounded and off-base. I won't tell you that I was the only one in this mess who actually downloaded and read the original report ;)

The bottom line, is that social media can be an incredible resource - one that provides information in near-to-real time. The challenge is that ensuring sources are credible requires much more research that it did before. Food for thought on this happy Thursday.

Looking forward to connecting with you soon!


  1. No truer words have ever been spoken! Looking forward to more rantings from the dark side of PR :)

    1. Thanks Vicki! Appreciate the love!

    2. A good read! I'll be checking back for more!