by Michael Layne
As we enter 2015, I hereby proclaim Public Relations as the clear winner of the long debate over which marketing discipline is best suited to manage social media for a brand.
In recent years, public relations firms, advertising agencies, web designers, search engine optimization (SEO) specialists, social media businesses as well as customer service departments and other entities, have battled for dominance over the social media realm.
During those years we have seen large social media agencies, start up and die down in metro Detroit. Largely manned by young and inexperienced marketers, some imploded under the weight of the awesome responsibility of managing a corporate brand. They just weren’t sensitive to how quickly damaging a misstep could be to the brand equity their clients have spent time and money building.
Web designers also entered into the fray. The problem is that web designers are not necessarily content generators and often struggle with providing creative content to populate the website they design.
Advertising agencies have a distinct format that doesn’t enter easily into the editorial vein required for effective social media engagement and management.
Most of these contenders for social media dominance were one-trick ponies. They never integrated other disciplines into their social media management forte and realized too late it was necessary both for their own, and their clients’, survival.
More clients, whether large publicly traded corporations, startups, nonprofits, professional services firms or health care providers, are recognizing the opportunity social media allows for them to engage in dialogue with their targeted audiences. This engagement creates customer/client loyalty. It also takes time and experienced brand management.
Public relations agencies have long defined and managed client messaging to the point that we are often called upon as spokespeople for the organization. This and our content’s authentic, editorial style have buoyed us to the surface as the victor of social media management.