Thursday, October 1, 2009

WSJ: social media has "consultants"

Yesterday's WSJ brought a fresh look at PR, although in linguistic feat akin to writing about surgery but not using the word "doctor, " the paper avoids using the words "public relations." In short, while the story details how SMBs are turning to "consultants" for help developing and executing social media strategies, these consultants are not called PR people.

Yet, if you polled most consultants who offer these services, they would undoubtedly say they work for PR companies or, at least, marketing agencies. Indeed, Everywhere, one of the firms cited in the article, is a self described "Social Media Marketing and Content Development" company. I would think the agencies named in the article would not mind being labeled marketing or PR shops, but perhaps that's just me.

To be fair, the article includes the following:
Other agencies simply tack on social-media support as part of a package of advertising and public-relations services. Red Square Agency Inc., in Mobile, Ala., charges clients around $200 an hour, and ThinkInk LLC charges $10,000 to $20,000 a month for the integrated services.

But, one quibble here, most agencies would look at social media as part of an overall PR program, not an add on or after thought. Social media is part of an overall PR campaign, not a separate entity. For my money, the WSJ missed the point.

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