Gini Dietrich

Social Media Breeds PR Laziness

By: Gini Dietrich | April 9, 2012 | 

Last week, because I was recovering from my sleepless trip to Norway, I wasn’t able to attend the PR Digital Impact Conference with my Inside PR cohorts, Joe Thornley and Martin Waxman.

They were able to secure quite a few interviews with some of the conference’s speakers, which we’ll be playing in the coming weeks. But I also missed seeing some friends, such as Doug Haslam, Eric Schwartzman, and Steve Radick.

Luckily Steve wrote a great blog post yesterday about his experience at the conference and about how PR pros take the easy way out. And I think it’s a great topic of conversation today.

He says about the conference’s presentations:

Like many PR events, the conference had a mix of really great presentations, but I also noticed the continuation of a disturbing trend throughout our profession – laziness. Laziness disguised as “social media best practices” and cool new tools.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think people are actively trying to be lazy. I don’t think most people even realize that they’re trying to take the easy way out. I think they view it as becoming more efficient or effective. And while many of these tools and practices may help someone increase their reach or save them some time, they are also making social media a hell of a lot less social.

Unfortunately, he’s right.

We’re approaching social the same way we’ve always done things. We’re collecting fans and followers and circles like they mean something to business growth. We’re inventing auto direct messages that are overtly sales-y. We’re claiming there is no ROI on awareness…you either have it or you don’t and PR is one way to help you achieve it.

This is baloney.

Geoff Livingston and I were chatting last week about our book tour (launching in Chicago on May 14 – save the date!) and the types of things to include in the presentation.

We both agreed that measurement should be included (it takes up a very long chapter in the book), but that, when we talk about it with our individual communities, people’s eyes glaze over.

I know, I know. You went into PR because you’re not good with numbers.

This is no longer an excuse, just like using social media to collect people like old stamps is inexcusable.

Integrating social into your PR and marketing programs is no longer an option…and neither is not measuring your efforts to real business results. But, the longer you wait, the more difficult it’s going to be. And no amount of automation will make it easier on you.

It’s time to learn how to do this, no matter what your level of expertise. It’s the only way to keep social, well, social and keep your job from becoming extinct.

If your senior leadership team isn’t already asking for it, your time is short. Get in front of it and show them what you can do.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!