Social Media – The Next Big Thing For 2010?

Meanwhile, over at the super, soaraway Sunday Business Post (of Ireland), they’ve managed to track down Piaras Kelly (PR consultant of that parish) and teased out some thoughts on what 2010 holds, social-media-wise.

Why, you may well ask, blog snorkellers mine, would I bother with this rag of an Emerald hue, and the slightly-less-than-meaningful musings of one who is, after all, selling himself in the cause of promoting his employer. (Hello there, Edelman – see, Piaras, it works!) (How does one pronounce ‘Piaras’? I’m presuming it’s like other well-known Irish names like Aoife and Siobhan and Saoirse, all of which sound a bit like ‘Bob’.)

Well, two reasons.

One, it’s because Piaras had an attack of the honesties in his commentary, and says ‘people will start to realise that there’s a bit of the Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome associated with social media’. Hallelujah, preacher.

Two, it’s because Piaras’ tips for trends in online PR (communications) in 2010 are Realtime, Lifestreaming, Location-Based Services, Augmented Reality and Segmentation. All of which may have some element of social media but, tellingly, either aren’t social media tools themselves or specifically reliant on social media to function.

I actually believe that what Piaras is trying to say – and, hey, his opinion is as valid as anyone’s – is calm down, social media hysteria has had its day.

In separate news, this post alerted me to research conducted by Cision and Don Bates of The George Washington University’s Master’s Degree Program in Strategic Public Relations (gasp), which shows that 89% of journalists polled turned to blogs for story research, 65% to social media sites (eg Facebook and LinkedIn), and 52% to microblogging services such as Twitter.

The survey then goes on to say that 84% said social media sources were “slightly less” or “much less” reliable than traditional media, and 49% said social media suffers from “lack of fact checking, verification and reporting standards.”  So they then go back to the old staple of calling the company to get the facts.

Social media may well foment a global conversation, where everyone has a voice and everything’s being discussed. But if it’s being discussed with the same depth of knowledge and regard for accuracy that characterised my discussions in the pub late last Saturday evening (yes, very nice, thanks for asking) then it’s of no use to man nor beast.

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Filed under Communications Strategy, External Communications, Public Relations, Social Media

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