While home for the holidays, I got asked the inevitable questions by my parents: “So, how is work going? And what exactly do you do?” As I discussed recent projects and client wins, by parents zeroed in on one activity: tweeting.
They’re aware of Twitter but don’t really get it. I explained how Twitter lets you instantly share your thoughts with the world, 140 characters at a time. I had a bit more difficulty trying to explain the concept of a hashtag, especially when we weren’t sitting in front of a computer. And then I hashed out (pardon the pun) the varying reasons why some companies utilize Twitter to communicate with their followers, be it a quick and easy way to promote company news, or a way to attract influential followers and engage in meaningful conversation about a particular subject or trend.
While explaining Twitter 101 to those removed from the social media realm, I was reminded of my first blog, “The Communications Evolution: From Answering Machines to Hashtags” and one point I touched on:
As a strategic communications firm, it is our job to stay up-to-date on these ever evolving trends and advise our clients on the most effective ways to communicate their story to the public.
Our methods of communicating have come so far in such a short amount of time that the pace of change can be staggering. But as I answered my parents’ question of “What do you do?” I realized that explaining Twitter to them was in fact, more or less, what I actually do every day, and the basis of PR: communicating to clients the most effective ways to communicate.
As PR professionals, we must be able to eloquently provide our clients with guidance on the most effective way to tell their story, be it through a bylined article, an on-air interview, spreading a message through social media, or developing an infographic. And as I explained to my parents, not every client has a Twitter account. The best way to communicate will vary for each client depending on size, industry and the most realistic way to reach their audience, but it’s our job as PR professionals to be up to-date on the ever-changing models of communications and advise accordingly.
I think it’s safe to say that Twitter has some sticking power, but as technology continues to evolve, I wonder what new communication trend I’ll be discussing with my parents over the holidays a year from now.
What’s your definition of PR? Leave a comment below, or tweet us at @RHStrategic with the hashtag #RHetoricBlog.
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