5 Facts PR Pros Should Know About Social Media


Yeah CNN. This isn’t breaking news either.

And yet, while everyone in public relations understands that social media is here to stay, it is still being fought by the old curmudgeons in the corner office. Why? Because it’s too newfangled for them to comprehend so it must be a passing fad.

Uh, not so much, boss person.

Nonetheless, there are still some facts about social media that escape even the most learned “guru,” “expert,” or “ninja.” And that was the muse for this helpful listicle: the 5 facts PR professionals should know about social media … but may not.


nsfw_warning1. Social Media > Porn. Yes, really! For the first time in ever, porn has been kicked off the mountaintop as the world’s number one use for the Intertube. It’s now social media. And that is never going to change. Why? Because even porn folks and dirty old men use social media. That said, notify all the haters in your agency. This is not a passing fad. This is not a figment of imagination. In fact, this has also become an addiction for many folks, including flacks. So gather ’round, create a strategy, and understand if you don’t exist on social media, you may as well get a job as a pool boy. Or some such.

smartphone addiction2. Smartphones ≠ Calls; Smartphones = Social. Popular statistics say that we check our mobile devices 40 to 80 times. Daily. In fact, 91 percent of mobile Internet access is used for social activities. Let that sink in just a minute. Create all the news apps you want — smartphone users will still use social media for news because it is an insatiable craving that can’t be feed. It’s like Pookie in “New Jack City” and the social media “is just calling me, man, it’s just calling me.” Only when people are really calling you, odds are you hit “decline” and keep on tracking social media.

Social-media-business3. Social media = business. Think about this: 93 percent of marketers and PR professionals are using social media for business. That leaves a small cluster of stubborn people and idiots who refuse to use social media as a means to help its business. Do you know anyone like that? Is it you? Moreover, is it your boss? The time to resist social media is over. It is futile. Social media strategy must become a key part of your entire communications plan. If not, you really aren’t communicating to your entire audience.

socialMediaNEWS4. News = TV + Social. Gallup recently did a study that proves the Internet is the second most popular place people go to for news. Why? It’s real-time and they don’t have to sift through opinion, banter, and commercials. Folks will always watch TV news. It’s engraved in Americana — it’s what people do. However, they usually back it up with a side of “Let’s see what’s being said on [insert your social media engine here].” When you have a press release, you need to have social media outreach to back it up. This way, you ensure that you are speaking to everyone.

grandparents-using-smartphones5. Social media = Grandparents. Would it completely surprise you to know that the fastest growing demographic of people migrating to the Internet are not younger people. In fact, it’s the complete opposite — it is the 55-64 age bracket. According to the U.S. Census, the fastest growing age demo on social media (primarily Twitter) is the 55-64 crowd. Basically, this ain’t your mama’s social media any more. In fact, it’s her mama’s. Consider this when it comes to content — talk to the younger folks, but don’t forget the older ones as well. You would be surprised.