Study: Social Media Makes the PR World Go Round

If you have been in public relations for any amount of time — be it agency or corporate — you have come to the fanciful realization that we have not selected a 9-to-5 gig. In fact, it can be more of a 6-to-midnight gig given any number of ancillary deadlines.

Well, fret no more fellow flacks, it seems that we have a life preserver in the raging waves of PR — social media. Simon Fraser University (in O’ Canada) released a study to prove it. While the study group is not that impressive spanning 100 communications, marketing and PR professionals, the results are telling.

And among those surveyed, 84 percent say their job satisfaction has either increased or remained the same with more social media responsibilities. “What we found surprised us,” says Peter Walton, who directs the PR program and oversaw the research project and report. “We figured people would be frustrated by the increased demand they’re facing because of technology. We were wrong.”

More than 42 percent of respondents report a hike in job satisfaction while 16 percent saw a drop in satisfaction, according to the survey conducted by SFU’s continuing studies PR certificate program. My guess is the 16 percent either bought followers on Twitter, search for naughty pics on Pinterest or troll exes on Facebook.

Regardless, there is no question social media can enhance PR. If leveraged correctly, social media networks can be used to do anything email, a developed media list and eagerness to secure media can do. Tactics from pitching to selling, inviting to pestering. It is about finding your target audiences, learning how to communicate with them and securing your desired results.

Of course social media is a benefit to PR. Those who don’t believe that need to either retire or watch a little more television. Oh, and get off Friendster and MySpace. The 90s called and mentioned you were behind the times.