Is There a Cat Fight Between Social Media and Public Relations?
I got defensive over my industry yesterday, It’s something I’m prone to do when PR, always a ripe target for bullies, gets picked on. A prominent and respected social media consultant, in a valiant effort to compliment one PR person, tweeted that PR people don’t “talk about driving leads.”
I wasn’t the only one who voiced my annoyance – a few other public relations practitioners joined in. While PR has never been considered a direct response medium, I, like many other good PR pros, can very clearly illustrate where our efforts had a measureable impact on sales. While he argued that as a former PR pro he had a right to point fingers, I hardly think that entitles him to make blanket statements on the skill of an industry.
I also realize I’m guilty of the same overarching statements – having declared before how I want to bang my head into a wall every time I hear a social media strategist say conversation is the only thing that matters and you can’t measure engagement and blah blah blah. I’ve even blogged about it.
I’m not the only one having these arguments as likeminded sentiments erupted on my Facebook page when I ranted on the topic. So why the tension between social media practitioners and PR people? Is this a cat fight over who’s doing the best job of measuring efforts? Is it a tug-of-war over who owns social? Is it a struggle on both ends to legitimize our efforts and our roles in building marketing strategy? Since we’re all focused on the end result, should we spend less time arguing and more time solving our clients and companies problems? Technically, we’re all on the same team, right? I’d love your thoughts in the comments below.