Public relations professionals today are confronted with an astounding array of new communications channels. Internet-based social media tools like blogs, podcasts, online video and social networks are giving voice to the opinions of millions of consumers. While mainstream media continues to play a vital role in the dissemination of information, even these traditional channels are increasingly being influenced by online conversations.
The "new influencers" are beginning to tear at the fabric of corporate communications and marketing as they have existed for 100 years, giving rise to a new style characterized by conversation and community.
The Society for New Communications Research set out to conduct an examination of how influence patterns are changing and how communications professionals are addressing those changes by adopting social media. The goals were to discover how organizations:
- Define new influencers;
- Communicate and create relationships with them;
- Use social media to create influence; and
- Measure the effects of these efforts.
The larger goal of the study was to use these discoveries to offer a set of recommendations to professional communicators.
This is quite a thought-proving report. I urge you to read it and see how the findings compare to how your organization is approaching and measuring social media impacts.