PR take — outsourcing your reputation management?
This might sound banal, but this is a harsh reality that can be re-stated a hundred times — the advent of social media, and its proliferation in our lives, has completely morphed the face of contemporary public relations!
Earlier on, even a couple of years back, PR and communication professionals worked in silos, even at times cutting off from the ground realities of the organization and the media landscape out there! It was a closed world that way!
The PR folks determined what can be and must be communicated to the rest of the world — and the tools like media briefings and press conferences came in handy in this one sided communication! Even better, PR enjoyed the luxury of entertaining and enjoying the luxury of selective coverage with ‘cultivated’ media (in my opinion, that’s a huge fail — there is nothing like cultivated media — you only get as much mention as your content-worthiness!)
With the arrival of the social world, those small joys are dead and gone!
It’s a democracy of communication both within and outside the organization — the people in your company, and those in the outside world are more informed, and in no time, by the power of social.
You may shy away from conversation; and you may think you do so for the right reasons! Even as you do that, the tools of the social world are making sure that somewhere out there, there are a hundred other voices cooking up a storm in your reputation tea-cup! If you are not pro-active in informing first, and creating engagement islets with all your stakeholders, then your reputation management is being unwittingly outsourced by you to the entire world!
If you are in today’s public relations business and doing something akin to the above, you must be crazy. And not that, at stake is your own reputation?! Saner communication professionals will never do that!
Manage ‘your’ reputation, or someone else will!!
Step forward, communicate first and right, and willingly engage… when you do that, you own the engagement, or if not own, you are well in control of your reputation!
Own the engagement, and never ever outsource reputation management — willingly or unwillingly!