Social Media and PR

Haley J. Higgs

PR Real World 2010: Who Owns Social Media? February 23, 2010

Filed under: PR Connections — hhiggs87 @ 1:02 pm

This past Friday, I got the privilege to attend PR Real World 2010 in Atlanta. The conference was packed with information. We attended session after session about PR issues and different aspects of PR.  In the last session of the day, I got to attend a session called Hospitality, Travel and Tourism.  One of the speakers made a comment that stuck with me: “Who owns social media?”

Let me give you the context of this comment. The speaker works for Intercontinental Hotels Group based out of Atlanta. She was asked how her IHG was using social media. She said the company had a Twitter and a Facebook fan page. The thing was that they weren’t pouring time and money into it because they can’t measure the return on social media.  Then she posed the question of who actually owns social media.

The more I thought about it, the more I understood it. I guess it had never occurred to me before. Yes, social media is an amazing thing but how can companies measure it? Companies can measure returns on investments but they can’t measure returns on social media. And with it not being measurable, companies are weary to pour time and money into it. Social media can benefit companies but with it not being measurable they are not being able to reap the benefits.

So, how can companies measure their returns on social media? Who owns social media? Will social media fade away if companies can’t find a way to measure it?

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2 Responses to “PR Real World 2010: Who Owns Social Media?”

  1. Hi Haley! I thought that PR Real World was so informative. I didn’t go to the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism session and I think I may have missed out. I pretty much stuck to the sessions about getting a job and what to put on your resume, but that one sound like it was pretty interesting. I’ve never thought about the fact that the effectiveness of social media really can’t be measured before. I think it’s such a powerful tool though. Plus, most social networking sites are free! Companies should be rushing to get their names out there in the social media world. Thanks for giving me something to think about!

  2. kelseyeh Says:

    Haley, this was an interesting question. The “thing” about social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook is that usually a company creates them to “interact” and listen to their consumers/customers. It’s a listening tool or device. Marketing professionals up until now have been talking at their targeted audience, however with new technologies such as blogs, online communities, Twitter, Facebook accounts, etc. companies can monitor the Internet and listen to what the public is saying about their company. They can listen to complaints, praise, indifference, etc. They should be listening and monitoring 24/7 because the information is priceless and free! It’s a great resource to have. It’s like overhearing conversations. Their consumers are able to tell them what they don’t like, and hopefully the company can switch things up and fix it. That’s a big part of social media. The listening and then researching what to do with the information collected.


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