Friday, 13 November 2009


In a video posted on PRWeek today, Shel Israel spoke about how PR practitioners need to change tactics as social media changes the game:

There are a bunch of PR people who think that their job is to pitch and pitch and pitch and pitch and if they keep going on this route and keep up these practices and bring them into social media, I see a future for them in the restaurant service industry.

One of the changes that social media has brought is the way journalists find sources for their articles.

Last month, work took me to the office of a national UK newspaper. Once we got passed the bottleneck at the security gate (the Canadian papers I’ve visited don’t have nearly that much security!) and made it into the newsroom, we were able to sit down and chat with one of the writers.

He spoke about how he is increasingly getting more and more sources and stories from the comment section of his online articles. Despite the amount of extreme ranting, it turns out that most journalists actually read every one of the comments to their articles.

Instead of pitching clients to a journalist in an email or phone call, there’s a place for PR to identify articles and help clients craft comments to insert themselves into the conversation with an opinion on a subject both of interest to the journalist and relevant to the client’s business. This can be done on the newspaper's website, or in 140 characters on Twitter or even through sites like LinkedIn.

Maybe that’s one of the changes Shel was talking about.

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