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August 24th, 2009

Social Media Usage Gets Prioritized by PR Hiring Managers

There’s a notion out there that if you want to be a successful “social media marketer” you need to have thousands of followers on Twitter, a widely read blog and more, as well as be updating all those on a regular basis. Unfortunately some people put more value on those than a solid foundation of successful client work. I’ve never really agreed with that but to each his own.

I bring it up because a new study from iPressRoom reports hiring managers at PR firms say social media skills are nearly as important as those in traditional media in those they’re looking at bringing aboard.  The priority placed on social media knowledge and usage is higher at agencies, with government and corporations still valuing traditional media relations more.

There’s also the interesting finding that most organizations are more focused on using social media channels for message dissemination – getting the word out – than they are driving traffic to a specific website.

What keeps occurring to me, though, is that there’s a massive difference between using a social network for your own connections with friends and using a social network for a client or employer’s marketing message. We’re about five or six years away from an entire generation that will be graduating college having used Twitter, Facebook and more from the time they were in high school. But that doesn’t mean they know how to use them in the advance of client or employer program goals. That needs to be learned, either in class or on the job, and they’re best learned after there’s a solid foundation of marketing principles has been established.

About the Author
Chris Thilk works on the Client Services team, part of Voce Connect, developing and executing social media strategy. You can follow him at @christhilk on Twitter.

Filed in Career Development, Marketing

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