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Communications and media as we know them are evolving at a rapid pace. Take social media, for example. Consumers are increasingly relying upon social media for their information – going to a company’s Facebook page, for example, before visiting a company’s website.

Communications and media as we know them are evolving at a rapid pace. The manner in which we communicate and what is considered “media” is ever-changing. I remember public relations in the era of blast fax distribution and the pre-World Wide Web era. I realize that I’m dating myself by making these statements, but the fact remains:  those of us in public relations are ever-challenged to keep abreast of “new” media and to discover ways in which to use it to our – and our employers’/clients’ – best advantage.

Take social media, for example. Consumers are increasingly relying upon social media for their information – going to a company’s Facebook page, for example, before visiting a company’s website. And consumers demonstrate their brand preferences (and loyalty) by following and liking their brands of choice on Twitter and Facebook. In fact, a recent Nielsen report states that 53% of active online adult social networkers follow a brand, that social networking and blogging now account for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet and that Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do on any other U.S. website. Pretty compelling statistics…and pretty valid reasons why public relations professionals need to include social media as part of their overall communications tactics.

Naysayers may dismiss these statistics, but I recall a similar conversation about the World Wide Web nearly 20 years ago. Enough said.

But beyond B2C communications lies the evolution of “media.” Media is ever-increasingly an online vehicle as printed media – printed news media, most especially – fades away. Writers and editors rely on social media platforms to magnify their voice and reach in the hope that it will (1) increase their reach and (2) drive traffic back to their articles/website, thereby increasing their readership and the value of their advertising.

Even what we consider “media” sometimes comes into question: are bloggers considered media, for example? In my opinion, creating online content does not a member of the media make; however, those with the forum and the voice may not be afraid to use it. So we as public relations professionals must manage these relationships just as we must consider social media platforms as media relations tools – platforms for engaging with the media and platforms for communicating with our various publics.

Does your company need assistance navigating the evolving world of social media? Do you have the tools necessary to harness the power of social media in order to communicate your messaging in a cohesive and an articulate manner? Domus does! Put our expertise in public relations and social media to work for you. Visit www.domusinc.com today and be an active part of the conversation that’s taking place in the world of social media.

For more on this topic, see “Public Relations in a Social World” posted on COMPREHENSION – PRSA’s blog: http://comprehension.prsa.org/?p=3557.

Amy Whilldin is an Account Director at Domus, Inc., a marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia. For more information, visit http://www.domusinc.com. For new business inquiries, please contact CEO and founder of Domus, Inc. Betty Tuppeny at betty.tuppeny@domusinc.com or 215-772-2805.

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