For all the change attributable to social media, if there’s been one overarching impact on PR professionals it’s this: PR is not a profession, it’s a lifestyle.
So said our chief corporate recruiter in a recent internal conversation about our recruiting needs. The more I think about those words, the more I believe they ring true. PR isn’t like accounting he added, you don’t just show up at 9 a.m. and work on a spreadsheet until five. PR professionals are the hub of their organization’s social graph and social media never sleeps.
Any of Twitter’s 90 million Tweets a day could be a customer looking for help, a prospect looking for information, a critic with a need to be addressed or an opportunity to engage a new influencer. Every social media outpost an organization establishes grows the requirements for useful, compelling and shareable content – which in turn requires time and effort to produce.
Arik Hanson recently wrote a heartfelt post about the opportunity cost of social media’s time requirements. Opportunity cost is financial lingo usually associated with capital investment where “cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action.”
“Success has a price,” he wrote. Indeed, I think Mr. Hanson is right, but his point also underscores how the role of the PR professional is changing.
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