Everything New Is Old Again: In Communication, Basic Rules Still Apply

There’s much talk these days about how social media has changed the communication landscape and, indeed, it has. But, despite the fact that social media has created new opportunities and challenges for communicators, there are really (IMO) only two ways in which it really represents anything “different”:

1) Communicators are provided with a wide range of new options for getting their messages across.

2) The audience for these messages is exponentially broader than ever before.

Despite those–admittedly, significant–differences, the basics still apply.

I was involved in an online conversation recently about the “blurred lines” between PR, marketing (in this case, more correctly, advertising) and social media. While I believe the lines truly are blurred, and I also believe that advertising is losing relevance in favor of non-paid forms of communication, I also believe that the basic rules of good communication are still relevant.

One communicator in this forum posed the question: “How do we define our role in this merged environment?”

My response:

“I don’t think this merged environment is necessarily new, although the tools–specifically social media–may be new. Our role, I believe, is as it always was–to communicate messages that are aligned with our organizations’ mission, vision, values and goals. Effective communicators need to understand all of the ways they can connect with their key audiences and leverage them, in combination, to achieve their desired results. Interestingly, I think, this environment presents both benefits (many ways to connect with audiences) and challenges (many ways to connect with audiences)!

What do you think?

Suggested reading:

Communication Basics

Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing

Related blog posts:

Is Social Media Advertising or PR? – Duh!

What Social Media Tool Should You Use? No Easy Answers

Does PR Matter in the Internet Age?

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