Thursday, August 23, 2007

Advertising and PR in Social Media

There is a time and a place for everything.

This age-old adage has taken on new meaning for me as I continue to work in social media from a PR standpoint.

I have long been a proponent of keeping advertising and marketing out of social media. In fact, my feelings on this actually resulted in a blog post on PR Communications. John Cass, owner of PR Communications, developed an Aug. 2 post based off a previous comment I made in which I stated my belief that social media should only be a PR tool. After reading his response I started to rethink how marketing and advertising can use social media to further their business purposes. Again, however, there is a time and a place for everything.

I read an article in today's Wall Street Journal that helped me change my paradigm on advertising and marketing in social media. The focus of the article is how Facebook is preparing to implement an ad targeting campaign. As long as advertisers are open about advertising their products then I say more power to them, but when they get on Facebook or other social media avenues and pretend to engage in conversation to sell a product, I draw the line.

I should now restate my views on marketing and advertising in social media. They should be welcome to participate as long as they are open about what they are doing, but when it comes to communicating and building relationships, let us PR people take care of that.