Warning: Attempt to read property "post_title" on null in /www/businessmirror_145/public/wp-content/plugins/better-image-credits/better-image-credits.php on line 227
A MONKEY wrench was thrown on public relations (PR). PR firms call it the “social media.”
“The point is to seek harmony in all these tools of communication,” Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) executive Malou Espina said.
The PR congress, slated in September, aims to make heads and tails of this surrogate child of the Internet as the Philippines remains one of the top Facebook users in the world.
“There are, indeed, a lot of information coming in and going out of consumers’ minds these days in what we call a ‘transparent world,’” Espina said.
As consumers realize they can use handsets or the Internet to make their point or decide on what to buy or not, it becomes more apparent companies need PR, Espina said.
“Now, whether that PR comes ultimately from consumers themselves is another problem. Companies should ask if the business objectives are being met with all these communication exchange.”
Espina noted, however, the old ways remain as companies maintain investor relations as well as PR agencies.
The new way is the hiring of bloggers as well as making use of social media.
“Marketing communication, especially, has broadened in scope as businesses recognize the influence of such media and wielders of new media in the buying behavior of consumers.”
A study by Singapore-based online research firm Buddy Media noted that “marketers are increasingly focusing on digital and social trends, spurred by rising social media usage” in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Brands understand what social media can bring to the table, from generating user engagement to loyalty, to sales,” a statement from the company quoted its chief executive as saying.
The survey released in June noted that “nearly 75 percent of  respondents have had social marketing programs in place at their companies” for more than a year.”
The survey further revealed that 88 percent of respondents said “their marketing departments are largely responsible for social media, while 33 percent mentioned corporate communications.”
In addition, the poll revealed that “more than 43 percent of brands and agencies anticipate spending 5 percent to 15 percent of their advertising budgets on social media in two years, compared with 23.2 percent who currently do so.”
Likewise, “the percentage of respondents expecting to spend 15 percent to 25 percent of their ad budgets on social media jumped from 4.8 percent to 20 percent.”
Still, Espina said there are elements of the traditional media, like print, that are still much needed “like the gatekeeping role of editors and adherence to ethical standards.”
“Because of these na wala sa social media, the traditional media is still required and regarded seriously by PR professionals.”
What Espina said what changed was what she described as “increasing specialization” of the traditional media.
“At the end of the day, the person still decide what information is relevant to him or her based on his or her own experience and context. That’s what the PRSP would still need to look into.”
Established in 1957, the PRSP has members representing 164 companies and PR agencies in the country. The group hands out the annual Anvil award and serves as the certifying body for PR Excellence.