Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Three-quarters of marketing chiefs say in-house PR should not ...

David Woods, prweek.com, 07 December 2010, 9:08am


3 article comments.

Marketing directors do not rate the role of PR in managing social media, with less than one-third thinking the PR department should oversee social media in their business, according to new research.

Canvassed: 250 marketing chiefs
Canvassed: 250 marketing chiefs

The survey of 250 marketing directors and heads of marketing by Wildfire PR even found that one in five marketing chiefs believe the IT department should have control of a firm’s blogging and tweeting.

Some PROs expressed shock at Wildfire’s findings.

Rob Dyson, PR manager at children’s charity Whizz-Kidz, said: ‘Clearly a number of marketers believe social media are technical tools or an extension of the company website that IT should manage. But it is not just a bit of software and needs to be run by a part of an organisation that is personable.

‘Twitter is not just about putting out ads, it is about building relationships. There needs to be a clear PR strategy behind it and someone in the business needs to have the inclination to use it for conversation regularly, or not use it at all.’

Pete Goold, MD of tech PR agency Punch Communications, said: ‘Marketing directors who do not involve PR because of a personal dislike of Twitter are less able to do their jobs than they were five years ago.’

The study found that only 27 per cent thought the in-house PR team should manage company social media policy including Twitter and Facebook profiles. Only two per cent believed this should be the responsibility of an external PR agency. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents said they planned to invest more in social media during the next year, but while almost half of the businesses polled have adopted social media, ten per cent claimed they did so only because their rivals had.



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All Comments


ROSS FURLONG - 07 December 2010

Does 27% make PR depts top of the list of depts that they think could handle PR though? 10% say IT department - guffaw, wait while I pick myself up of the carpet. Rob is spot on when he says Twitter needs to be backed by PR - it's probably the most important element of a social media campaign. Classic misunderstanding that technical know how should qualify a dept to carry out a comms strategy.

Alastair MacDonald - 07 December 2010

I think we have many talented marketers in the UK, so am amazed that even one of them would want to entrust a key stakeholder relations activity to IT. IT is essentially the enabler of the social media delivery channel, not its controller - just as printers are the enablers of the printed channel. Good channel enablers can, of course, make a difference between success and failure, but their role is not to manage the overall comms activity.

Simon Francis

Simon Francis - 07 December 2010

This sounds too ridiculous to be true! What questions were Wildfire asking the marketing directors?

Social media has an intrinsic link to corporate reputation and consumer engagement. Handing this role to non-marketing professionals is dangerous, if not negligent.

Sit it in PR, marketing, digital or customer relations in house or at an agency \(or a combination of these), each client will be different, just surely not the IT crowd.

It'd be like leaving your marketing team in charge of your IT system!


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