A tale of two publicists!

1) Change “Social Media” to Media

Steve Rubel (Micro Persuasion) takes a second stab at killing Social Media (here’s his first attempt), albeit unsuccessfuly. Here’s his rationale for taking down social media:

It’s like we’re a separate entity from the rest of the so-called “mainstream” journalists, filmmakers, photographers, etc.

The fact is that everyone who is contributing to the dialogue – be it in video, text or photos – has earned the right to be called media. Let’s can the compartmentalization and recognize once and for all the world has changed. We are all media – period.

I wonder what Jeremiah thinks?

2) Change Press Release to “Social Media Press Release”:

On the other hand, publicists on this side of the country, ignited a furore over the “Social Media Press Release”, apparently linking the much maligned press release for eternity with social media. Shel Holtz — one of the panelists at, the event that started it all, vents his frustrations on his blog:

How can journalists know that what they’re reading is credible, trustworthy information coming directly from the source? To date, reporters have known this because the information was sent through a reputable wire service; the credibility was built in.

Ensuring that people who need the information get it when it’s released, and that they can readily identify it as credible and authoritative, are additional goals of the effort to establish standards for a social media release.

So what exactly is Social Media?

Social media describes the online tools and platforms that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other.

Solution 1: By that definition, social media should NOT be called media, since it’s inaccurate (NBC is not creating media to share their opinions w/ you, nor are they interested in receving your opinion; it’s “them to us”, not “us to us” principle).

Solution 2: By the same definition, Press Releases should NOT be labeled Social Media press releases, since it’s AGAIN, not from “us to us”, rather its from “them to us”.

Do you beg to differ? Feel free to voice your opinion.

For more on the “us to us” vs. “them to us” concepts, check out my post on Drucker and marcom.

Also, here are Mack’s thoughts on the “Kill Social Media” post.

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  1. Mario Sundar


    Given the fact that the real “media” has bungled reports in recent past and so do “bloggers” I probably will take both with an iota of salt.

    However, it is in social media that the journalist becomes one of the “rest of us” unlike in real media. Interesting, eh?

  2. Ed Reif

    Hay the 24 Hour Ad Agency is in business, Pr without press releases, zero startup costs, no timeline, no sign of slowing down…the 2000 Bloggers meme, has mutated over to http://hotelanyware.blogspot.com

  3. Damon Billian

    Hi Mario,

    Boy, I always seem to be the first to comment:)

    “Social Media”, IMHO, is not the same as “media”. Here’s why:

    1. If I am reading a blog, I don’t always know the background of the party making the posts (it doesn’t mean that they don’t make valid points, however).
    2. Some bloggers, such as Om Malik and other Business 2.0 folks, do have backgrounds in journalism that make me trust their opinions more than some other bloggers. I also think that they are more wary of making a mistake than someone else.

    I think Steve, obviously a very bright guy, is lumping the traditional use of the term “media” with what’s happening on the web. I think the definition of social media you provided is very accurate – but it doesn’t mean that the quality of the media is as good as something coming from a reputable, established source. Where are the repercussions if something is said wrong?

    Here’s my test:
    If you had to brag to your friends, would you say:
    a) A super blogger interviewed you


    b) You were interviewed by CNN

    Which one has the largest audience?

    Blogging & other “social media” tools are important in many ways -they tend to break things that traditional media can overlook & can give a more human outlook to a situation- something I won’t under value. But the fact-checking we come to expect from news’ sources are not the same as someone simply sharing their opinion and experiences (Rush Limbaugh, for example, is not someone presenting the news…he’s presenting his opinion ON the news).

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