Peter Himler says:
Media relations pros always have taken a “hybrid” approach to finding the “right,” i.e., most appropriate outlet. It’s just that today’s options transcend the wires, newspapers, magazines, local, network and syndicated TV, radio and websites, to include myriad bloggers and microbloggers.
I’m not a media relations guy. I’m a marketing guy, but media relations is one of my hats and responsibilities. I felt compelled to respond:
Hybrid approaches have been around forever. I think a lot of the talk of “hybrid” or “mainstream plus social media” (or whatever you call it) stems from people whose past experience used to fit neatly into a silo, i.e., “media relations professionals.” I’m not claiming to be or know any better, but my career includes, primarily, leading marketing communications for startups that weren’t established enough to have such silos. In my experience, communications have always required proper, integrated management across a range of stakeholders…from different tiers of customer segments, to industry opinion leaders, to regulators, trade organizations, partners, press, competitors, employees and (most recently) professional and semi-pro industry blogs. Social media platforms happen to be another layer across all these stakeholders, making for a more dynamic, participatory environment. But the idea of managing relationships with them in an integrated, cohesive manner is nothing new.
The thing is that social media are breaking down all organizational silos. Just as pureplay media relations professionals are finding their domain is not so neat anymore, the same reality is manifesting among other silos, like employee communications, customer service, sales and other. The walls are coming down. Organizational subgroups now need to speak with one another.