About a year ago, I posted this graphic about “The Next 50 Years of Public Relations.”
At that point, my focus was primarily on the waning (but never unimportant) emphasis on “Media Relations.” In the intervening months, as predicted, our role as “PR counselors” has evolved even more quickly than I suspected last June.
Yes, “Media Relations” is still a critical part of the job. In fact, it may be more important than ever, as many clients now realize that mainstream media results can rev the engine of online chatter in social channels.
But I’ve been floored by the amount of “Customer Service” our team now handles. This piece of the job accelerated far faster than I’d expected.
For some of our large consumer brands, particularly those who have asked us to be part of their extended brand management team, we are fielding scores of customer issues.
On any given day, the SHIFT team will:
- Monitor for mentions of the brand and/or relevant keywords, across the web, including “owned” brand properties (e.g., Facebook Fanpage)
- Flag and report on important issues and/or major crises related to consumer complaints and conversations
- Respond on behalf of the brand to minor Customer Service issues
- Identify and react to opportunities to insert the brand into a relevant conversation, in appropriate/respectful ways
- Report all issues to the client team as necessary for data capture and/or escalation
- Field and respond or direct Customer Service issues that come via the brand’s own website properties, including complaints and questions that come via email
And that’s just a partial list. As noted on occassions too numerous to mention, Social Media is not only upending the Marketing Industry Players, it’s essentially crashing its way through any and all consumer-facing departments.
The “PR industry” continues to benefit.
How much longer before the PR team’s at the table with the Product Development team, counseling on “what the people want next?”
Posted on: May 13, 2010 at 11:34 am By Todd Defren