Topic of the Week 10
Interview with Martin Waxman
Today I got the great opportunity to listen to one of the most world-renouned public relations professionals, Martin Waxman. Founder of Pallete Public Relations agency and president of the Canadian equivalent to PRSA, Martin took time out of his busy schedule to discuss the importance of social media in the PR field. Here is a little summary of the content Martin covered:
1. Use of Social Media
As technology evolves, the use of social media will become more important within the public relations community. For example, Martin has integrated various social media outlets into his business. One social networking tool he likes to use is podcasting. (Visit Martin’s podcast, Inside PR) Unlike blogging, podcasting really helps form communication skills because “once you say it, its done.” There is no room for rewording what is said so podcasters have to have the abililty to speak clearly and speak on their feet. Martin adds that the danger in using social media is the temptation to just use it without learning how to tie it in to company objectives. Social media, however, allows public relations companies the opportunity to be transparent and relational with their clients.
Although it is important for a person considering a job in the PR field to be familiar with social media, it is necessary for that person to have the traditional communication skills, says Martin. According to the textbook Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics, five essential abilities include writing skill, research ability, planning expertise, problem-solving ability, and business/economics competence. Because these skills never become extinct although social media becomes more prevalent, they are always important to the PR profession.
3. Customer Service with Social Media
One interesting use of Twitter that public relations professionals use is looking up a company name and placing “fail” at the end of it. This method allows PR agencies instant feedback on trending topics concerning different companies and their products or services. Martin states that because of social media outlets, the things we complain about are able to go public rather than staying within a small circle of people.
I really appreciated Martin Waxman taking the time to speak to our public relations class. I think it is important for students to interact with successful PR professional such as Martin to gain an inside look on what PR is all about!