Each week, the EASTWEST PR team sits down on a Friday morning for an extended “learning huddle” so that we may all discuss issues we are facing or to learn more about a specific topic. This week, the Beijing team sat down to watch a recent webinar by Brian Solis from the US, who is often referred to as a “social media guru” in the PR industry. He is the author and Principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning PR and New Media agency based in Silicon Valley. As social media becomes increasingly important, we thought we would see if we could learn anything new on the social media happenings in the US, which might be applied to the Chinese media market. As you are will aware, many people have been touting that old PR is dead, and that the new PR, PR 2.0, will focus on social media. While Brian Solis does not go so far as to say that traditional PR has kicked the bucket, he does think that social media is where the future of PR is headed. His reasoning is simple: traditional PR is focused upon getting a single message out to everyone. That strategy, he argues, ignores the fact that there are many different audiences who will only respond to messages geared towards them. Social media solves this problem by allowing PR practitioners to go out and communicate a tailored message to specific groups, thus increasing the efficiency of distribution. The creation of relevant content is crucial, but an effective distribution strategy is just as important. You could have a really killer message, but how killer is it if no one reads it? This is where tailored press releases come into play. By tailoring a press release so that it is relevant for particular groups, you are maximizing the efficiency of your message delivery. If your audience thinks that the message is relevant to them, they will be more likely to share. The sharing of this information freely among your target audiences is the holy grail of any PR campaign. But, that’s not all: by using social media and networking sites to track your different press releases, you can see who is talking to who. By doing his homework, Brian was able to create a massive diagram of journalists/bloggers grouped together in mostly four large groups. He was able to create a very large map of his audience all linked to each other. What he found that 80% of the people on his map, where not on his PR media database. Brian also created what he calls the “ Conversation Prism“, a mapping of the entire social web, a project that took him almost a year to compile. Each form of social network is categorized by type. The diagram that he showed contained only a small sampling of the social media world because it is, in reality, too big to include in one diagram. Click here to register and view the free webinar.