Growing ease of social media provides help to PR pros

Given all the interest in social networking sites like Twitter and Tumblr these days, it can be overwhelming for PR pros to understand which sites are worth the investment.

Given all the interest in social networking sites like Twitter and Tumblr these days, it can be overwhelming for PR pros to understand which sites are worth the investment.

Tumblr, for example, lets users create multimedia blogs simply by e-mailing to the site whatever it is they want to post, without needing any programming skills. As a type of microblog, Tumblr points to the growing ease at which consumers can share information about anything with friends, family, or the world, notes Blake Cahill, SVP of sales and marketing at Visible Technologies.

Such ease of use means viral “memes” spread much faster, whether they concern a problematic consumer product, interest in a charitable cause, or anything else.

“What's interesting is that there are a lot more people now that offer their thoughts through these sites,” Cahill explains. “What you used to see was a blog post that may have provided [multimedia], but it took longer to do those. What microblogging has done is speed up a cycle that was already fast. If a brand is ‘off,' you're going to know almost instantaneously.”

A key to the ultimate success of social media sites, whether it's Tumblr or Twitter or some-thing else, is the sites' ability to allow sharing of information with other sites.

“People want to be able to retain all the connections they have,” says Jeff Mascott, MD of Adfero Group. “I suspect that [eventually] there will be open standards with social media, so that whatever site you go to, your friends and connections from one will transfer to others.”

Key points:

More people are sharing multimedia online because technology is getting easier

Microblogs allow PR pros faster knowledge of public concerns or interests

Microblogs that permit sharing info are likely to prosper over those that do not

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