As a rule, I have issues with social media in terms of its place in marketing and communications. Too many clients get it wrong and too many social media managers lack fundamental understanding of PR to make better use of the tool within a PR framework. I realised what one of the biggest issues is this week, while talking to yet another social media manager, consultant, guru, magician.

It’s instant gratification. While digitally you can upload in seconds, respond to queries, complaints or feedback almost instantaneously, PR doesn’t work in the same way at all. Yet, socially, it is expected too, and what is not widely understood is that PR is about perception shaping, it’s about education and awareness, it’s also about building relationships with both the media and its public.

This, social media people, fail to understand. It’s not just a quick roll out or digital push to get followers. People, not followers, are truly not that gullible or easy to manipulate. Know that a PR strategy requires thought and consideration, it needs to lend itself from an overall marketing and business plan. It also needs to include crafted external messages that tie back to overall objectives. It is not a pure science, but it is a science none the less. You can’t Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn someone into understanding and supporting your business.

You need a broader plan and you need content, let’s not forget that majority of social media managers don’t write. PR is the storyteller. I appreciate that like advertising has its place, so too does social media, but please can you appreciate and respect that PR is also a vital tool, required to assist businesses to succeed.