PR Week and Facebook

May 30, 2007

So, following our mention in PR Week, we thought it’d be timely to round up the blog comment about the article, and on recent developments on Facebook more generally.

Drew Bwas unimpressed by the article, although possibly underestimates the numbers outside tech PR who would be interested in hearing more about Facebook. He is clearly a fan of the PR potential of ‘The Book’ anyway.

Stephen Davies blogged twice about Facebook recently, once to illustrate his difficulty at keeping up with all of his digital acquintances, and again on the new brand power of Facebook.

Facebook’s announcement of new applications which run inside the network demonstrate the scale of both their ambition, and how total their hold over young [and increasingly older] users’ communications is. Email, instant message, and photo-sharing, all inside one service; what’s not to like, right? Remember though, that power can be harnessed for more than just the ‘I’ll go slightly out of my way to stand on that crunchy looking leaf’ or ‘Wingman’s handbook‘ groups.

Where Facebook succeeds is in the seamless integration between on and off-line networks. There is no distinction between the people we socialise with via Facebook, and those who get together at PR and Comms Network drinks. Likewise it is this which makes it so appealing for brands. The Apple and Ernst and Young groups are a way to bring your physical presence on-line, into a personal space, to an audience who will see little distinction between your physical and online manifestations.

We’re unashamedly keen on Facebook, largely because we’ve seen the way it has changed the way students interacted during our time at university, and even how colleagues interact since it went ‘public’ last September. For PRs it is also worth remembering this is an area you can add significant value to senior colleagues’ awareness and understanding of emerging communications tools. As members of David Miliband’s ‘Facebook Generation’you posess experiences and perceptions which will shape the future.

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