Are PR firms too slow to get Social Media?

Daniela handed me her copy of the summer edition of the Public Relations Strategy magazine (retail $39.95). The feature story is on Blogs, and the first paragraph leads off with this:

 “It wasn’t east figuring out the Web. Many argue that the PR profession was too slow to grasp the importance of the internet, a costly mistake hat handed control of company Websites over to IT departments and advertising agencies”

The PR professionals I know (or the recovering ones) that do deploy Social Media are few and far in between.  Friends I know that are PR professionals agree that there’s resistance to change, lack of awareness or a general disinterest.

I think this time around, if PR groups don’t step up to take leadership of corporate social media, it may drift to the hands of Web Marketing folks or Product Teams.

A few months ago Robert was the keynote (and I ran a Social Media track) at the Ragan PR conference (read day 1 and day 2).  It was closed by a podcaster.  To me this was a real indicator that the PR industry was getting ready to understand the changes.  (I suspect people at NewComm, like Jen McClure had a lot to do with pushing this awareness of social media)

Sadly, during one of the sessions, one PR professional asked “What’s a link?” I cringed.