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Share This Too: More Social Media Solutions for PR Professionals by Stephen Waddington, Rob Brown, Chartered Institute of Public Relations

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Chapter 1

Digital PR Is Dead: Social Goes Mainstream

Rob Brown

The distinction between digital and “mainstream” or “conventional” channels is at best unhelpful. The term “new media” is archaic and the line between new and old is impossible to draw.

Audiences are changing: every graduate entering the workplace now and forever was born after the arrival of the web. Print won't disappear in a single generation, whilst there is an aging population more at home with dead wood and ink, but it will be consumed by an ever decreasing demographic. The binary idea that something is digital or not is no longer very useful. Are radio and TV digital or analogue? The answer is that they are both, or possibly neither.

It appears likely that social networks passed the 50% adoption threshold in the middle of 2011. They are no longer niche channels accessed primarily by young people. According to website monitoring company Pingdom, the average age of Facebook users is now over forty.

It is often argued by those that decry social networks that they are somehow marginal channels simply because they don't like them or manage perfectly well without them. Universal adoption is seldom achieved by any technology. It doesn't matter that some people, perhaps even a significant proportion, will never use Twitter; some people don't own a television. The fact is that social channels now play a significant part in communications and for many they have become their first preference for news consumption. We must ...

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