The “New Media” or “Social Media” tools, such as blog, Internet forums, social networking sites and YouTube have now become parts of the official communication tools practiced by various organizations. Well, this is known to everybody. But what some people may not be knowing is that New Media has started emerging as a specialized field within the Communication domain. Now it has become very common for organizations, both business organizations as well as non-profits, to have at least one dedicated employee (and sometimes a group of employees) in the Communications Department who is exclusively handling New or Social Media Communications. Yes, at the end of the day he is reporting to the overall head of the Communications Department (the VP, the Director or the DGM, or whatever). And it is most of the times the head of the department who takes the final decision on the New Media Communications, as it is in the cases of other P.R./communications activities like Media Relations, Government Relations, etc. But what I am trying to highlight is that now organizations have at least started having dedicated people meant exclusively for New/Social Media Communications.
And this clearly highlights the emergence of New/Social Media Communications as a specialized field within the domain of Public Relations/Communications. Quite naturally, I find many people bagging lucrative jobs with prestigious organizations simply by virtue of their experience in New/Social Media tools, while being virtually rookie in the fields of Media Relations, Government Relations, and other PR/Communications areas.
When I started my career in Public Relations/Communications around 10 years back, that time usually Media Relations was considered to be a specialized field in this domain. One of the first things that we learnt as rookies was how to prepare captivating “Press Releases”, how to “sell” them to the media (i.e. journalists) so that the latter covers those news, how to enthuse the media to attend a press conference or other press events, etc. Another specialized field was Event Management, which entailed the smooth and successful handling of various events (such as corporate events). This in fact led to the birth of a new field, i.e. Event Management, with event management companies raking their moolah by professionally handling corporate and other events of various types and nature, aimed at various sorts of target audiences ranging from tech maniacs to young students.
At the high level of Public Relations there was also the specialized field of Government Relations, which entailed dealing with the bureaucrats, policy makers, etc., usually on behalf of one’s organization. “Lobbying”, the controversial word, was a part of it.
There was also another specialized field. And that was preparation of corporate literatures and other materials, ranging from brochures, corporate websites, case studies, flyers, etc. In fact I eventually got involved with this field.
All these specialized communications fields are still there. But now they have another friend. And that is New/Social Media Communications. And it is increasingly thriving.
Are you a wannabe communications professional? And do you take interest in new/social media activities like blogging, YouTube, social networking sites (like Facebook), podcasting, etc? Well, then you may think of establishing yourself as a New Media Expert. It will be an enjoyable job for you, and most likely to be well-paid as well. And you can use this field to be associated with both business houses as well as non-profits (or for that matter any sort of organization), according to your personal interest and aptitude.