Source credibility was one of the first aftershocks of user-generated content, with the initial shockwaves coming with the first wave of blogging. Social networks amplify the source credibility effect to the point of disruption.


4 Social PR Effects | 3

Source credibility is one of those topics that was debated before social networks: we saw it with the advent of bloggers.  How seriously should we communications professionals take a pool of people who aren’t held to the same rule set as a traditional journalist?

As the communications market has matured, we’ve come to understand that our best influencers may or may not be traditional journalists, and that bloggers or social influencers may in fact be better resources for us than a reporter (and they work together these days).  Citizen journalists may or may not be objective, but that’s the nature of the beast – and that’s what makes a targeted influencer strategy even more important.

Subjective Real Estate Makes for Attunement

Another interesting thing about the source disruption itself is that both our owned and our earned social media are subjective real estate.  This, of course is part of the reason that earned social media is so valuable: the people in a social network are highly attuned to subjective content from someone that they’re intentionally connected to.

So, while social media didn’t initiate pushing the apple cart over, by virtue of lowering the barriers to user-generated content and the message amplification it creates via the almighty share (as we talked about in our Channel Reach installment), it has fundamentally disrupted public relations into a social PR model – whether we want the message to be socialized or not.

Stay tuned for the 4th social PR effect this week, squeaking in to round out 2014.