Not necessarily, said founder and chairman of Burson-Marsteller Harold Burson at PRWeek's NEXT Conference recently. He stated that he sees social media as further evolution of a media process that began with Gutenburg. As we have stated numerous times in our newsletters, social media is another tool that can be effectively used by PR practitioners, but not solely as an end in itself. 

Burson went on to state that he believes the scarcest commodity in supply today is the ability to write. We would concur - texting, e-mail and other trendy forms of communication often seem to lack correct spelling and grammar. You hope to get your point across, but you aren't quite sure. See more on this issue in article three of this newsletter. 

Effective PR means supplying the public with information that is conducive to creating a positive attitude towards a company or organization. This can only be accomplished through earned mainstream and social media coverage. Whether pitching a story in an e-mail, writing an op-ed, creating a public event, or talking with a reporter or blogger, you must be able to clearly and concisely communicate your message. 

These qualities become even more important during a crisis. Misunderstood or fuzzy language can not only fail to calm a situation, it can exacerbate the problem. No amount of social media exposure can supersede a flawed communications platform. 

Relying on technology to overcome a basic fundamental lack of media skill will not work. Applying new technologies as they become viable and utilizing them effectively in the course of your daily PR practice in tandem with traditional PR strategies will achieve the desired outcome.