A recent Bizjournal Q&A with Shama Kabani posed an interesting question. With all of the social media tools available, is traditional public relations important? Can Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, replace media relations? As a Trylon SMR subscriber, you probably know what we would say. What did Shama respond?

The upshot was that traditional PR is still strong and kicking. While an active social media presence can certainly help in a number of areas, cultivating relationships with key media personnel is still the best way to get earned media attention.

Shama points out that social media are consumer platforms, while PR is aimed strictly at journalists and media. While there is certainly a great chance that journalists get story ideas by keeping tabs on social conversations, they are also looking for depth and context. Thatís where traditional PR shines.

As she points out in the post, using social media is a reactive approach to media relations. You have to hope that a journalist finds something interesting about your company and is motivated to call. Waiting for a call from a journalist is not the ideal way to get press. Pitching strong story ideas to the right media member at the right time can get you the attention you desire.

As her closing states, having someone who knows the media and the rules of the road can be priceless.