Matthew Royse wrote an intriguing post for RAGAN’s PR Daily touting the 10 most effective social media tools for PR pros. But, if you look at most job reqs for social media pros, they ask for a lot more than PR tactics. So then why are PR pros managing social, or are they?

In Royse’s post, he goes onto to explain how a PR pro has to basically act like a content marketer / graphic designer to create content for social, in total including:

  • post content
  • find hashtags
  • resize images and engage with your audience
  • use social media management tools to schedule your social media posts days, weeks or even months ahead of time

I get it, PR can manage social for what social means to PR

Often PR uses social to track media and influencers and engage with them. PR also uses social to promote media coverage, track trends, news, and information. PR can also help keep social on message. Social sometimes needs to know/learn that it doesn’t exist in a silo. When announcing a new product or service, social needs to follow PR which needs to follow marketing. So, in essence, social does report to PR.

But, social can do more.

Social can also report to the CMO and be managed by multiple departments such as:

  • Demand Generation
  • HR
  • Sales
  • Customer Success
  • Product Marketing

PR keeps changing

Public relations has morphed so much within the last decade that many PR pros now have to delineate between “traditional PR” from other types of outbound communication. Because “communication” has changed dramatically so has PR.

But I think sometimes we trap PR in a box.

Journalists still get value from their sources. Readers still get value from well-written articles and broadcasts. There are plenty of PR pros who either still have relationships with key journalists and can help build out a story or who can forge relationships with journalists to pitch stories which those journalists may not have thought of otherwise or had no way of finding sources. Social, of course, can help augment and improve the practice of “traditional public relations.” We need to take PR out of the box.


Depending on the structure of an organization, PR can manage social. But, since I believe that social can do more than support PR, I would recommend that social report up to PR and other marketing disciplines, mentioned above. Social can benefit more than one part of the organization. And, PR can do a lot more when being approached from an open approach to how new tools can help PR professionals do their jobs better. Maybe PR can manage social. Maybe not. Both need to be unleashed.