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The Executive's Guide to Enterprise Social Media Strategy: How Social Networks Are Radically Transforming Your Business by David B. Thomas, Mike Barlow

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CHAPTER 11

Public Relations

It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

—Warren Buffett

Both of your authors are former newspaper journalists. We love journalism and understand its vital role in our society.

Nevertheless, it’s facing some big challenges. Some people say journalism as we know it is dying. Newspapers have been cutting back for years, investigative journalism is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and few local papers have the staff to cover anything but the big stories, let alone the garden club meeting.

Niche publications in all but the largest industries are feeling the pinch as well. Maybe some of the trade publications in your industry have folded or merged with others. It’s becoming harder and harder for any publication to specialize.

For years, online resources have been springing up to fill the void. Print publications are starting their own blogs. Laid-off journalists are taking their expertise and their contact lists (remember when we called it a Rolodex?) and starting blogs too, covering the same industries they used to cover in print and competing with the blogs of their previous employers.

Many of the industry journalists who are still working write for blogs as well as print, blurring the lines between blogger and journalist. And if you want to see blurry lines, try to define the differences among bloggers, journalists, analysts, and consultants. In some industries, one ...

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