Social Media and the PR Industry
AUBG students had the opportunity to chat with Juergen Gangoly , managing director of a leading PR agency in Austria, on March 16. The lecture was organized as part of the The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) AUBG Chapter series of events. Gangoly pointed out some of the major changes that have occurred in the sphere of public relations in the recent years.
Gangoly is a director of the Austrian PR agency “The Skill Group” (affiliate of FleishmanHillard in Austria) and a board member at the Austrian PR associations (PRVA). Given his background, he organized the lecture around the most advanced current topics in the media industry and emphasized on the influence of social media over people’s everyday lives.
His experience allows him to see the occurring changes, adapt, and stay on top of them. The expert started his presentation by showing a video called “Social Media Revolution,” made by Erik Qualman, which outlined the main developments of social media nowadays.
According to Gangoly, contrary to the belief that no great changes can happen in a short period of time, the media have witnessed considerable shifts in the past decade. Ever since people started connecting via the Internet and publish anything with no need of technological knowledge, the industry has turned upside down.
Furthermore, as everything is becoming more digitized, every type of information can be shared with ease. The PR specialist explained that the conversion of these features has led to the complete transformation of his profession. Gangoly commented that in our developed media society the main question is not how to promote something, but what to do in order to prevent the spread of information because with the increasing usage of social media, a single wrong word can have devastating outcomes. Thus, the decision-making processes are changing and in order to survive PR professionals have to adapt.
Among the things noted in the talk, the effect of social media on traditional media was discussed sorely. Gangoly emphasized the fact that social media is becoming the prime source for journalists and now social media itself is the content. Journalists can stay ahead of the news, as they can find potential stories through a number of social platforms. Also, social media act as an amplifier, anything of interest is re-tweeted or re-posted and thus buzz is created.
The PR expert concluded that as a whole social media do not just influence the industry, they fully alter it. Nowadays, when a single tweet or post has the power to destroy a company or a person’s reputation, not a single contact is irrelevant for PR specialists. “The users have taken control,” Gangoly said.
“I enjoyed the lecture a lot. Hearing the opinion and advices of a real professional was useful,” Gergana Ivanova, a third-year student, said. ” He gave me a new perspective on my career plans – try different things and internships in different fields. Completely inspiring.”
This article is a joint effort of AUBG Daily’s owls Mina Dobreva and Iliyan Dochev.