Social Media Etiquette: Ethical PR through Social Media


This week in Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals one of the focuses in the reading was PR Etiquette in social media. Share This had a nice list of proper etiquette for composing a campaign for social media public relations. In a quick summary the list contained the following five rules:

  1. Who are you? – be yourself online
  2. Making friends. – learn how people use social networks and approach them appropriately
  3. What you share and how you share it. – consider what you share with whom
  4. Be transparent, helpful and useful online. – devise a system that lets people know when you are representing a client or brand
  5. Assume that mistakes will happen. – have a strategy for handling mistakes

(Waddington, 2012, p. 52-55)

After doing some further research on PR etiquette I believe that this list needs to be expanded on. There are many things that become important in PR etiquette when it comes to social media. If I were to add a few rules here is what they would be and why:

  1. Don’t gripe or gossip,” (The Creative Group). – Social Media is not your own personal complaint box. Publicly complaining is not appealing no matter what it is about and can negatively effect your image.
  2. Communicate clearly,” (The Creative Group). – Slow down, take your time and focus to make sure that your social media posts are as clear and effective as possible. You have a message to get across, make sure your audience does not have to search for it.
  3. Remember that social networking is a two way street (The Creative Group). You cannot expect everyone to come to you and you cannot just surface when you need help. If you want to receive help from those you network with and if you want to create long-term, lasting networking relationships then you need to make sure that you also support those who support you.
  4. Be unique and original. In order to be effective and to have your message heard you need to offer something that your audience cannot get elsewhere (Miller). Whether you’re pitching to an online media outlet or posting on your own social media you need to be different or you will be looked over. There is a lot of noise to fight though, especially on the internet and on social media sites. Only the strongest cut through the noise.


Are there any things you think should be added to the list of proper PR social media etiquette? If you were to pick one rule of etiquette, either from the book, that I’ve provided, or that you come up with yourself, which is the most important and why?



Miller, M. (n.d.). Online PR Etiquette: 3 Rules for Blogger & Media Outreach. Online Marketing Blog . Retrieved September 24, 2013, from

Creative Group. (n.d.). Five Tech Etiquette Tips. Public Relations Resources & PR Tools for Communications Professionals: Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Retrieved September 24, 2013, from

Waddington, S. (2012). Share this: the social media handbook for PR professionals. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.


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Tweet-tisments: A Potential new Trend in Television Advertising


Live tweeting is no longer a foreign concept to those who keep up with social media. There are a plethora of television shows that now have real-time twitter feeds running along the bottom of the screen during air time. Many award and contest shows such as NBC’s The Voice keep track of what is going on during the show through Twitter. The Voice even has a social media correspondent, Christian Millian, who is meant to bridge, “…the on air experience of ‘The Voice’ with the online experience and [bring] viewers closer to the competition,” (Social Media Correspondent Blog).

Advertising campaigns are utilizing twitter now as well. For me, the first campaign that comes to mind when I think advertising and twitter is Kmart’s Ship my Pants campaign that was meant to inform clients about their new “ship to home” service. Before the commercial even aired it all started with a hashtag on twitter. The idea was to get customers intrigued before the commercial even aired by making vague references in tweets that all carried the same hashtag and the response to the ship my pants commercial was staggering. The video went viral and was shared across nearly every social media platform imaginable, including twitter. As of right now the commercial has over 19 million views on youtube.

But what happens when you combined live tweeting and advertising? A Romanian Coca-Cola ad developed by Ad agency MRM Worldwide recently found out. The campaign addresses the fact that 6/10 people in Romania don’t eat meals together but instead eat alone and usually sitting in front of the TV. When the ads aired on twitter viewers could tweet their friends to invite them over for dinner and use the hashtag #LetsEatTogether in order to try and get their tweets aired on the commercials in realtime. Between 5-7 tweets aired per ad after being selected through software that MRM Worldwide created specifically for this campaign. These ads made the evening news in Romania as well as increased Coca-Cola’s Romania twitter followers by 15%.

Do you think something like this could be successful in the US? According to Nir Refuah, the general manager of MRM Worldwide said, “…such a program could conceivably run in the U.S. as well. One positive outcome: ‘It made people actually wait for the ad. How often does that happen?'” (Wasserman, 2013).


NBC. (n.d.). Social Media Correspondent. NBC.. Retrieved September 10, 2013, from

Wasserman, T. (2013, September 9). Coke Ad Includes Live Tweets. Mashable. Retrieved September 10, 2013, from

Head to Head to Head! Social Networks vs. Networking Sites vs. Social Media


While reading the first chapter of our textbook one of the focuses was the difference between social media, social networking and networking sites. According to Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals social networks is an, “umbrella phrase” that all forms of social media connections and platforms fall under (p. 6). Many people often confuse all these terms because they have similar meanings but they are, in some ways, very different. Social media is, “…a marathon and not a sprint,” (5 Differences Between…, Hartshorn). It requires more time to build up a base of followers or fans if you are not already established or popular. It is also more difficult to control conversation through social media where as with social networking the individual chooses whom he or she is in contact with. Your network grows through conversation with others and it becomes more personal because of this (5 Differences Between…, Hartshorn). Mark Stelzner of has said that, “ Social Media are tools for sharing and discussing information.  Social Networking is the use of communities of interest to connect to others.  You can use Social Media to facilitate Social Networking.  Or, your can network by leveraging Social Media, (Stelzner, Social Media vs. Social Networking…). All of these things, social media, social networking, and networking, can be used together to create the most cohesive and efficient campaign. Some public relations and advertising campaigns may utilize all three while others will use whichever one best works for that particular product, company, or brand.

 The textbook’s example of the best networking site is LinkedIn and for obvious reasons. LinkedIn is a site that was created for professionals that allows users to network and connect on a worldwide scale. It is often used to, “…look for jobs and read work-related content…” (Linkedin, Mashable). LinkedIn can also be used to apply for jobs within the site as they have a feature called “Apply with LinkedIn” that allows this. LinkedIn lets users create professional connections with others in their work environment and around the world. The individual chooses who they come in contact with.

Youtube is good example of social media because it is all about creating and sharing information for a wide audience. You cannot necessarily controls who sees your content or control the traffic to your content unless you pay to have your video advertised or utilized other forms of social media or social networking to bring traffic to your video. And even then there is no guarantee that other users will come watch your content. It becomes about drawing in an audience. It is not necessarily personal or individualized but rather for a broad audience. It’s less of you showing your content to a user and more of users finding the content themselves and starting their own conversations or brushing right past it.

Now what about sites like Facebook and Twitter? Are they social media or social networking? Lon S. Cohen, a social media writer who has written articles for sites like Mashable as well as his personal blog, believes that they straddling the line between social media and social networking. Facebook’s original intention was to be a networking site for college students and has since become a platform to host pictures, videos, links, lists of interests, and micro-blogging. Cohen says that, “For the most part, Facebook is a Networking site but because it devotes so much of its layout to a space where I can pack in my own stuff it is perfect for Media too. The density of information I can project is almost limitless (Is There a Difference Between…). Cohen’s view of Twitter is very much the same; it is a simple site that can be used for whatever the user wants. The platform for microblogging and following your friends turned into a site for photos, short videos, and blurbs of thought. Connections can still be worthwhile despite how much the site has expanded. The user controls who and what her or she sees on his or her dashboard. Cohen says that, “The minimalist functionality of Twitter is probably its most powerful feature enabling it to be many things to many people. The debates rage on whether Twitter should be for brands, for celebrities, or just for conversations with real people. The real secret is, it’s for anything you want,” (Is There a Difference Between…).  Twitter is a site that allows users to create what content they put out as well as what content they see. Meaningful connections and conversations can still be had. It honestly all depends on the user and how the site features are utilized.

What do you think the differences between social media, social networking, and networking sites are?

Do you believe that Twitter and Facebook are both social media and social networking? Are they one or the other? If so which one and why?





CIPR. (2012). Share this: the social media handbook for PR professionals. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Cohen, L. S. (n.d.). Is There A Difference Between Social Media And Social Networking?. lonscohen. Retrieved September 2, 2013, from

Hartshorn, S. (n.d.). 5 Differences Between Social Media and Social Networking | Social Media Today.  News & Analysis on Social Media Marketing, Strategy & Social Business | Social Media Today. Retrieved September 3, 2013, from

Mashable. (n.d.). Linkedin. Mashable. Retrieved September 3, 2013, from

Stelzner, M. (n.d.). Social Media vs. Social Networking: What’s the difference? – National networking | Welcome to | Retrieved September 3, 2013, from