The task of influencing a group of people gets no faster when engaging with them directly through social media.
The task of changing their perspectives, motivations and perspectives still requires well-thought through arguments that are relevant and meaningful, presented with clarity, in a structured and sustainable way (aka a public relations strategy and programme).
If the objective is for the audience to take action in some way (support, purchase, vote) those messages still need both the call to action and the compelling reason to take that action, and those can only come with time (except in extremis).
And a long-term relationship with a group of like-minded groups, the concept of creating a tribe, can only come with a long-term view.
The dilemma of course is that the social web compresses the news cycle so that it’s about 12 hours (perhaps less) before a refresh is needed. Analysis and depth are being sacrificed for the next new piece of news.
Which means that the long-term and the short-term are in a conflict made worse by the demands of businesses for the quick return.
And it’s ironic that endorsements and advocacy are now most powerful when from individuals we trust and turn to through social media, rather than intermediaries such as media and other authority figures and organizations.
Trust also needs time to build and be nurtured.
Perhaps the most important part of the term ‘public relations’ is the second word.