As of May 2 of this year, an estimated 1.1 billion people on Earth were users of Facebook.
I’m not one of them.
If it seems strange to consider that someone working in public relations wouldn’t be an avid user of Facebook, let alone not be on it at all, it isn’t really. The world continues to get smaller thanks to social media, but it’s still more than manageable and easy to navigate without the largest online social networking service in the world.
I didn’t use Facebook before I entered into the world of PR six months ago. I figured that once I began working here at Regan, I might sign up or at least be asked to (I even formulated a mini-plan focusing on how to potentially avoid it anyway). But no one did. Instead, I got the same kind of reactions to my declaration that that I always have, e.g. “What??? How can you not be on Facebook???? I can’t believe it!!!!!), politely responded to all of them with something along the lines of, “I just don’t really dig it,” and went on living my life.
And that’s the point of this blog. One can easily, comfortably live one’s life without being one of the 1.1 billion Facebook users. Even when one works in PR.
I’m not totally adverse to social media. I’m an avid, borderline obsessive Twitter user. And that’s really all I need.
Of course, in this business, being as familiar and savvy with every last extremity of the giant wooly mammoth that is social media is crucial. But really, beyond not knowing where someone I went to high school with had beers last night or seeing a photo album of an African safari put together by a friend of a friend of a friend, I never feel as though I’m missing anything important without Facebook.
I can get all the information I need via Twitter, a one-stop shop for keeping up with clients, brands, trends, media coverage, events, and even, sometimes, a photo album of an African safari put together by a friend of a friend of a friend. If a particular media outlet writes, blogs or broadcasts something about one of my clients, it’s right there for me to see immediately. No Facebook necessary.
And if I want to direct anyone to any of this coverage, alert folks to any news or announcements pertaining to my or any of Regan’s clients or just get out a thought on why the Patriots’ linebackers seem to have such a hard time in pass coverage, again, no Facebook necessary.
Facebook is not the sun around which the social media planets revolve; rather, it’s simply one of many stars in the social media sky. Is it helpful to those in the PR world? Sure.
Is it important, necessary or required to/of PR professionals? I don’t think so.
I may not be one of the 1.1 billion. But it’s worked out just fine for me.