Social media changes business and PR as major newspapers “hope” to produce coverage

Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times wrote a fascinating article on how social media such as Twitter has changed how businesses get out the word on their new products or start-up operations.

Miller portrays how through a start-up company called Wordnik used Twitter, Digg and other social media outlets such as bloggers, to alert hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people about its existence. This, without communicating with one major mainstream media outlet. In fact, professional jouralsiists were not involved in any of the initial coverage.

“The publicity sent 40,000 people to Wordnik’s Web site to perform 170,000 searches the following week and caught the attention of reporters at USA Today and The Wall Street Journal who hoped to write articles.” Interesting use of “hope.”

Even with social media tools, Brooke Hammerling, a PR professional widely quoted in the Sunday article, says business relationships remain the key to successful contacts with the media.

Is this so?

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