So, what do you think? Is social media an extension of online marketing, or is it public relations?
It’s a trick question. Personally, I think it’s a little bit of both. The difficulty with this is that in most large organizations these two groups seems to operate quite independently. SM practitioners now need to act as negotiators who combine the needs and functions of both departments, for the benefit of the online community.
PR helps drive the content, and for the most part they can also handle engagement with the community, but online marketing helps provide the infrastructure to ensure that your social media presences are discoverable and optimized.
The important thing for SM managers at large organizations, and of course for small, is to acknowledge the needs of both groups.