Reading Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Internet Persuasion, by Nathalie Nahai.
She tells us:
The very existence of social media has enabled many of us to revert back to a pre-industrial system of reputational capital, in which we rely on trusted, filtered sources of information to help us make informed choices on whom to endow our business and loyalty. Of course, this system is far from perfect and trust can sometimes be misplaced but the fact that this system exists at all has forced many companies out from their PR closets to face up to and engage directly with their customers again. Social Media has made business accountable (p130).
It is an interesting idea that social media usage is somehow 'pre-industrial', which I take to mean as being no longer dependent on the physical technologies of mass communications (Web 2.0 doesn't need a printing press).
Likewise, she makes a valuable point about PR having to make a dramatic switch from being a defensive cloak to becoming a channel for enagement.
I am looking forward to Nathalie speaking to NEMO researchers at Campus Helsingborg in March...