Understanding what audiences value on Facebook is already an important part of media relations. According to a story in The New York Times published Monday, its about to become even more crucial for PR pros to be true Facebook experts.
Facebook has become a vital cog in the machinery of world news. The platform's always-on, constantly refreshed bevy of content helped seal the fate of traditional news services while at the same time heralding a new era of information consumption. Facebook's mobile-dominated audience checks in multiple times a day, presenting both new problems and opportunities for publishers and those who wish to land coverage in their publications.
The situation is about to change dramatically, as Facebook is reportedly in conversation with large publishers including the Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic about a new way to host those publishers' stories directly on the platform. This method would provide users with a way to view full pieces of content without leaving Facebook, cutting out the middle man and hastening content delivery.
The implications of such a setup for publishers entering into an agreement with Facebook are fairly obvious. But what about for PR pros?
Facebook's potential publishing deals would change the relationship between communications professionals and the media. In pitches, PR pros will need to stress more than ever why a certain angle or interview subject will play well specifically on Facebook. Knowing where and how trouble can arise on the platform will become more important than ever, and it will be incumbent upon PR pros to keep a watchful eye on how their clients or organizations are being portrayed on a platform where the content is eminently shareable and the relationships between users are extremely personal.
If and when these Facebook publishing deals take full form, mere Facebook fluency isn't going to cut it for anyone with a future in media relations. Expert-level Facebook status is going to be required.
Follow Brian Greene on Twitter: @bw_greene