If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I tweet quite a bit. (Today I apparently crossed the 8,110 tweet-mark without realizing it). But every now and then, I’ll “go dark,” as they say in the theater.

You’ll hear from me once, maybe twice a day. Sometimes I just don’t have anything to say; sometimes I don’t come across conversations I want to engage in. And sometimes I happen upon conversations that are so negative or ridiculous or (enter your adjective of choice here ______ ) that I just need to turn it off for a bit.

What I’ve realized, though, is that when I go dark, I am making my own little attempt to break out of my Twitter bubble. Because there are other bubbles that need attending to.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I love Twitter, the new connections and relationships it has helped me forge, and the incredible amount I learn through it each day.

But there are a lot of other bubbles that are equally important to me; my “IRL” bubble of people I’ve met and worked with over the years, my IABC bubble, my email bubble… you get the drift.

I’ve found that if I get too comfortable in one bubble, the others can suffer. Not in a drastic, bubble-bursting way, but if I don’t watch over those relationships too, they could atrophy, which would leave me immeasurably worse off, both personally and professionally.

Balancing the PR Bubble

PR, to me, is like a bubble. In fact, it’s made up of a whole lot of bubbles, i.e. tactics, that delicately wobble and bounce off each other. When the bubbles are released gently, they can make a very pretty picture; you achieve success for your client or organization using a variety of tactics in a planned, strategic and integrated way. When they’re not, they burst, and all one’s left with is soapy liquid.

There are a lot of bubbles for us PR professionals to play with these days, not the least of which is Twitter. After all, if Jon Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres and David Gregory are talking about it, it must finally be cool, right?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM – Th 11p / 10c
Twitter Frenzy
comedycentral.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesImportant Things w/ Demetri MartinPolitical Humor

Twitter is cool, to many of us. But it’s not the only bubble out there.

So in our haste to make sure the Web 2.0 bandwagon doesn’t rattle away without us, let’s not forget that. Let’s not forget what PR is really about. It’s not about using the latest “shiny new toy” just because you can, or because everyone else is. It’s about strategic thinking, measurable objectives and using the best range of tactics that will achieve those objectives for your client or organization.

Take care of your bubbles, both offline and offline, and they’ll take care of you. After all, who wants to be left with a handful of soapy liquid?

(Photo: bobtravis)

What do you think? Do you think tried and tested PR skills are being discounted in light of all the “shiny new toys?” Or have you found a way to blow many bubbles at once? I’d love to hear from you.

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps smart businesses make bank by taking their communications from corporate codswallop to community cool™. She is also the founder of The Social PR Virtuoso®, which provides online, on-demand training that helps you unleash your inner Social PR superhero. Shonali is mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke