The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has issued it's Social Media Guidelines document.
This is a very welcome development from the CIPR which up to now has been a little slow on the uptake with such issues. However, having had a quick scan at the document I feel it fails to communicate the major challenge that social media represents to the PR industry.
The documents focuses mainly on ethical issues, it's main theme being a list of 'do nots'. Yes - the ethical side of social media and PR is all very worthy, but there isn't much point talking about ethics when in five years time the PR industry may have all but lost its voice.
The critical issue is that the PR industry needs to educate itself en masse about how to use social media for the benefit of its clients and start putting online PR techniques into practice. The CIPR should take a lead in this process. If this is not done the PR industry risks losing the communications agenda to other disciplines such as search marketing, direct marketing and advertising.