Social media: Not a megaphone, a telephone - FOX 13 News

Social media: Not a megaphone, a telephone

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Lizz Harmon is the face behind some of the Bay area's biggest events and companies.

And in the world of public relations, there's always something new.

Whether it's branding a mud-run or the Florida Strawberry Festival, Harmon is always on the go -- tweeting, Facebooking and interviewing.  

"Everyone wants everything now," Harmon said. "Even e-mail's not fast enough."

That's PR in 2013, and that's PR with the development of social media. Harmon, however, says it's a good thing.

Now more than ever, public relations firms can send a message directly to consumers on behalf of their clients – something that was far more challenging a decade ago.

And Harmon loves jumping in the conversation.

"Social media is like a cocktail party," she said. "When you go to a cocktail party, you become friends with people. You talk to them. You don't just go out there and sell. You can't just get on a social media platform -- Instagram, Pinterest, any of them -- and just sell."

What she and her staff sells is a message – a message for some of the biggest names in our area. You've probably heard of most of her clients: Hooters, the Florida Orchestra, the Florida Strawberry Festival, Blue Bell Ice Cream and the USF Alumni Association, just to name a few.

She's a constant tweeter, and as she said, it's not just to deliver a brand. She tweets about everything, even using her platform of about 21,000 followers to tweet PR advice.

She's got years of experience to go along with it. Online bloggers and websites have praised Harmon for her social savvy, and she said there's no way she could do her job without it.

"You have to remember social media isn't a megaphone, it's a telephone," Harmon said. "You have to talk both ways, and you have to listen. You have to see what consumers are asking and what information they need, and you have to fill that need with whatever you're providing."

This is a week-long series on some of the best of the Bay area's social media personalities. Catch them on Good Day Tampa Bay.

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