Social Relations


Being raised around and in a global PR family business as well as working in the field for most of my childhood and adult life has made me the social being that I am today, and for that I am grateful. Taking my experiences and being able to work with premium clients around the globe on their public messaging has been tremendously rewarding. Having PR in my blood, my every thought, helped me naturally shift when social channels started to pop up beginning with AOL in the early nineties. When I first joined AOL in their beta group (many years ago), my intuition helped paved the way for my transition into what we now refer to as social media.

Over the years social media has disrupted, evolved, inspired and forced social and public change. In my opinion, what most people have failed to realize along the way is that social media is not just a form of marketing, it is a way of life…a way of doing business and being socially responsible. Although we are all comfortable with the coined “social media” or “social marketing” references, these terms no longer serve true in the digital marketing space today.

Let’s visit this for a blog post and break it down-


Noun: The action or business of promoting and selling products or services.

(Starr’s note- being social is not about selling products or services directly, it is about listening, getting to know and responding based on behaviors, interest and needs/wants)

media- plural of me·di·a

Noun: The main means of mass communication regarded collectively: “the campaign won media attention”.

(Starr’s note- social is not about mass communications collectively at an impersonal level, it is about winning your customer/audience attention- so should we call it social audiencing? Starr English)


Adjective: Of or relating to society or its organization: “alcoholism is a major social problem”

Noun:  An informal social gathering, esp. one organized by the members of a particular group: “a church social”.

Social fits and still rings true, as brands, we should aim for social movement, change, education and connection as well as gathering. Being social is not about selling products and or services, it is about movement and change, your social involvement for the most part will prompt loyalty and purchase as an end result, however being social is about being a movement (whether you are a leader, driver or participant). Social media and social marketing are not the correct approach when describing what a social brand should be and do. Social Relations- or to relate socially- is not only the goal but the absolute.

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree- please do share.

Social me,

Starr Hall


  • Pete Baldwin says:

    Starr Hall – the person who taught me how to use social media to influence customers, gain followers and experience something I was never previously able to do; to connect with people all around the world. I have learned a lot in the several years we have worked together. This blog post you have written has once again hit the nail on the head. In the process of being ‘social in the media’ my mind set actually left being truly social, the way business used to be done – looking each other in the eye and shaking hands. So, from going to being completely fixated on trying to stay ‘social in the media’ I have found that there is a happy medium that perhaps leans more toward more real social activity such as networking, speaking, creating charity events, etc and using the ‘social audiencing’ as an adjunct to real life. Good blog Starr!

    • starrhall says:

      Pete- I love to read that you are balancing both. You are a true networker and YOU own Scottsdale as the go-to broker. Keep on keeping on and stay social – Starr Hall

  • Oisin Browne says:

    This one really got me thinking as it’s on my business card as my Job description. So, there we have one meaning or use! The words ‘eye’ and ‘lid’ have definitions, but when but together ‘eyelid’ has a different definition. It’s the same with the words marketing, social and media. They have their meanings well and truly set in stone when they stand on their own. Together Social Media Marketing has a different meaning. And as a new term is evolving. So what does social media marketing mean: A lot of things to a lot of people and thats where it gets confusing. To keep it simple look at social media as these two things: an add on to your communication channels or a waiting room magazine: a) an extra channel for your existing client to communicate with you and for you with them. Remember it’s a two way street. Think of it just like email, phone, fax, or letters ( does anyone use these anymore? You should it’s a nice personal touch!). Social media is a little more user friendly and the client will normally get a response quicker. B) it’s a kin to a hello or cosmopolitan magazine that people may pick up in a waiting room and instead of reading stories about the rich and famous, the fans (people, readers, clients) are reading your stories. So make the stories interesting & engaging ( unlike traditional media, fans can engage by liking, following or can respond by unliking and never engage again!

    If you engage, or get new fans and they feel they have a platform where they can engage with you through your social media marketing, then you know something is working! If you generate sales that’s a bonus!

    It’s a fun(ny) thing social media marketing: you’re damned if you do and your damned if you don’t!:)

    Kind Regards,
    Social Media Marketing

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    • starrhall says:

      Oisin- thank you for your input, I see your points, understand where you are coming from. The marketing of media channels. As a good friend of mine Doug Klein once said- social media is not a channel, it is the influencer of all channels. With all of the behaviors, insights and considerations when it comes to listening, responding and engaging, it seems to me that “relating to” explains it more as all encompassing. – Starr Hall

  • Thanks for defining the terms — so instead of saying “I’m a social media nut; it should be social relations nut?”

    • starrhall says:

      Hey Emily- great to see you here. I say no matter what we call it, all of this online, digital and messaging turns us into nuts. I just hope we don’t crack, I don’t want to be a social relations cracked nut. lol. thank you for sharing. hope all is awesome for you.

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