Often I find debates curated on twitter fairly dull. Lots of posts all about the same thing flooding your twitter stream and adding nothing but the other day there was a really interesting one set up by hashtagsocialmedia. Todd Defren moderated a conversation about the role of PRs within social media. He covered topics such as where does social media belong within a corporate environment,what should a PR plan integrated with social media look like plus the relationship between PR, social media and SEO.
Many people suggest that the PR team within an organisation are not the right people to look after social media because PR = spin whereas social media = transparency. I'd completely disagree with that. Having worked with digital agencies, SEO agencies and PR agencies, I'd say that PR people are the most natural to look after social media because they are familiar with building relationships, generating that 'talkability' factor and starting conversations. The irony is however that at the moment PR agencies are the least well equipped to be able to handle social media effectively since, with a few notable exceptions, they're lagging behind in their understanding of the online environment. They need to change that...and quickly.
You can see some of the twitter responses to Todd Defren's questions on the righthand side of the page here (although this page may well change in the future).