But judging by all the invitations I'm getting to seminars on "how to handle social media," I worry that PR people are obsessing about the mechanics of dealing with bloggers and such rather than on media relation's core task of telling the truth.
When I was in PR, my biggest problem wasn't telling the truth, it was figuring out what the truth is. Sometimes, the senior executives I worked with lied to my face (e.g., Dave Dorman, Leo Hindery). Often, even they didn't know the real truth. My job was often helping them find it in a complex organization with thousands of self-serving agendas. It helps if you share a working definition of the "truth."
Philosophers have been debating the definition of "truth" for millennia, and I'm not going to resolve the issue in one posting. But this definition helped me: truth is what a company's stakeholders need to know to make intelligent, informed decisions. It's what employees need to know to do their jobs and flourish in their careers. What investors need to know to make intelligent investment decisions. What customers need to know to make informed purchasing decisions. And so forth.
Social media add a new dynamic to the task, which I don't mean to minimize, but the goal is still the same. Tell the truth.