As PR professionals, we still find ourselves working to convince companies of the power of social media as a communications tool. Every once and awhile we are given a timely event to showcase how powerful social media is as we witness it capturing history.

With the death of Osama Bin Laden, we have witnessed his name rise to the No. 1 trending topic in almost every country in the world on Twitter, with an average of 3,440 tweets per second – averaging 12,384,000 tweets per hour at the height of activity.  Mashable showcases the results provided by Twitter in this graph:

 Twitmash

The question here is how we use this as an example to highlight the benefits of social media for our clients.  The answer is simple. Social media is a communications tool that empowers everyday people to create news. Everyone is a reporter and means can report for your company in the same fashion they report on world events. Will they create history with more than 3,400 tweets per second? Probably not.  This event serves as just one more example of how people communicate and how they look for news.

— Deana Goodrich is a senior account executive at Airfoil Public Relations, a high-tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.