Is this the death of public relations as we know it; transformative; game changing! – These are all commonly used statements expressing social media’s revolutionary impact on PR functionalities.
Despite a large majority of PR professionals having worked in the industry at a time when faxes and dial up were the norm, a recent study, conducted by ING found that 81% now feel they simply couldn’t do their job without it.
Thanks to overwhelming online communication sources like Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and many others there is no question that the role of a PR executive has expanded to amass far greater creativity and diversity.
Putting the public in public relations
The charged days of pitching to journalists in the hope that your story can make it into the public domain in newspaper form are long behind. So much so, in fact, that it’s often journalists making the first move to get a scoop from PR professionals, once a company’s news has turned them into a viral sensation.
Localisation on a larger scale
Each and every social media source provides a powerful gateway into the minds of loyal, or potential customers and can be better targeted to match audience demographics. Comments allow PR companies to directly interact with customers, whilst shares and likes take PR beyond its traditional parameters of word-of-mouth marketing.
On the face of it, this may not sound like such a fantastic thing but as social media combines elements of numerous functionalities: marketing, data analytics and design to name just a few Companies are having to take a more integrated approach: ergo we have teams working more closely, better internal communication, fused marketing & PR strategies and an overall more efficient framework. Social Media alone cannot replace the traditional marketing disciplines but carefully managed and integrated it can provide a very powerful platform tool in the marketing toolbox
Cooler, catchier content creation
Creating a bond between a piece of content and it’s reader goes far beyond what’s written on the page. An audience will more likely engage with something fun as well as informative. Pictures are a prime example of this, video even more so. Of course, writing is still important, but there is no more need for dull, emotionless work aimed singly at journalists who only want the hard facts. There Is much more scope to be more inventive!
Easier journalist access
Far from discrediting the need for journalists, who are still absolutely fundamental to PR success. Thanks to social media, however, we now have unprecedented access to all number of press contacts. We can manage our schedule by theirs, contact them more directly, and use their documented interests as an effective icebreaker. What better way to form relationships?