PR and social media – How the two correlate?
Social media has infiltrated almost every industry in existence. The PR industry is no exception. As defined by multiple sources, public relations is ‘’the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public’’. That is to say, PR’s purpose is to deliver various kinds of information to millions of different people all around the globe.
With the appearance of social media, this process was simplified and made more effective than ever before. Not only has the way of handling and sharing information changed, the entire concept of public relations has been taken to a completely new level. Today, PR experts are using social media to track their costumer’s wishes and demands, as well as to communicate and interact with their desired audiences.
Publicists and public relations practitioners are engaged in the never ending task of adjusting and changing their strategies in order to attract their targeted audiences. In order to stay on top of their game, they need to constantly tweak their ways; otherwise they might get run over. They need to act almost instantly if they plan to harvest the benefits of the ever-changing digital universe.
Even though it might seem social media raised the bar considerably when it comes to the PR business and the way it operates, the opportunities and benefits it brought along are almost endless. Here’s just a few of them.
1. Humanising PR
Thanks to social media, publicists are now able to connect with their audiences on a more human level by initiating conversations and interaction. Other than that, costumers have been given the option to leave an instant feedback, right then and there. In this kind of scenario, PR becomes less obvious, even invisible; and therefore more effective.
2. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
The traditional 9 to 17 work hours are long gone and the new whole consisting of PR and social media is the perfect example of it. As bad as it might seem, even though people in the PR business carry their work home with them on a regular basis, there’s a bright side to it. Social media now allows customers to engage with brands at literally any time and it’s up to the publicists to make the best of it.
3. New job positions
Evidently, as the PR business expands its boundaries, new job positions emerge. There’s an increased demand for digital pros and people who know their way around technology. Not only are there new job opportunities, completely new positions that didn’t exist a few years back are now available – such as a community manager, aka the person that runs your social media and interacts with your audience. Social marketing and public relations used to be two very different fields. Not anymore.
4. Larger audience scale
Social media targets enormous number of people – we’re talking millions. Even though there’s an obvious difference between the two (public relations is focused on establishing and maintaining relationships with a few individuals, while social media interacts with millions), they complement each other. Social media is much more active than public relations, but with the two coexisting and sometimes even merging, only good can come out of it. Social media offers a platform for PR to use and work with, meaning publicists are now able to reach a larger number of people without much fuss.
Social media is an ever-changing phenomenon that’s hard to keep up with. The PR industry is based on the old, traditional ways of marketing and communicating, or so it used to be. The two coexisting and correlating, and almost merging together, opens a lot of new perspectives. These two concepts based on interacting and communicating can only uplift each other and maybe even create a whole new industry over the course of time – one we’re possibly not even ready for.