Do public relations work in the digital age? How did social media impact the PR industry?
When you think of PR, you probably think of traditional marketing teams creating PR campaigns for companies or prominent influencers. You don’t necessarily think of social media and public relations together. However, social media and PR go hand in hand very well today.
Considering the sheer number of social media users, it makes sense for PR agencies to use various platforms and push their profession into the digital era. In recent years, social media marketing has transformed how PR professionals engage consumers and showcase a brand.
How has technology redefined the practice of Public Relations?
With new websites popping up almost daily, spreading news and critical points has never been easier than today. Agencies dealing with social media public relations use various websites to spread the word, raise awareness of brands, and engage consumers.
Today, social media and PR go together like peanut butter and jelly. PR professionals use social media links on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to spread their news to billions of users and improve their brand image, often hiring influencers to help.
Traditional PR vs. Digital PR
When someone mentions PR, we often think of a traditional PR campaign involving a press release. You’d find journalists and ask them to write a story and include your press release, instrumental in a disastrous situation.
From what we’ve seen in movie and TV show examples, a company or a person would hire a team to create a PR strategy for them. That team would often work on crisis management to maintain trust with the public and keep public relations solid.
Today, we use such PR efforts to reach an older audience, and they primarily exist to raise awareness of brands. However, they’re difficult to quantify, and you can’t measure various interests in brands, products, or services.
There’s digital PR today, and it’s much more quantifiable. Organizations use digital PR to reach younger target audiences, increase brand authority, and engage consumers. The IKEA Stay Home commercial is a perfect example, and it aired when the COVID-19 pandemic started.
Digital PR takes advantage of various social media platforms and deals with social media marketing. Moreover, social media PR is an excellent way to engage consumers. With massive social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, social media makes engaging the audience much more manageable than traditional public agencies ever did.
Relationship Between Social Media and Public Relations
Businesses need PR teams to handle accidents, which can be particularly beneficial in a disastrous situation. The best way to reach the target audience and manage a crisis is to leverage websites with billions of users.
That’s why PR and social media work together like bread and butter. Businesses can show support, increase authority, connect with customers, and showcase their products and services in a better light.
A PR business has to rely on websites like Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter to spread the message. By doing social media PR, a modern PR agency can easily reach the target audience and improve consumer engagement.
5 Ways Social Media Impacted Public Relations Industry
The rise of social media sites, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, has significantly impacted the whole public relations industry. It transformed how public relations businesses create content, distribute it, and engage consumers.
Check out the five crucial ways social media have impacted public relations businesses.
Connecting With a Broader Audience
Social media websites’ sole purpose is to remain free, and they do so by selling customers’ data to advertisers. These advertisers can then reach target audiences using various algorithms to show the perfect ad to a particular user.
It works the same with PR agencies. They can use algorithms from social media websites to show press releases to specific users who care about a particular brand.
Social media marketing allows companies and brands to connect with the target audience much better than traditional public relations agencies ever did. A business can increase its engagement on a massive scale if they promote the brand on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
As more and more people use social media websites, PR campaigns rely less on traditional media outlets each day. Social media PR has been on the rise, and if you looked around, you’d find so many examples of digital PR, such as the IKEA Stay Home example.
Organizations no longer need to find journalists; journalists will find them. They can raise awareness by writing success stories for their brands, hiring bloggers to do marketing for them, and improving engagement with the target audience.
Ability to Deliver News 24/7
With 333.2 billion emails sent daily and the rise of press releases, PR agencies can now connect with consumers in real-time. They can use Twitter and Facebook to read comments and interact with the readers, which builds a personal connection.
However, there are downsides to that. Namely, negative comments spread the same way that positive press does. That’s why PR professionals have it more challenging than it seems, as they must create perfect campaigns.
PR teams must also create an excellent PR strategy to raise awareness and reach their target audience while preventing negative comments from spreading. Otherwise, the negative press can quickly ruin a business’s image.
Social Media Marketing
PR and social media also go well when it comes to marketing. PR agencies can work with influencers to better get their critical points across. However, aligning social media influencers with an appropriate follower count and companies’ goals takes time and effort.
Moreover, having a brand ambassador is an excellent way to bring your brand to new audiences. These PR efforts improve brands’ online presence, spreading the message like wildfire.
Creating Content for Social Media PR
With so many websites today, a public relations business can face challenges as it must create specific content for each platform. For example, a PR campaign working well on Facebook is not a guarantee it will work well on Twitter.
Creating content for these websites involves multiple visuals, and making them takes a lot of time and effort. There’s a need for integration with various websites, graphic design, SEO, etc.
Moreover, keeping healthy social media relations can be challenging, and companies often rely on influencer marketing to reach target audiences. It’s an excellent way to get consumers and bring your brand to new audiences.
Conclusion: The Evolution of PR and Social Media in the Digital Era
The digital age has had a significant impact on public relations businesses. Today, a business needs an impeccable strategy to be successful on a social media platform.
That brings various benefits, such as brands reaching the target audience easily, spreading their message or press releases quickly, and interacting with consumers.
As we step further into the digital era, and as the number of social media websites and their influence rises, so will public relations need to evolve. Brands must combine PR and social media to reach consumers and spread the word about their business.