PR & Social Media In 2017
By Lila S. on What's Happening in PR
Enter year 2017, a world where information is easily accessible at the touch of our fingertips, where consumers can directly get a response from a company via social media, or even have wine delivered to their doorstep within an hour of a few taps on an iPhone. Oh how great technology can be, but with the growth of digital platforms, in hindsight comes industry changes.
Let’s take the public relations field for example, turning 120 years old this year, the PR world has changed immensely since founded in 1897 (via ARPR). Besides the traditional brand building with media placements and media mentions, the rapid growth of social media platforms now give savvy PR professionals additional ways on how they choose to communicate with the public.
With a strong need to have an active online presence, social media platforms are here to stay and not only offer companies another tool on how to brand themselves, but they also offer various ways on how they can converse with their audience. A negative review or tweet will work against a company, especially if it goes unaddressed; consumers want to see companies responding to negative reviews and answering questions, they want to know their voice is being heard. The firms that are able to do this successfully for their clients will persevere, generating good will and honesty with the public.
As prominent as social media is in the PR industry, the influencers that use the platforms are just as important. Anyone can be an influencer, it’s just a matter of gaining a large enough following to appeal to a brand. (Think YouTube channels of people reviewing products or Instagram posts shouting out the “coolest new restaurant”.) Influencers already have a long-standing relationship with their followers, making them a great tool for PR professionals to use to advocate on their behalf.
While communicating with the public through modern-day social media tactics has transformed the PR world, the way in which stories reach journalists have also changed. With all the bad rep journalists face with “fake news” bashing, they rely heavily on online services like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to generate new story ideas; this opens an additional way in which professionals can connect their stories with interested journalists. Of course it’s still important for firms to do their research on whom their reaching out to as journalists are more likely to write about a topic that fits their beat.
With the rise of digital platforms continuing to develop, it appears that PR and social media virtually go hand-in-hand. Ways in which consumers communicate with a brand will continually “roll with the punches” as new technology emerges, challenging PR professionals to create innovative tactics on how they choose to shape their messaging and stories to the public.
(Image via Action 4 Media Education)