The Evolution of Public Relations: How Social Media Has Changed the Game.
Although not every firm may agree on what exactly constitutes traditional public relations, most can consent to the reality that the PR game has changed since the advent of social media. The offline tactics that were used 15 years ago to launch a successful PR campaign are no longer relevant in the online playing field of today. This doesn’t necessarily mean that PR is dead (as so many have suggested) but that the job responsibilities are evolving. While the majority of old school PR is better left in the past, PR professionals everywhere are embracing changes in the industry. Here are three ways that PR people can accept change and update their services:
1. Thinking More Like Marketers
A major change for the PR industry in the wake of social media has been the immense increase in media outlets. Companies are now able to continuously engage with consumers in a multitude of ways and consumers are engaging more than ever, whether that means sharing an article on Facebook or following a company’s CEO on Twitter. It’s obvious that crafting the perfect pitch for one major media outlet just isn’t going to cut it anymore. A PR person that is ahead of the game actively researches relevant blogs and pitches to a variety of online outlets. They know how to boost SEO and online rankings, use analytical tools to see how users are engaging, and are even involved in the creation of content. Some would argue that modern PR executives are more like content marketers than anything.
2. Content Creation & Credibility
Although pushing content into the right hands is important, public relations pros have also inherited the responsibility of creating content. The PR pro’s infamous Rolodex has been seriously devalued now that great content is passed around online constantly without much pushing, prying or paying by anybody. Solid relationships with top media publishers are still valuable since they offer visibility and credibility for your company, but this sort of publicity is only one piece of the puzzle. The quality and targeting of content is even more important. In a phrase, content is still king. After all the analysis you’ve conducted as a content marketer, you’ll know better than anyone what your audience will respond to, what they click on, and how they spend their time online. Coming up with the content to satisfy the demand is the next step.
3. Crisis Control
From blog posts to Pinterest boards, companies have a wide range of social media platforms they can use to reach out to consumers. An increase in communications offers great opportunities for interaction but it also introduces a certain amount of risk. Although social media communications are often taken more casually, Twitter typos can be seriously damaging for a campaign and costly for your business (click here for some cringe-worthy examples). Although any PR team will have the wisdom and experience to handle a crisis, the threat of that small blooper going viral is cause for concern. Be proactive in the face of communications faux pas by developing a crisis plan. Survey your client’s communications to make sure their message is consistent. Make sure there is a social media policy in place to prevent any inappropriate posts inside and outside the office. If you don’t know where to start, read through these steps to get a clue.
So if you want our advice, get out there, get online, and be creative. As the PR industry expands through social media, every PR professional has the opportunity to grow and blaze their own trail toward an evolved profession. And if you’re on board but finding it hard to convince your client, use these tips to explain the value of PR.
Public Relations for ( the Organization) benefits the most because they have to manage all avenues of controlling what is being done or handled by the organization. They also have the opportunity to venture out and credit a brand new market for its followers, keep the ones they have, and maintain a sound control by planning looking for ways to stay in control of the game.