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Leveraging Social Media to ensure Public Relations success

DistributionsWithout a second thought, the Web and Social Media are increasingly helping business conglomerates, irrespective of their size and domain, to engage in effective communication with their target audiences.  Over the years, a marked delineation between Marketing and Public Relations is increasingly becoming prominent. The growing impact of the Web has however been responsible for blurring the lines between both the entities to some extent.

Although many feel that this is negatively hampering the functioning of PR firms, on the contrary, the web has been propelling the efficiency level of the domain considerably. So, is it possible to infuse Social Media and Inbound Marketing to strengthen the PR initiatives undertaken by a business?

In this post, we will focus on the varied nuances that constitute Public Relations apart from providing a detailed explanation of how Social Media and Internet Marketing tools can be proficiently incorporated.

Why PR has a bright future

PR focusses on the management of effective communication between a company and its audiences. It has been around for quite some time now and is not expected to lose its sheen anytime soon. In the coming years, Public Relations will grow manifold and emerge as a necessity for all businesses due to its ability to engage in effective communication with the potential and existing clients, media, investors, with the employees internally and more.

people interactUnderstanding the significance of Social Media for Public  Relations agencies

It has been noticed that most brands receive conflicting feedback from their target audiences. While some speak in favour, others share negative feedback. The emergence of Social Media has made it easy for the audiences to share their opinion on a frequent basis along with ensuring that their voices are heard. It comes with the added benefit of making a brand become viral and attain stardom in the shortest possible time.

Moreover, Social Media also ensures that the conversations reach a higher number of audiences in comparison to traditional media. If any business is choosing not to leverage Social Media platforms, they are missing out on a valuable opportunity to get noticed by a wider audience. In simple words, Social Media has the potential to create a distinct identity and hence should be frequently used professionally. It comes with the ability to bring guaranteed improvement in the direct engagement levels with the clients and press.  However, businesses still lack the ability to maximise the potential of Social Media for their PR efforts.

It is crucial for businesses to realise that Social Media has altered the functioning of top public relations agencies across the globe significantly. Thanks to Social Media, the audiences’ ability to consume PR content and initiate interaction with audiences has transformed significantly.

In this post, we will explore how Social Media bears a positive impact on Public Relations in the present age and how media professionals can successfully leverage it to their advantage.

  • Complete integration with PR

Nowadays social has become an integral part of how people interact with the audiences and media, hence considering such behaviour is important. Social Media is an unavoidable part of all things, including PR. Marketing experts are of the belief that no business entity should commit the mistake of considering them as separate entities. Social Media needs to work in tandem with traditional media. When both the mediums are paired, their power accentuates further.

The integration of the conventional approach adopted by public relations agencies and Social Media isn’t a mere philosophical discussion. Statistics reveal that about 65% of PR departments are responsible for maintaining the Social Media presence of their enterprises.

  • User-centric PR messages

The messages posted across varied Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, etc can’t be controlled. Hence, the public relations agencies should infuse their point-of-view on a timely basis. Even the prominent marketing gurus have stated that this crucial aspect should not be avoided as it will form the core of PR dynamics in the coming decade.

Every business owner should be keen to proactively use the Social tools for enhancing his accessibility to the audiences apart from using the advanced tools for keeping a close watch on the user-created social messaging.

  • Strict vigilance

Over the years, PR has adopted a two-way conversational approach. This is one of the reasons why none of the top public relations agencies in India mindlessly blast out information about a business/brand with the expectation to bag quick gains. Clients and media professionals hate to be spammed and prefer personalised messages.

Hence, every PR firm should closely watch and respond to queries/complaints quickly.

  • PR messaging driven by the hyper localised approach

Targeting audiences on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus based on parameters such as behaviour, interests, education, connections is an absolute must. Traditional targeting parameters like gender, etc. should be considered as well. The mass adoption of Social Media has proved helpful in the implementation of precision-driven messaging which wasn’t possible in the past. In the coming years, this new form of messaging is expected to gain momentum and attain a new wave of targeting options.

The above-said precision level is expected to improve things considerably as it enhances the effectiveness of the PR campaigns. PR firms should frequently use the segmentation tools across Social Media platforms as a tactic and aim to incorporate it in their PR plan frequently.

  • Social allows unprecedented insight into media practitioners

Social makes targeting of audiences and finding relevant information about the media professionals easier.

Media experts are of the belief that Social Media for Media Relations should be used more often to get a better understanding of how the journalists work in particular beats, what their deadlines are, their personal and professional interests for initiating informal conversations, etc.

Leveraging Social Media platforms to its full potential is crucial to strengthen relationships with the prominent journalists/bloggers/key media practitioners and help to get a better picture about their focus areas, when they look for resources and how to initiate the partnership.

Also Read: Must-have components of successful Social Media Campaigns

  • Emergence of citizen journalism

While the rise of blogging platforms has been phenomenal in the past few years, the influence of the conventional media sources has declined considerably. The usage of the Internet along with its importance has gone up among the younger generation as over 70% of them cited using it as a crucial news source. Mostly people prefer to use the varied Social Media platforms for receiving news.

Social Media has played a key role in the positioning of the blogging platforms as a distribution source. No PR firm should overlook the blogging community in their PR plans as they have strong and wide social distribution networks.

Conclusion

The market is increasingly becoming saturated with businesses eyeing to maximise their profit levels and aiming to hit the Social jackpot in the shortest possible time.

In the current age, business messaging is imperative. It helps to distinguish a brand from its competitors, influences positioning of the company, evokes business loyalty and lays the foundation for the complete communication strategy.

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