Rewind back half a decade and you’ll see how PR teams held influence over the mass media and how they ruled product launches, new releases and campaigns. Today with the dominance of social media, it is a very different story. When it comes to integrated marketing campaigns and reaching a wider yet interested audience, marrying PR & Social media efforts remain critical – especially as we approach 2018.
THE KEY DIFFERENCE
Before we dive into how PR and Social Media should be integrated, let’s quickly revisit their key differences. The key difference between PR and social media comes down to the way the messaging is delivered. With PR, you’re reaching out to the media and consumers on a one-to-one basis whereas with social media there is an opportunity for dialogue and tailoring key messages to segmented audiences. It can also be seen that the speed in which content is delivered through social media is much quicker and more dynamic. Some even say the PR is the ‘content’ and social media is the ‘distribution’.
THE ROLE OF SOCIAL IN PR
PR processes have dramatically sped up due to the exponential growth of social media. From outreach to pitching stories, product launches to distribution and response times, social has enabled news and messaging to spread more quickly and effectively. Collectively, social media presents the opportunity for people to share their opinion and advocacy for their brand which enables e-word of mouth – a very powerful and impactful phenomenon. This has also opened the gates for influencer marketing.
With regards to crisis management, the instantaneous nature of social media allows brands and organizations to issue statements and releases in a wide range of content formats to reach their specific target group – something a traditional press conference can take hours or sometimes days to set-up and organize.
MERGING THE TWO
Marrying PR and Social Media is vital especially when it comes to news announcements or product launches to make sure that messaging is consistent across all channels. Additionally, creating an integrated plan ensures that there are no missed opportunities for further engagement with your audience. Merging the two also enables a synchronization between what’s happening traditionally (i.e. a press conference or event) and the social world. Opportunities for this synchronization includes ‘live streaming’ particular events so they are distributed across social, or deploying different forms of content on social with messaging in-line with what is saying through traditional media outlets.
With a plethora of social media listening and monitoring tools out there, the opportunity to identify and engage with influencers and brand advocates are high. By establishing relationships with influencers, the ability to amplify the brand, key messages and reach a wider audience are limitless.
Manit Sethi is a Social & Digital Executive at Vero, orchestrating creative digital strategies for brands and developing killer content that excels on social.
Article adapted from Sprout Social