Social Media and publicity work in close coordination with each other. In fact, both these communication-focussed entities work hand in hand. A response-driven community management for a business has the potential to counter a crisis situation and also help the public relations agencies achieve desired result.
Nowadays, most audiences are informed about a news story via their Social Media feed. In fact, many news stories achieve trending status on platforms such as Twitter. With the growing prominence of Social Media, broadcast news channels have initiated the use of ‘retweets’ as part of their newscast, media live-tweet events as they unfold and channels air shows with Social Media-based content. In simple words, Social Media and PR are interlinked and closely connected.
According to a recent study, about 81% of the PR practitioners feel that their work is majorly dependent on Social Media. More than 75% feel that Social Media makes for an essential part of their day to day work. Almost 78% of the journalists have stated that they can’t function without Social Media and about 50% of them use Social Media to cross check details. These figures prove the fact that the Social Media impact is huge for Public Relations agencies and its ability to influence cannot be denied. From the statistical point of view, it is interesting to note that Social Media is consistently making its presence stronger in the working world of PR.
Understanding that public relations agencies should more often use Social Media for boosting newsworthy content, we are discussing some of the crucial ways to generate desired results on time.
Use Twitter judiciously to search for your customer’s name and the keywords associated with the brand. This will prove beneficial in finding out if the target influencers are engaging with your business/brand. For instance, when searching for a soft drink brand, add useful keywords such as ‘soda’, ‘pop’, etc.
Sharing makes all the difference
After a print story has been published, share it with the spokesperson and send a friendly reminder for a retweet or posting the link. Don’t forget to thank the journalist and outlet for speaking/coordinating with them. Every leading PR agency should religiously follow this step.
When a spokesperson or journalist is confirmed for an interview, mention the Twitter handle of the concerned person if he/she is available on Twitter. This is an essential part of the relationship building exercise. Connecting pre or post interview ensures that both the parties are serious about maintaining a long-term association.
Infuse fun elements in interviews to make it readable and worthy of sharing
Clicking a photo of the spokesperson and show host is a good idea if you have facilitated a broadcast interview. Many PR agencies are using Twitter and Instagram to remind viewers and build interest among the audiences. To boost viewership, the interviewee should also tweet about the program.
Develop Social Media-centric messages
When developing a key message document for an interview or event, it is an absolute must to include a section for ‘proposed Social Media messaging’ as well. Create some tweets that encompass essential details, so that it can be used directly across varied Social Media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. This will help in making life easy and also boost awareness.
Become a resource for the media professionals
Keep a close watch on the journalists who follow your area of interest/beat on Twitter apart from following the conversation regularly for getting a clear understanding of the smaller nuances. Believe it or not, most of the media practitioners use Twitter to find sources. Over the past decade, the popularity of Social Media portals has grown to a massive scale. Hence, seizing an opportunity on Social Media should be focussed upon.
Keep an eye on the potential opportunities
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is an online service established for journalists to connect with people who are considered as industry experts. PR agencies in India should promptly subscribe to platforms like HARO as it is one of the easiest ways to find out those journalists who post questions in real-time.
Leveraging video for making announcements
Before sharing the standard press release or even the media alert, using platforms such as Vine or Instagram video for posting your announcement in a creative fashion is a great idea for creating a standout effect.
In a nutshell, Social Media is PR in the online world. Blogs, Social Networks, microblogging are all essential components of PR that further comprise writing, corporate communications, community relations and media relations. In varied ways, many PR agencies are enacting the role of a Social Media owner capable of addressing concerns related to the online community. The big question – How should Social Media position itself in the corporate structure? Although it is tough to answer this in the existing scenario, in the coming years, Social Media will evolve into different components of PR.