The rampant use of Social Media has been responsible for transforming the way people communicate these days. A recent study claimed that an average user spends approximately 1.72 hours on social media platforms per day, which accounts for nearly 28% of all online activity. It won’t be incorrect to say that technology has led to faster communication and increased the instantaneous approach of the news cycle. This impact of ‘Social Media addiction’ can be seen in all industry verticals as organisations are developing strategies to enhance engagement on the Social Web.
PR professionals are using this new-age medium to communicate with, listen to audiences and share information. Social Media has prompted many journalists to play the role of bloggers to share their stories and opinions.
After the Internet revolutionised the way we consume news for nearly two decades, the birth of Social Media has further ‘redefined’ the information dissemination process. Although Social Media comes with innumerable challenges and opportunities, there’s no denying the fact that it has improved the functioning of the PR industry significantly. Hence, it would be more appropriate to say that Social Media is changing PR regardless of the setting and content.
Understanding the ‘Impact’ of Social Media on PR
In this section, we have listed out a few pointers that focus on how Social Media is rapidly transforming the face of Public Relations and if the role of PR should be considered synonymous with Social Media.
Also Read: Benefits of Social Media
It’s true to its core that Social Media platforms allow businesses to create direct contact with consumers. Higher engagement with audiences, rich conversations, less emphasis on press releases and launches are some of the key features of Social Media.
Positive Impact on PR and Media Organisations
Social Media is pushing PR agencies to follow an integrated approach. The rise of Social Media is pushing the media outlets to create engaging content which drives site traffic. Creative PR campaigns have to keep in mind the consumers’ demand for interesting content.
Easy Integration with Digital Marketing
Social Web renders a series of opportunities for quick integration with other components of Digital Marketing. Usually, Online PR and SEO teams work in close collaboration to develop content that meets strategic search objectives, bolsters online visibility and strengthens brand engagement via Social Media channels.
Making PR more ‘Accountable’ & ‘Transparent’
The rise of Social Media has promoted better integration with other marketing disciplines leading to improved outcomes.
Instead of just targeting a specific individual, the advent of Social Media is pushing PR agencies to consider a broader response.
So, is it correct to state that PR and Social Media are synonymous with each other? The answer is no. They are now more ‘integrated’ but definitely not ‘synonymous’.
How has Social Media changed the functioning of the PR industry?
It is true that Social Media has propelled the change in the information dissemination process that has led to the concept of Digital PR.
Given the current scenario, we have outlined some new developments that Social Media has triggered in the Public Relations industry.
Readily Available Information
The conventional media outlets only allow broadcast of information on a one-to-many basis and organisations respond to clients on a one-to-one basis. The Social Web has changed this communication style and pushed businesses to follow multi-channel communication with their clients.
Low-cost Content Distribution
Despite the existence of traditional media houses like newspapers, radio, magazines, television for decades now, Social Media has transformed the way information is being disseminated by sending out custom messages at no-additional price.
Emergence of Citizen Journalism
Thanks to Social Web, now ‘anybody’ can be a journalist. The audiences have to no longer depend on the traditional media outlets for news stories.
Power of an Engaging Message
As conventional media channels do not allow the consumers to voice their opinion or add inputs, Social Media comes in handy here as it enables the audiences to share their comments and enhance the engagement levels.
Multiple Channels for Content Dissemination
Through social sharing, Online PR can extend the content reach. The ability of these social media platforms to work in innumerable ways helps to boost the reach of the message.
Real-time Message Communication
Online PR allows communication and information distribution in real-time.
As change is the only constant in life, it is time that PR practitioners adopt these new age technological advancements as quickly as possible to stay ahead of competition and bring positive results for their clients.
Do you agree with us on the fact that Social Media has revamped the PR industry? Please share your opinion in the comments section below.