The changes within Public Relations
Prior to digital, PR mainly reached out to the public and/or market after a massive change that needed to be communicated. This could be a new product, service, operational announcement or something to do with reputation management. With the advent of social media, the PR role is now more constantly engaged and at the same time more nuanced. The PR professional is still tasked with reputation management activities, but the skill set now extends to counselling leadership, and to identify potential problems in a business’s relationship with the public. As social is so immediate, the roles of people working in PR, marketing and customer service have now become intertwined in this space.
How to properly use Social
Social media can be used to find influencers, the micro-celebs who give brands a voice they could never use by themselves. Influencers can have massive followings that brands can tap into to promote products. Social can also be used to find brand threats, a technique called “social listening”. This gives PRs the chance to understand the public opinion before it becomes a business threat. There are dozens of social listening tools available.
Social can also be used to have a bearing on journalism and the stories that journalists write. Both journalists and the public turn to social media such as Twitter to discover what others are saying on a specific topic, and to discover trends. This is where PRs are able to influence the process.
Social media can also be used to quickly issue reactions to negative press, Social being the number one go-to spot for people to gauge a brand’s reaction to negative news.
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