Social Media. Changing Public Relations as we Know it?

Just about everyone you know has some sort of social media. Whether it be Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on. A lot of people use social media for personal reasons. But as the world of social media grows, so does it’s uses.

More and more businesses and organizations are utilizing this outbreak of social media to their advantage. They are using it for brand recognition, brand awareness, and promotion among other things. But how can social media be useful to those in the world of public realtions? and is social media changing the game for good?

Social media allows for a constant cycle of information. Companies have became aware of this. So, they have become more customer oriented. According to 5wPR.com’s article ‘5 ways Social Media has Changed Public Relations’, “social media compelled many brands to start focusing more on their customers, and building positive relationships. Customers can always go on Twitter and Facebook to sound off about bad customer experiences. This forces companies to resolve issues speedily to avoid a PR crisis.”  The use of social media allows companies to quickly hear about a problem or talk about products and services efficiently.

What’s more important than money, am I right? Just kidding-there are a lot of things more important than money. But, in the business world, the word  “free” is a favorite. Social media, most of it anyway, is free of charge. In the past, PR firms usually only worked with politicians or larger corporations that had the funds for major brand management. But today, even the smallest businesses can afford to hire someone to mange their social media. I mean, all a company really needs is a college student majoring in journalism, PR, communications, or marketing to mange the social media, right? On a small scale, yes.

According to the article ‘Seven Ways Social Media Changed PR’ on MarketingWeek.com, “Of the PRs surveyed, 82% indicated that social media has changed the work they do to some extent.” Practicers still write press releases, and pitch stories, however, social media has made them do a bit more. They now have to build an online persona for companies. They then must maintain that persona and communicate the the feelings the company wants consumers to have.

The internet never sleeps. Tweets, photos, and updates are being posted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all over the world. But how does this affect PR? Well, social media allows for brands to engage consumers on many different platforms, whenever they want. But is this helpful or hurtful? Easy. Both. If a customer tweets at a company, they expect a reply quickly especially if it is a complaint. If a company doesn’t respond fast enough, they will get mad. However, social media allows companies to engage with consumers on a positive note as well. Wendy’s for example, provides sassy humor to their customers when they tweet at them. People tweet at Wendy’s just to get roasted by them, for pure entertainment. This creates bond and an image.

It’s stuff like that, that changed the way PR is due to social media. Some practitioners may hate the new digital age, but, social media is huge part of today’s society. With more and more people getting involved with it each day, it’s in a companies best interest to have social media and to be active on it. Social media has, and probably will continue to change the world of PR as we know it.

 

Image: http://www.toprankblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/PR-social-media.png

 

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