3 Ways Social Media is Changing PR and How You can Keep Up

Remember the good old days in PR? Flipping through stacks of newspapers, a telephone on every desk and the journalists were your best friends (or worst enemies).

Well of course these still apply, but to a smaller extent. With the advent of social media, PR practitioners have to adapt accordingly, picking up relevant digital skills in order to connect with our online target audience.

Do you need to pitch to the media? Reach out to hundreds of them with one email. Make an announcement? An official post on Facebook. The best way to promote your new hip restaurant? Get a good review from the ‘Food King’ section from ‘Night Owl Cinematics’. and the queues will start forming.

With the rapid pace of technological advancement, social media has taken the world by storm, forever changing the PR landscape.

1. 24/7/365

Social media never sleeps. While you slumber, someone else halfway across the world could be reading your latest Instagram post or uploading a new video on Facebook while many others ‘like’ and ‘comment’.

On the bright side, companies can deliver good news or promotions anytime, and know that there is a ready audience to consume whatever information that has been rolled out.

On the other hand, when bad news, rumours or accusations travel through the grapevine, this creates a headache for the PR department, with the outcome of the crisis being more difficult to contain, clean up and recover from.

This extremely dynamic aspect of social media makes the nature of it a lot more demanding. Social media has perpetuated the PR industry so much that jobs such as ‘social media strategists’ and ‘digital care managers’ have branched out.

Keeping Up Tip #1

In the case of negative press, social media is one of the first places people look for a brand’s reaction. PR practitioners should always be kept on their toes and have a crisis plan ready to act as a guide.

Careful crafting of messages catered to their target audience needs to be published as an immediate response, to inform the public of the current situation and what actions are being undertaken to rectify the problem. Social media gives PR practitioners the immediate access to a large, attentive audience, keeping their audience informed and hopefully appeased.

2. Connecting with your Audience

Social media breaks down the barriers between members of the public and the brand. Once seemingly untouchable brands are now on level with their customers, connecting with them through social media, creating conversations, initiating interactions and finding feedback.

In the past, communication in the PR industry was a one-way street, with companies pushing out content which consumers had no direct avenue to interact with or respond to.

Now, consumers engage with brands by leaving “likes”, comments and sharing content. Through these interactions, brands can measure and gauge how effective content and ads are in reaching their target audience, allowing them to improve and optimise their social media uses.

Shaping and maintaining a positive public image requires thorough understanding of your target audience by connecting with them on a deeper level, to be meaningful and impactful in this extremely noisy digital environment.

Keeping Up Tip #2

With the power of influencers in today’s social media landscape, it would be wise to leverage on their authority and following to reach out to our target audience.

Influencers build brand awareness by linking the brand to its target audience, keeping the company in the minds of their target audience increasing market awareness. With local lifestyle influencers such as Bong Qiu Qiu with 299k Instagram followers, the reach of social media influencers could really pack a punch.

3. Channels

Facebook. Instagram. YouTube. Twitter. LinkedIn. With so many social media platforms to choose from, the number of new ways to reach and connect with current and potential customers only increases.

In the past with limited channels, traditional media such as newspapers, television and radio were often used. Now, not including digital channels, social media channels easily outnumber those of traditional media.

The social aspect of social media is what drives these channels. A video trending on YouTube can be shared on Facebook where online users can ‘like’ and leave comments, simultaneously the Facebook post can also be connected to Instagram. The potential outreach to the many different groups of potential audiences on different social media platforms remains unchallenged.

Keeping Up Tip #3

Social listening gives companies insight to understand the public's opinion, what they like or dislike, what is in trend, what they think about certain issues.

Capitalising on the many social media platforms, companies can not only increase customer engagement but potentially find and address any online threats, containing any potential crisis. There are many social listening tools out there that you can and should utilise to understand what your target audience really think.

In this dynamic social media environment that never sleeps, it could be difficult to keep up with the pace of changes. This is precisely why Right Hook is here for you! We provide not only social media analytics but social media engagement services as well. Contact us at info@righthook.com.sg to stay at the top of your social media game!


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