How social networks have changed PR
Social networks and Public Relations are currently indispensable components of brand communication. Should these two departments merge into one? Whether you are going to integrate them or are preparing for their close cooperation, read our tips on how to combine them to make the most of your company.
The field of Public Relations is constantly changing and with it the necessary knowledge, skills and tools. However, the advent of social networks has had the greatest impact on PR. This new kind of media has, once and for all, changed the way we share and promote news and stories.
Today, PR professionals have to deal with a never-ending influx of news and posts on social networks on a daily basis. At the same time, both fields must be constantly on the lookout and prepared for a possible crisis that may flare up from an initially inconspicuous customer complaint. Therefore, a crisis plan should always be in place, with which the company can prepare for an unpleasant situation.
How do social media and PR fit together?
With the rise of social media marketing, some PR professionals are beginning to realize that there is a natural connection between the two. Both are based on communication, and social networks also strengthen the reach of PR – they enable it to reach a larger number of people faster and more effectively.
Examples are press releases that reach various audience groups via social networks. Previously, PR was aimed only at ‘chosen’ groups of people, such as investors. With the advent of social networks, the opportunity arose to reach and engage an even wider audience.
PR on social networks will allow your brand to build a more personal relationship with customers and, in addition, make a more accessible impression. PR professionals will literally be in their element when writing posts. They know how to involve influencers in communication, through which the product that your brand promotes can be made known. They can also build in relationships with customers from which your company can benefit in the future.
How to connect PR and social networks?
In some organizations, the two departments work together, while in other companies they work independently of each other. How best to connect them so that their cooperation brings the right results?
First and foremost, it’s important to realize that all of your brand’s communications should give the impression that they come from the same organization. Sometimes it happens that both departments communicate the same topic but in a different way, which can be confusing for the audience. Therefore, from the start, create a strategy that will unify the PR and social networks departments. The whole of society can benefit from their close cooperation, as communication will be more coherent and uniform.
- Customers: The social networking team is very close to customers, so they also have an overview of what forms of communication and promotion work for your brand. Thanks to this, it offers an interesting insight for PR professionals, who can look for feedback or user-generated content (content created by web visitors) on social networks, which would be suitable for other company campaigns.
- Ethics: As a brand, you definitely don’t want to sound out of place or even callous. Involve the Public Relations department, from which you can get important feedback on the tone of your messages. PR professionals have a practical sense of what content is appropriate and in line with corporate values. With their help, the social networking team can create communication that coincides with other activities of the company.
- Sharing: Automatically include links to corporate social networks in press releases. This will allow reporters and audiences to connect with you quickly and easily when needed.
- Crisis communication: In order for your brand to continue to thrive, it is crucial that in the event of any crisis, PR and social networking teams come together and coordinate their other outputs together. The social networking team is sometimes the first to know about an emerging crisis, so it can alert the PR department in time to help them create the right response.
- Monitoring social networks: So-called ‘social listening’, which we recently wrote about in this article, should now be an integral part of your PR department’s action plan. Monitoring social networks allows them to better understand how people receive various messages and whether they respond favorably. Through this activity, you can also monitor how your company is recovering from a possible crisis event.
Don’t separate PR departments and social networkers, practice “social PR” instead. You may eventually decide to combine the two teams into one, or allow them to work together more.