The Affect Social Media has on Public Relations
Some would say that social media is changing public relations, but what is really happening is that it’s changing the way public relations is done. The goal is still the same, but the route is now different. Connections and communication have always been the main idea of PR, but social media, right from the beginning, has completely changed how we connect and communicate, so naturally, that extends to PR as well.
Social Media is something that has had a huge impact on the world recently. It connects people over distances and who have otherwise grown apart and given everyone a platform to grow relationships and share their lives. However, stronger personal relationships may have been the point of social media in its beginning stages, it is now much more than that.
Specifically for public relations, there are a number of benefits that come with the popularity of social media. The main and most obvious would be that it is now much easier to connect with people. Whether it be getting a message to an individual halfway across the world, or advertising to as many people as possible, social media is highly successful in closing gaps and making communication easier.
Platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow for some steps in the process to be cut out or expedited. There is no longer need to wait for a press release or a launch for every announcement or detail. There are now easier ways to reach directly to the public. It is both effective and more personal.
Although it is still a widely broadcasted message, getting details and news from companies and businesses directly on one’s feed can feel a lot more personal and impactful than watching something on television or getting the information from elsewhere. Anything that makes a consumer feel personally connected to a business is a plus.
Another great advantage of social media is the transparency of it. With these social platforms, it becomes much easier to see what the public is currently talking about. It can be used as an important tool for PR pros to follow trends and even predict emerging ones. With everyone’s opinions out in the open and shared all in the same place, tracking the trends of the public and using it to create new strategies can now be done quicker and more effectively.
As with anything, social media also comes with new worries for PR. With these public platforms, businesses are putting themselves in the spotlight. Anything that is posted is seen and absorbed by millions. That is true for both good and bad publicity. It is, therefore, imperative that social media is handled with care.
While it definitely helps in connecting to people and even cutting out steps, social media has also added to the jobs of PR pros. Twitter and Facebook and other platforms can reach a lot of people at any time, but the number of connections can be exponentially higher when done right.
It is a PR professional’s job to know not only what to post, but when and where. That means knowing high traffic times, seeking out one’s audience, and constantly being vigilant. Although knowledge, vigilance and finding the audience have always fallen under the PR job description, social media adds to the workload with more and more platforms now at their disposal.