Public Relations and Social Media can complement each other. Combined, your message can not only reach a larger group of audience, it can be more effective.
Direct Path to Audience. Social media allows you to interact directly with people. Facebook even allows you to identify specific target audiences to broadcast your message. It also play an important role in connecting people and developing relationships. If you are linked with the editors or journalists on Facebook and Twitter, you are more likely to have a closer relationship. You get insights about what interests them and every time you “like” or comment on something they have done, they get a reminder about you.
Social media also allows you to raise your profile in the industry. As industry-related stories break, social media offers an opportunity to offer expert commentary and make an immediate impact on your audience. However, you need to ensure that you are adding value to the conversation and not being completely self-serving or trying to capitalise on a situation.
Creating unique and engaging content. Information overload is an old problem that still exists. Content needs to bond with the audience and preferably be original. If you need to write a press release, find a way to support and extend the message via social sharing. To get a successful PR pitch, you need to understand the audience of the publication or the journalist or blogger that you are pitching to. If you get it right, you will not only get published, you will enjoy a high engagement on your post but the world can start sharing your article for you.
Some stories are more powerful when told through the right social channel. For example, Microsoft used video to share a story about Sarah Churman who was able to hear for the first time. The company knew showing instead of telling would elicit a stronger emotional response.
Broaden Scope. Because social media comprises so many elements, it is forcing companies to broaden the scope of their organisations and the skill sets of the team. It also means that the PR team needs to be connected to the facebook pages to respond to comments or set up Google Alerts to be on top of what is being said on the business, its industry and its competitors.
Conclusion. Traditional media will continue to be an important part of what influences purchasing decisions and business outcomes and social media will allow you to communicate your messages directly with your stakeholders. The most successful programs are those that have balanced roles between traditional, social and paid media.