10 years ago we got our breaking news from radio and TV. Remember being glued to the television when a big news story broke?
Today, the tables have completely turned. We all know how social media has changed the marketing forefront, but it doesn’t get enough credit about how it changed the entire public relations industry.
Five years ago, news and media outlets didn’t want to start pushing their content on social media. They were forced to. Independent journalists starting using various digital tools like Twitter, Evernote, and Facebook to start reporting on topics “live” during an actual event. Quickly, bigger media/news entities starting seeing the traction these independent journalists were getting. These journalists, who were using social media as a PR tool, were actually hurting ratings of corporate media outlets.
This was when the whole PR industry changed.
Now integrating social media in your public relations strategy is PR industry standard. The PR world embraced social media with open arms, and has used various digital tactics to advance how everyone uses social media in their public relations strategy. Listed below are three tactics on how you can use social media as a critical PR tool.
1. Social Media Listening
One of the reasons why everyone loves Twitter is because of the live trends you can see all over the world. Twitter gave us the ability to listen and see the most talked about topics online.
Having the ability to listen to industry specific conversations online is powerful. Having strong data like this in your back pocket to help you understand multiple online audiences that are custom to your industry can be HUGE to your PR strategy.
2. Turn Press Releases into Blogs
Press releases are a great way to get information about your company into the right hands when it comes to media outreach. One thing we’ve seen companies fail to do, however, is turn their press releases into a nice blog post. Yes – You will have to make some minor layout/format changes, but if you have a BIG announcement, then you should be sharing that content across multiple channels.
In today’s world, content is king. Most well-written press releases are great pieces of company content. And the truth is, most press releases never get picked up by the media. So why not, since you invested the time in creating valuable content for a press release, turn it into a blog post? This allows you to have a new and different set of eyes on your release.
Not only should you turn your release into a blog post, you need to make it shareable. We believe this is a best practice with all your blogs, but especially a press release that includes a product launch or big-time company event and announcement. No longer should companies be sending their press releases “down the wire” in hopes it gets picked up. They should be sharing it across multiple channels, allowing their key audience to not only see the release, but share it too.
3. Customer Service – Reputation Management
Not only has public relations changed because of social media, but so has the world of customer service. Social media now gives our customers a platform to engage with us in both a positive and a negative light.
Social media gives our customers the option for reviews, feedback, and questions. This is why many businesses now have full time staff or an agency helping to manage their social media.
How your company is seen on social media is a big for your overall reputation management within your industry. If your company has a lot of negative reviews on Facebook, obviously you can see how this could hurt your brand and reputation.
On the flipside though, if you have a lot of positive engagement and reviews, this can increase your reputation. Having a strong customer service presence is key in today’s social media, which helps your overall reputation.
We now live in a day where we have to be responsive to our clients and customers online. If we aren’t, this could really hurt our overall brand from a public relations standpoint.