The ways in which we are exposed to content and how we engage with brands has evolved over the course of history. Gone are the days where PR pros solely relied on the newspaper, TV or radio to generate brand awareness.
The emergence of social media has radically changed not only the methods in which we consume news, but the type of content we are interested in — not to mention our slowly diminishing attention span.
Here are some of the major ways social media changed the PR industry.
1. Communication became a two-way street
Social media gave brands the opportunity to communicate directly with their audiences. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter trained PR pros to evaluate the acceptance of a campaign away from print impressions or increased sales. Real-time consumer feedback allowed companies to gauge sentiment and relate to their audiences in a way that was never before possible.
2. A change in relationship-building
While pitching the media still requires hours of list building and reading through published articles, social media made journalists more accessible than ever. Not only are we able to quickly find out what their journalistic interests are, but we can also learn who they are as people and relate to them on a whole different level.
Relationship building has always been and will continue to be a key practice within the industry, and social media is playing a big part in how that evolves. This doesn’t mean you’ll become BFF with every journalist you try bonding with over your mutual love for cute puppies – the increased accessibility has made for fierce competition and cluttered inboxes.
3. Research is easier than ever
PR pros now have an abundance of resources at their disposal. Searching keywords relevant to your brand can lead you to discover a ton of valuable insight into the minds of your target consumers.
Leveraging this information and engaging in larger conversations about trending topics helps your client stay relevant and top-of-mind among these audiences. It’s important to remember that a PR pro’s job is determining how your brand fits into the bigger picture.
4. A change in news deadlines
One of the greatest impacts that social media had on the PR landscape was the way it disrupted the 24-hour news cycle. Journalists are on tighter deadlines than ever, so we need to be on our toes and understand that news breaks – FAST. If you want to be part of the story, you need to be in the loop and ready to jump at a moment’s notice. What’s relevant today is old news tomorrow.
5. We no longer need to rely on traditional media gatekeepers
A brand’s message is no longer at the mercy of a journalist’s cluttered inbox. Brands now have their very own platforms to create engaging content that resonates with their audiences. This means PR pros must now think how they can create a cohesive message across multiple channels.
How has social media changed the way you create your strategies? Comment below!