Social Media Is the New PR

I recently had lunch with some of my fellow public relations professionals, and as always the conversation turned toward tactics and techniques used in our industry. As the only one in the group utilizing social media as the sole form of communications for clients, my portion of the conversation would seemingly be the shortest of the group. This turned out not to be the case, and it got me thinking: Social media is no longer just a part of PR anymore—social media is PR.

Every day in PR journals and newsletters we hear of ways to insert social media into your overall PR strategy. I am throwing something bold out there: make social media the keystone of your PR strategy, and build your traditional communications around it.

The level of reach and influence is unmatched with social media. With 500 million users on Facebook, 190 million on Twitter, and two billion videos a day being viewed on YouTube, there really is no bigger potential audience with any other platform. The key is understanding how to utilize these platforms to place your brand in front of as many of these people as possible.

Many people will ask, “What if we want to get our brand on mediums such as television, radio, and print?” My answer is still, use social media.

Every major news organization on the national level is monitoring social media, and local news outlets are doing the same. The key is to create and post content on your pages even when there is no news coming out of your organization. It is incredibly important to understand and embrace this idea.

Content is not just posting something when you have something to say. Content is being a part of the conversation.

The point of all this is to emphasize the fact that it is time to for companies to put more time and focus on social media when it comes to their PR strategy. If the goal of your public relations campaign is to communicate to your customers, vendors, and the media, then social media is your tool.

I am not saying that everyone should quit their traditional media campaigns. Rather, social media is where you will find your customers, opinion leaders, and the press, so placing your resources online will give you a higher return on investment.

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