PR (Public Relations) is essentially the image of the business in the eye of the public. It is the way that companies, organisations and individuals communicate with the public and the media.
Social Media can have a substantial impact on the PR of a business. For example, there may be positive or negative comments on Facebook or Twitter about a business. There could be a marketing campaign on social media that goes viral, meaning that the images or videos may be shared across high volumes of social media users.
Nigel Ferrier of Optimise PR argues that social media is increasingly being used by businesses, not just for B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to consumer), but B2P (Business to people). (1) This means that businesses are speaking to the public when they speak out on a social media platform. This, of course, can bring positive or negative PR, depending on what you post or tweet!
Since social media is being increasingly used for PR and customer service, it is suggested by marketing professionals that social media and PR are becoming instrinsically linked. Facebook postings, forum threads and tweets can make or break a business overnight. Headlines can go viral on Reddit and Stumbleupon.
In a recent study done by ING, it was reported that 81% of PR professionals feel they can no longer do their job without social media. 78% of them felt that social media was important to their daily work.(2) This all suggests that marketing is now an integration between the online and offline. This means that the role of PR representative is increasingly changing and must include social media expertise.
PR representatives are often involved in content writing for social media sites. Many PR companies and reputation management companies are being hired to help individuals and businesses to manage their online reputation, particularly during a social media crisis! Online community managers are also being hired for brand engagement.
Do you use Social Media for PR? Please share your tips in the comments below.
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