Nov 15, 2011

Social media and PR convergence

What is the relationship between social media and PR? A lot of buzz and chatter is going around about this question. Social media is an exciting new prospect. I noticed that a lot of social media also seemed to fall into the “PR” category.

Social media is a great way to supplement your PR and can do great things to build your brand. The relationship between social media and PR is that one supports the other. Best of all, social media removes the traditional media filter in PR. With social media, any businesses can speak directly to their audience.

Social media adds the opportunity for dialog to a traditional PR campaign. Both social media and PR are about building and maintaining relationships - they just do it in different ways and both are very effective. Social media allows you to communicate directly with communities. PR engages the experts to add that credible third-party voice.

Instead of just traditional media picking up your news, now bloggers and others can pick up your story. If you want to integrate social media and PR, approach press releases as you would a blog or web site. Make sure SEO is a big part of press releases. Keep media conversation for PR. When using social media, be authentic and mindful of the keywords and anchor tags you use in your press releases. The most challenging part of PR to a social media community is your messaging mix - too much PR and they will turn off - just enough and they will adopt you.

Businesses can leverage both PR and social media by connecting with the press on Twitter and engaging in conversations and building a relationships. It’s important to be known as a source of useful information - people want value from communication. Your chance to pitch to them directly will make itself available once you have established trust and credibility. After establishing a relationship on Twitter, feel free to add them as contacts on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Building a social media platform is essential to get the most out of traditional media placements. Social media helps push PR to new and unique places. Have a focused message in both forms of outreach – PR and social media – otherwise, you may muddle your brand identity. Use social media to engage people at each major touch point – by focusing in this way, you will enhance your traditional PR activities.