Social media is the new way to get information. Written press releases are no longer the medium of choice for spreading the word to the public. Since society is so technologically advanced with all the digital applications and devices, people have access to news at all hours of the day instantaneously. With people going straight to the internet for most of their news, public relations is vital to providing accurate information in a timely manner.
Schlinke and Crain (2013) suggest the reason social media is so much more effective for communicating news than other media forms is because of community engagement and common interests. Because people are interacting with each other on social media posts, there is more opportunity to spread the news and have people contribute to the posting. Schlinke and Crain (2013) further explain that social media presence is an expectation of a business in todays world, almost comparable to having a website or phone number.
Meredith (2012) explains social media as an integrated communication perspective that communicates a multitude of business news including media relations and crisis management. Since these are main aspects of public relations, it is logical to utilize this efficient form of spreading news. Especially with the millions of users who will potentially see the news that is posted almost instantly. With a quick click of a mouse, or just a quick search, people are able to find the exact news they want within seconds. It is the public relations professionals jobs’ to maintain social media presence and keep consumers engaged in accurate information that is posted.
“The successful social media marketer knows by now that measuring the value of social isn’t about counting followers or favorites. That said, posting content in an empty void is just as useless. Build your audience with valuable conversations” (Badshah, 2015). Also mentioned by Badshah (2015) is that the expectations of social media users have increased in terms of turn around times. Public relations professionals are able to respond to consumers and provide clarification much faster now than with previous written news releases. This increases expectations for follow up responses and crisis management for anyone in public relations. Posting valuable information that intrigues followers and creates more following traffic.
With all of the social media use today, public relations also needs to reflect on what they have posted in the past to determine what should be posted in the future in order to increase their effectiveness. Analyzing engagement in terms of content posted, links, photos, shares, etc. will help to create more valuable posts in the future.
Public relations is expanding and taking over social media rapidly. Since information is so readily available to everyone today, the field of public relations involves increasing engagement by consumers, respond quickly with accurate information and solutions as well as analyze what has been posted to further develop their social media presence. These topics go hand in hand and it will only grow from here to become more efficient and helpful to companies.
Badshah, A. (March 2015). 9 things we learned from social media marketing world. Socedo. Retreived from: http://blog.socedo.com/9-things-we-learned-from-social-media-marketing-world/
Meredith, M. J. (2012). Strategic Communication and Social Media: An MBA Course From a Business Communication Perspective. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(1), 89-95. doi:10.1177/1080569911432305
Schlinke, J., & Crain, S. (2013). Social Media from an Integrated Marketing and Compliance Perspective. Journal Of Financial Service Professionals,67(2), 85-92.