Want To Be Successful in PR? Be Social.

Social media has only flourished in the last 10 years, and because of its capabilities, it has been welcomed with open arms in the public relations field. The impact it has had on PR cannot be underestimated. It’s impact in PR due to its abilities to improve communication, establish a brand image, organize a campaign, among many others, often seem to be overlooked by those who rely on public relations and how they utilize social media. But the way public relations professionals operate their businesses today could not be done if it wasn’t for the way social media has greatly impacted our lives and the lives of everyone around us. 

Social media’s ability to improve communication is often taken for granted. PR professionals need quick access to information about their target audiences and consumers, and social media can provide it for them. In the case of crisis response, it’s vitally important that brands are also quick to respond, which was reported by PR News in a survey they did of more than 400 PR executives. Social media also allows direct communication between brand and consumer; “It’s not just a place that allows you to communicate with your consumer; it lets your consumer communicate with you.” (para. 7) Doing this allows an opportunity for brands to gather important information about their audience and who engages with them on the daily. The gathering of this information allows PR professionals to know who they’re working for and what to research so they can do their job that much better. All parties involved only benefit when proper social media communication is practiced. 

Maintaining a brand image is also something made exceptionally easier in our age of social media. The job of a PR professional usually surrounds the image of the brand or company they are hired by. Social media allows quick access to data about the current brand image and what the respective PR firm can do to improve it. The relationship between a brand’s overall image and their social media can be clearly determined, so it is vital that it is properly maintained. “Social media has made things transparent as it reveals the good, bad or ugly regarding a brand which can get viral easily through shares” (Ansari, 2019, p. 6). While maintaining a positive brand image is important, Ansari et al. mentions that anything can happen for a brand regarding social media, so crisis management is also important. It’s a jungle, and one can easily get lost. 

Nowadays, campaigns are most prominent on the internet. It’s normally how word about them spreads, through shares, likes, and tweets. TV ads are a good way to give a “vibe” to a campaign, but people are more likely to engage in the campaign if they’ve seen it online, via a post through the brand’s official pages or an ad on a social media site. PR professionals often opt for campaign awareness via social media, especially in more modern times if their target audience is millennials or younger. It’s a great way to ensure most people get the message of their campaign, or at the very least that it’s happening at all. Social media has risen through the ranks as the thing that now connects most of the world, with more than 3.5 billion people logged online as of 2019. Because of this fact, it is arguably the way to reach the public (especially given recent times). Given any company that is thriving today, chances are they have a social media presence, meaning PR professionals are having a field day when it comes to ease-of-access for communication, brand image, and campaign awareness for these companies.

REFERENCES

Ansari, S., Ansari, G., Ghori, M. U., & Kazi, A. G. (2019). Impact of brand awareness and social media content marketing on consumer purchase decision. Journal of Public Value and Administration Insights2(2), 5-10. https://doi.org/10.31580/jpvai.v2i2.896

Privacy is Dead.

“Privacy is dead, and social media holds the smoking gun.”

Social media has a power that many of us have probably realized, but none of us can truly comprehend. It’s like a child we haven’t seen for many years and went through a shockingly fast growth-spurt. It’s grown past us now without us realizing it, and there’s a chance we can’t stop it.

Social media is a looming giant, both in the developed world and in our everyday lives. If one has a smartphone, a laptop, tablet, gaming console, etc., it is much more than likely that social media plays a part in their life. I know for a fact it does in mine. I know I have every kind of account short of MySpace, only because I was born too late for that era of the internet.

We used to have one main computer in my house, a nice-looking, sleek, black one that was brand-spanking new 10 years ago. I spent nearly all my time on it. Did everything I could do as an 8-12-year-old on the internet. I made a YouTube account, posted lyric videos, made a Facebook account (my first major experience with a social media giant, but only doing so after my mom made me sign a contract), left embarrassing comments, played Farmville for hours on end, and anything else my tween heart desired. My access to the internet became a hole that I dug for myself, but can never be filled again, now that I’ve dug too deep. Since the computer, I’ve had two of my very own laptops, three smartphones, a Nintendo DSi, and an Xbox that my brother and I shared (he has his own now). The internet has become ingrained in my life (as it has in everyone else’s), so much so that I want to make a career out of it.

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Time

In our modern era, the most popular social media sites are arguably Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr, that possibly reside among a couple of others I cannot name right now. Who knew 5 years ago that Snapchat would grow to be as prevalent as it is now? Who knows if Facebook, despite its crazy popularity now, will even be a “thing” in 2 years? It’s unlikely something that big would die out that fast, but it’s happened before. Facebook, now the most widely-used social network in the world, has an estimated 2.23 billion monthly active users worldwide. That’s just about a quarter of the world’s population, something everyone thought was impossible to achieve maybe 10 years ago. Many thought social media was the enemy, and we shouldn’t let it into our lives, and some thought it simply wouldn’t do well, and we shouldn’t use it for other reasons. Now Snapchat and Instagram are the prevalent ones for those in their teens and 20s, gaining more traction in the younger generation, while Facebook remains popular with everyone, but the older generation most of all. Does this mean Snapchat and Instagram will come out on top in a couple years, just as Facebook already has? Or will it be the other way around? Will these other platforms fade away just as Facebook remains king? I guess we will have to see.

 

41617443_254221261797882_5100102844560703488_oSince social media is used in our everyday lives, clearly, it’s grown beyond that purpose. Who do you think developed all the platforms in the first place? Obviously there are people managing the apps day to day, and this work is most likely their full-time job. Since these companies are so huge, there are probably hundreds, maybe thousands of people who are paid a (relatively) fair wage to work at this company and provide for their family. Social media is not only in our lives, it is our lives. Without it, there would be many less jobs in the market today, or they would just be very, very different, definitely not as dependent on technology as they actually are now. It’s crazy just how and how much social media has been cemented in everyday society. Some people literally wouldn’t live without it.

While it is scary thinking about the possible FBI agent tracking your every move because of what social media is capable of now, chances are, nothing will actually happen to you, unless you’re browsing some seriously shady stuff. But social media has enabled long-lost friends and families to be reunited, enabled friends to be made, connect with people you never would otherwise, find a roommate, sell an old StairMaster that’s only use has been for the storage of dust, buy a StairMaster, sell a house, buy a house, and so many other things. The internet and it’s social media are a jungle. They’re beautiful in one way and scary in another, and we must always tread carefully and look behind us. We will find things we’ve never seen before and discover things that should never have been discovered.

Our privacy may be dead, but if we’re careful, our sanity and tolerance of the internet can keep the gun from going off a second time.