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Public Relations

How social media has changed traditional PR

By October 6, 2022October 21st, 2022No Comments

From politics to dating and everything in between, social media has changed much about how we interact with each other—and public relations is no exception.

Whether carried out IRL or online, public relations is, at its heart, about relationship building, including those partnerships between

  • Brands and their buyers
  • Buyers and the media
  • PR professionals and journalists

Effective PR leverages these relationships to create positive brand awareness and get your organization’s key messages in front of your target audience. Social media is fundamentally changing these relationships and ushering in the shift from traditional to digital PR.

Shift from traditional to digital PR

Traditional PR encompasses earned and paid media placements with magazines, newspapers, broadcast television, radio shows, and industry association newsletters, as well as speaker submissions for major trade shows, event coordination, and more.

The rise of social media as a means of distribution has greatly expanded that reach to include online media properties (think WebMD), magazine and newspaper websites, podcasts, blogs, webinars, and more. This broader media reach has come to be known as digital PR.

Here are five ways that social media is changing the PR and media relations game:

1. Demand for more content. The 24/7 news cycle demands every media, including trade journals, have fresh content to push out consistently on social media channels to drive traffic. This creates more opportunities than ever for brands to place articles, provide subject matter experts for interviews, and more.

2. Meet journalists online. One of the most significant changes within the past decade is the democratization of access. It used to be that PR pros lived and died by their rolodex—who they knew at what media was what made them successful. However, social media has made it possible to identify and engage with reporters quickly. You may even grab a reporter’s attention organically with the right hashtag or stand-out social media campaigns.

3. Increase reach through sharing. Bloggers, industry influencers, your target audience, and even journalists will share quality content on social media as they try to participate in the larger conversations in their industries. There are fewer gatekeepers. Create amazing share-worthy content and people will share it.

4. Extend the shelf life of your media placement. Another big change is that a great media placement is no longer one and done, never to see the light of day after its initial run. Articles online can be integrated into your social media campaigns and media interviews given for broadcast can be uploaded to YouTube. This expanded online presence with backlinks to your website and effective use of your target key phrases is also a major boost for your SEO strategy.

5. Access engagement statistics. Historically, PR is tough to measure. However, brands investing in PR no longer have to rely solely on circulation numbers or word of mouth. Instead, PR wire services now provide metrics and your team has real-time access to likes, shares, and other social media engagement metrics.

Digital PR to meet your B2B outreach goals

While the internet has made PR outreach easier, the right pitch to the right journalist at the right time is still as important as ever.

Partner with a B2B healthcare marketing agency that understands how to craft your story in a way that resonates with your target audience.

Let’s talk digital PR.

Melanie Hilliard

Author Melanie Hilliard

Melanie is an Account Director and Content Lead at Clarity Quest. Nothing makes her heart sing more than fantastic marketing. To learn more about Melanie's experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

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