Both social media and PR and mediums or tools to spread the message to the audience. Both work differently in the way a message is conveyed – while PR is a more long-form leveraging third-party publishers, Social Media is a more periodic byte-sized content disseminated from the horse’s mouth. While one team pitches editors and reporters, the other one posts directly to brand accounts. One tries to encourage third parties to tell their story and the other tells stories directly through content, creatives, videos, Since both PR communication and social media in communication work with the purpose of building and maintaining the trust of the brand/company and their products/services, these two must be in sync, since ‘stories’ are sourced by the brand, one can’t one hand saying something else while the other saying another. In an ideal scenario, the PR activities are supported by social media stories while some social media campaigns are PR worthy.
Influence of Social Media for PR
Both PR and social media are based on communication, but social media amplifies your message with its real-time spreading methods allowing PR communication to be more impactful. The content published via news releases, emails, and other PR-related means tends to live longer, spread faster, and reach further with the help of social media.
Social media empowers PR to reach a much larger audience by expanding their target group, including all the people vital to the success of a business that previously used to target only specific individuals such as investors, stakeholders, and business partners.
Social media makes PR further friendly to the stakeholders of business that results in a new area of marketing known as “relationship marketing”. It helps companies to be more inviting, warm, and approachable.
Same story customized for specific channels
PR communication uses the company’s profile, blogs, and brand articles to form a press release that is sent out to the bloggers, magazines, newspapers and other publishing houses that cover their industry. On the other hand, a social media manager usually shares those links to the company’s social media platforms where they can be directly consumed by the customers from the company’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn accounts with a few added lines highlighting the context to provoke followers to click through. Therefore, using different channels both PR and social media in communication underlines the same message tweaked according to the platform and purpose to drive different types of action.
There are abundant ways of cross-promotion between social media and the PR team. For instance, an article or a press release crafted by the PR team can become a valuable piece of information that can be shared across social media simply through a link. The PR team can include links within a content asset such as a press release where certain phrases can be highlighted with links while sharing. This helps journalists to make it easy to get the news out on their social media channels. Likewise, the PR team can reshare or comment on the content about their clients and companies on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
Boost the following of one another
Social media comes in handy when the PR team looks for opportunities that involve their target audience through a webinar or live event since social media in communication ensures a way for brands to know their customers more intimately. All this comes down to effective communication. Since both the PR team and social media members are professional communicators, this is how they establish and sustain a healthy relationship with each other making a difference in their effectiveness.
In case you’ve had your social media teams and PR teams operating in silos up until now, try to look for ways to stimulate a more strategic alliance. Organize a chat using internal social media tools where the PR team can share relevant questions about social media which they’ve always wanted to ask. Get the social media team to wear the shoes of PR and draft a press release with all the key priorities they find necessary to be considered by the PR department. Start the conversation, and find the best ways to include both the teams in the discussion, and pull out the best of what each team has to offer.