Public relations (PR) play an important role in promoting image of an organization. PR department is the connection between the public and organization which utilizes various media. With the changing times, the way PR is handled is also changed. All old-cum-traditional PR practices are to be revised or replaced with the new social media methods.
The change is imminent. If organizations are not geared up for change, it is very likely that they lose substantially and it will be high time for them to built new systems or leverage systems at a later stage. We shall find how PR can be leveraged to achieve the maximum benefit from the changed life styles of the people being influenced by various modes of social media.
Change from Stone Age to Space Age
Traditional public announcements of press releases are replaced with online news releases. Television ads are replaced by YouTube videos. Pamphlets and brochures are replaced by emails and social networking sites. There is no more physical printing on paper.
Your hands are dirt free when every potential customer is informed and updated through online medium. You can reach your friends, customers, employees, competitors and competitors’ customers through social media platforms.
Changed PR’s work style
Present generation of PR executives are engaged with social media right from the morning to the evening. On a typical working day, a PR executive starts his job by leaving comments on Facebook, Twitter and discussion forums. He accepts or rejects friends’ requests and sends new requests to add as friends on social networking sites.
He may publish a blog with the latest happenings on his company and post the link on Twitter and Facebook. Next, he will check for the available nice stuff on social bookmarking sites like Digg, Stumbleupon, etc. He will be busy in sending emails to friends and employees.
By the evening, he will be busy in doing research on the next blog post that should be delivered. He leaves comments and adds friends from other bloggers.
Information and its proliferation
In all the PR activities, preparation of content takes first priority. The content should be search engine optimized. The content should present the right information in right time and should reach the right people. It should erect interest in the audience and make them discuss about the things presented. Various means of content can be utilized.
It can be through blogs, images, videos, presentations, PDF files and Podcast. Before releasing any content, the content should be presented with appropriate title and description. Keywords should be analyzed and link building strategy should be chalked out. The content should be promoted through various social media platforms.
On our discount coupon site that offers carbonite and sittercity discount coupons, the main promotion of the blog’s content is done through social media platforms and hence most of the traffic is also from social media sites.
Blog platform – the PR desk
It is imperative to have a dedicated blog site with the organization’s paid domain name. Blogging gets coverage from search engines, social bookmarking sites, social news sites and social networks.
Focus on public
Traditional PR practice confines to offline promotion. Latest and current PR practice caters to both online and offline community. A single promotional activity through traditional means takes months of planning and demands lot of budgetary allocation.
In the changed scenario, it is possible to promote on a daily basis or even on hourly basis. You have direct access to millions of online subscribers who read blogs, who makes friends through Facebook, who watch videos on YouTube than on television, who check social bookmarking sites before purchasing an item, etc. PR’s focus has shifted from ‘attracting media for coverage’ to ‘attracting public through social media platforms’.
Social media opportunities are in galore from all angles. This is the time to seize opportunities from every possible interaction with others you come across. PR should be active enough to respond queries. It is a two way process unlike traditional ‘one to many’ publicity campaigns. You should participate in discussions and should be open to listen and take advice.
Importance of building relationships
PR can reach public through Facebook and Twitters. It is essential to build relations on one to one and one to many basis. It is difficult to build relations or bond without building a rapport with them that come across you. You should introduce yourself, you should talk about common interests, you should answer questions and these steps will create confidence and will lead to relationships. These relationships will pay you back in PR promotions.
The content can be promoted through social networking sites (Facebook and Twitter), social bookmarking sites (Del.iciu.us), videos (YouTube) and photos (flickr).
Monitor your growth
You can monitor how your blogs are being marketed through various means. You can monitor how they are shared through Facebook and Twitter. You can monitor discussion on forums and you can subscribe to RSS feeds to monitor all the activities with a single tool.
You will be able to gauge the success by tracking the visitors that you have attracted to your website or promotion platform. You will be able to gauge the number of new leads created. For gauging these statistics, you can deploy tool like, Google Analytics.
Has your PR desk changed or yet to change? Let me know if you are better off?
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