A lot has changed in Public Relations (PR). Remember the days when actors, artists, politicians and companies needed a “press release” that actually released to the press so that reporters and editors were informed about the news happening in their fields? Every form of traditional media has a target audience and that content is only seen by them.
Today, presidents, actors, companies, and even the Pope, have social media to stay in touch with their followers. We can “like” their Facebook pages and follow them on Twitter to read about what are they doing or see if they have something interesting to tell us. We can find out their relationship status, their point of view on war, what they think about the Emmys, or if they are in favor or against same sex marriage.
There are some rules that we need to consider when we are dealing with PR on social media:
- People want participation, not propaganda.
- PR is more than just a mainstream media audience.
- You are what you publish in the media.
- People want authenticity, not spin.
- You should deliver the news when the audience needs it.
- PR is not just seeing the company or the artist on TV or the newspaper — it’s about their followers seeing them on the Web.
- Keep in mind that the Internet made public PR possible and it’s not restricted to certain media.
- PR is all about content.
- On the Internet, the boundaries between marketing and PR have disappeared.
- Blogs, online videos, e-books, social media, web pages, and other non-traditional media allow the organization to communicate directly with customers and followers, making it a way to create relationships without a gatekeeper.
The main objective of this form of communication is to reach people directly. As mentioned above, the goal is to establish a positive relationship that allows for feedback. In order to create that, there has to be great content that drives followers to act.
There are also examples of bad results from this direct relationship. One of the more famous happened in 2011 when Ashton Kutcher used Twitter to defend Penn State´s football coach, Joe Paterno, who was let go for possibly covering up a defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, for alleged sex abuse of young boys. This single tweet incited the fury of a lot of their followers and as a consequence he decided to give up the management of his account to others. Ashton knew that Twitter is a way to stay in touch with people, and yet this tool has become so much more. In fact, he couldn’t have put it in a better way. Social media is no longer just a fun tool to stay in touch — it has grown into so much more.
Do you think public organizations and people should manage their accounts or give them to a team?
Meerman, D. The New Rules of Marketing & PR
Image credit: Microphones