Public Relations is hard to define to other people outside of the industry. I find it hard myself to describe to friends and family when they ask what I am studying in school. There is a misconception that PR is just advertising mixed with marketing but it’s not as simple as that. Though that may be somewhat true, I found that social media is what set PR apart from journalism, advertising and marketing. The way PR uses social media now just makes the entire industry just make more sense.
Social media promotes direct communication with customers allowing issues to be resolved faster and more efficiently. I was naïve about how impactful social media was till I read THIS. Some feel social media exposes too much personal information about our lives yet it is for this reason it is a great tool for PR professionals. It’s personal and cuts out the “middle men”.
Again I will get on my soap box about exploiting the system. As PR professionals (or aspiring professions in my case) we should refrain from using social media to gain publicity through unethical means. Cough Cough Miley Cyrus Cough Cough.
However, publicity stunts are not necessarily bad. Social media allows for companies to reach a great number of people at a faster rate than traditional methods. In fact, Snickers used Twitter to propel their campaign, “You’re not you when you’re hungry” in the UK. They hijacked a celebrity’s Twitter and discussed issues that were off color for the particular celebrity linking viewers to Snicker’s Twitter page. Genius! They were able to reach 1.5 million of the celebrity’s fans simultaneously.
In conclusion: Social media propelled the PR industry and set us apart from the rest. Ah how I love technology.