5 Social Media Inspired PR Tips

5 Ways Social Media Changed PR Dissemination

Newspaper distributionPR builds awareness and name recognition cost effectively relative to other forms of marketing. Unfortunately, traditional PR doesn’t work as efficiently as it once did due to traditional media’s decline in staff, influence and audience. Enter social media to help PR deliver organizational messages.

Social media has changed information dissemination in five critical ways. Here they are along with actionable PR tips.

  1. Social media provides the means for information to flow in three different modes: one-to-many, one-to-one or many-to-many  (For more information, click to see the related chart.) Traditional media broadcasts one-to-many and companies communicate to specific customers one-to-one. Generally these communications don’t allow for any response. By contrast, social media enables many-to-many communications as exemplified by Twitter chats or customer reviews as well as one-to-many and one-to-one. Actionable PR Tip: Take the time to assess how to use each of these information flows to your advantage. Further, it’s critical to listen to your target audience.
  2. Social media enables information to be transmitted across three different platforms. They are third party (or traditional media), owned (or internal media) and/or social media. (For more information, click to see the related chart.) While third party media such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines, and owned media such as catalogs, websites, and emailings have existed for years, social media has changed the playing field in the relatively few years it has been around. Social media enables companies as well as individuals to distribute their own tailored messages frictionlessly, without substantial cost. Actionable PR Tip: Use a mix of different platforms and ensure that these tactics always work together.
  3. Social media allows for three different levels of information engagement. Traditional media is a one way communication channel where recipients can’t respond or add their input. Social media enables the recipients of the information to just consume it (aka lurk) but additionally they can add their own points of view by commenting or creating their own content. On social media, there’s generally a 90% just consume information /9% comment on the information / 1% create content ratio. Actionable PR Tip: Engage those participants interested in commenting and creating information to learn more about your target audience and to uncover any potential issues.
  4. Social media expands information distribution beyond one channel. Social media enables users to extend content reach across one or more platforms via social sharing, email, feeds, and/or live events. These information channels can work together or separately – examples are live blogging or tweeting an event. These activities can extend your content reach beyond its direct recipients. Actionable PR Tip: Use more than one channel to spread your message to ensure the maximum number of people see it in the format of their choice.
  5. Social media communicates information both in real time or asynchronously over time. While most traditional media is communicated after the fact, social media enables information and news to be distributed in real time via multiple sources, often by the actual people who are experiencing the event as it unfolds. Further, social media enables these messages to be preserved and makes them searchable. Social media enables a conversation to surround your content in real or lapsed time. Actionable PR Tip: Understand that both organizations and consumers can use their social media networks to distribute their message at anytime. As events change, the public may be inclined to engage with information you provided earlier.

Social media enables your organizational message to spread, often quickly. This attribute can be used to enhance your reach and personal gain. The challenge is that you no longer maintain full control of your information’s release timing and message content. Further there may be other similar conversations competing for your audience’s attention.

In what other ways does social media enhance awareness and brand recognition and why?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bike/3102285113/

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