It is a cliché that the Internet revolutionized our lives but as far as Public Relations are concerned, this is more than true. Thanks to the Internet , in general, and to reliable hosting and social media in particular, old-school PR is becoming history. Of course, nobody forbids you to use old PR tricks to promote a site but if you haven’t discovered yet, social media are more efficient in doing so than traditional PR approaches. In a sense, social media are the upgraded version of public relations. Welcome to PR 2.0!
When we say that social media is better than old-school PR, we mean it. Social media excel traditional PR channels in many ways, some of which are:
1.Social Media Is Cheaper
Most, if not all of the major social media sites you can use to promote your site for free. Even those sites, which offer a paid membership aren’t very expensive and they are still many times cheaper than, for instance, publishing a paid press release in a local newspaper or paying for the hosting of a PR site of your own.
2.Social Media Allow Better Targeting
Another advantage with social media is that it allows for better targeting. For those social media sites, where you have to approve people to get access to your profile (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.), you have a lot of control over who are connected with. What is more, if you join a group (or create one) in your niche, you can get even more targeted in your messages.
3.Social Media Is Fashionable
Nowadays, everybody is on social media. Even Barack Obama and other top politicians are on Facebook and Twitter. Many experts believe that the skillful use of Web 2.0 sites was one of the main reasons why Mr. Obama won the elections.Some like to say that social media is just a trend that will pass, which just isn’t true. Social media is much more than that and it is certainly here to stay.
4.Social Media Have a Wider Reach
In comparison to traditional media, social media reaches a wider audience. Add the incredibly low costs to that and you will realize why social media is many times more efficient than traditional PR. With social media you can reach your audience 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (if of course, the hosting of your social media site doesn’t go down now and then).
5.Social Media Gives More Flexibility
Last, but not least, social media gives you more flexibility. If you have to broadcast an important piece of news, you just post it on your profile and the people in your network will see it right away. With traditional PR, it is not always possible to have such short reaction time and very often updates to an already prepared press release are not possible at all.
The list of advantages with social media over traditional PR could continue indefinitely but it is obvious that even to mention of a few of these advantages is enough to convince any old-school PR expert to jump on the social media wagon.
I’m actually studying a MSc in Strategic Public Relations and Communications Management at University of Stirling and thought it was vital to do a module on Digital PR. You only have to look at PR Week and see the demand for employees with experience in digital media. As the world gets smaller in communication terms, I think it is vital for organisations to take the internet seriously. It helps with communicating with stakeholders in real time and in situations where there is a possibility of a crisis, e.g. Easyjet communicating with customers through the Iceland Volcanic Ash cloud that is preventing flights in European air space.
However, this doesn’t mean the complete end of traditional channels of communications – a mixture of both old and new is worth having.
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Exactly that’s what i think
In the last 3 months facebook really send huge traffic to my blog..
Nice post. On the section: 4.Social Media Have a Wider Reach, I might take exception to that for the following reason: A number of people, companies, and developers set up facebook, twitter, and other social media paths, but see little or no result whatsoever. Because of this, more traditional “networking” methods allow for the building up of a social base from which to target. Social media alone does little or nothing for a site that is invisible.
I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…
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