Social media has forever changed the playing field for all aspects of PR & Marketing. What once involved mailing campaigns, along with some special ads on television or radio, has become a world where you create one ad and it can be viewed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, and your email. Ads follow you around based on your browsing history, and because of these changes, Media Relations has drastically changed. One of the biggest changes is the increased customer focus and higher engagement with the customer base directly. Social Media is where the consumer lives, and the smart PR person leverages this, while also tying in influencers, to create a well rounded digital plan.
According to an article by 5W, a PR firm, there are 5 significant ways that Social media changed the PR game. One important way is keeping the PR cost low for small businesses, and this includes independent authors, one of the biggest small businesses of the last few years. Before social media, you had to take your book manuscript and send it off to different publishing houses in hopes of getting picked up, now there are pitching days specifically on Twitter where indie author pitch their book to big publishing houses, and indy publishing houses alike with hiring an agent, or spending any excess money.
The benefit of this is more promotion. Before if you wanted to promote your client’s new book, you’d need to do the legwork to find an in at a news station. Now, with social media, bloggers have become influencers in such a large way. In exchange for a copy of a novel, bloggers and vloggers are willing to take your book and possibly promote it to all their followers and friends. For example, the vlogger below – Tiny Reads – has a YouTube following of over 3,000 people, and constantly reads and reviews books. In times before social media, reaching 3,000 would cost quite a bit in the promotion, but now, all it costs is an email, a copy of a book, and many some exclusive items to giveaway! The advent of digital media has made media relations an evolving thing because no one is quite sure who the media really is.
Another benefit of this is to continue to craft a relationship with traditional print and video journalists in a new way. Instead of pitching via email, you can now pitch via Twitter or Facebook message. Hooking media into your plan is much more of a tech-savvy choice as according to Cision’s 2015 Global Social Journalism Study, 94 percent of journalists are using social media on a daily basis — with 67 percent spending up to two hours a day. In the U.S., 25 percent of journalists report that they use social media to make new contacts and 12 percent report that they have published stories based on information found on social media. Though PR has been a thriving industry way before the advent of social media, there is no doubt that social media is changing the game for PR professionals.