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BFFs? How PR And Social Media Go Hand-in-Hand

Most recognize that public relations is important, but is it more than just writing press releases?

Absolutely.

As defined by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), “it is a communications discipline that engages and informs key audiences, builds important relationships and brings vital information back into an organization for analysis and action.”

In fact, PR involves much more than getting press coverage, and because social media is tailor-made for communicating and engaging with your public, it’s increasingly part of the PR toolbox.

You’re probably already using some forms of social media to help meet your PR goals, build your business and grow your thought leadership online.

Crossing over

But now there’s evidence that even the most traditional of PR roles – the targeting of traditional media – is being impacted by the social media space. A national survey has found that an overwhelming majority of reporters and editors now depend on social media sources when researching their stories:

  • 89% said they turn to blogs for story research
  • 65% to social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn
  • 52% to microblogging services such as Twitter

Research and references with a difference

What does this mean? For example, a journalist now will often look at recent blog posts to get a feel for an organization’s positioning before writing a story. If you are in a consulting business, they may review your LinkedIn profile to get a feel for your qualifications, or research Twitter to see what others say about you.

This means that even when you’re trying to get attention from traditional print and broadcast media, social media plays a critical role in your visibility and outreach.

For those of us running our own businesses and interested in obtaining new clients and customers, social media is no longer optional. A single home base –which, depending on your business, could be a blog, a LinkedIn profile, or maybe even a presence on a review site like Yelp – is necessary at a minimum to spread the word.

Are you at a loss as to where to begin?

If you’d like some more background on social media and the role it now plays in promoting your business, check out these resources:

What role do you think social media will play in public relations (agree or disagree)?  What resources would you add to the list?

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Image: Josh Kenzer, Creative Commons

Kellye CraneKellye Crane is an accomplished, award-winning communicator with more than 20 years of experience in strategic public relations, social media, and marketing communications. An in-demand speaker, Kellye addresses the intersection of social media and PR on her Solo PR Pro blog, which serves as a resource for those working as independent consultants — and those who’d like to be. She’s frequently listed as one of the top 100 PR pros to follow on Twitter.


    1. ITA Public relations and social media have tremendous crossover, as both are part of larger marketing communications strategies. I've learned a lot from social media that I've applied to PR, and what I know of PR just enhances SM efforts. Done right, integration is win-win. FWIW.

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    2. Thanks Kellye. I often tell my clients that social media is merely another tool in the public relations tool box. That's not to downplay the emphasis on social media but more to assure them that we can all play together. It's really a matter of creating the correct mix for the client, based on careful planning.

      2
    3. ITA Public relations and social media have tremendous crossover, as both are part of larger marketing communications strategies. I've learned a lot from social media that I've applied to PR, and what I know of PR just enhances SM efforts. Done right, integration is win-win. FWIW.

      3
    4. Thanks Kellye. I often tell my clients that social media is merely another tool in the public relations tool box. That's not to downplay the emphasis on social media but more to assure them that we can all play together. It's really a matter of creating the correct mix for the client, based on careful planning.

      4
    5. Very true, and I think this is why PR's vital role in social media efforts is no longer debated the way it was a year ago (hard to believe there was a time when this was controversial!).

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    6. You raise a great point about the fact that this can be reassuring. You don't have to be afraid – PR pros who are good communicators can provide an integrated approach that includes social media.

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