Social media has become the hub of communication between large percentages of the world’s population. From a Public Relations perspective, the simplicity, ease and immediacy that social media outlets offer to its users give the field a new two-way conversational facelift that was long overdue.
How has the social media boom changed the ways of PR?
The new face of Crisis Management:
A crisis can make or break an organisation; however if handled correctly, the reputation of an organization can be saved and even strengthened. An example of this can be seen from KFC in Malaysia. A staff member was filmed tampering with the chicken and the video went viral on YouTube and Facebook. The prompt responses by the brand on a range of social media outlets showed that they were committed to rectifying the issue and reiterated to customers of the changes made to ensure that the issue won’t happen again.
Monitoring the progress:
Social media is a fantastic tool for organizations to get their customers talking about them. There are many tools available to help monitor the activity of an organisation through their social media outlets. Google Alerts, twilerts, Social mention and SproutSocial are all web-based tools that notify the brand when anything related to them is mentioned online. This is a great way of finding out where a brand is sitting in terms of positive/ negative comments and can help a brand improve any issues.
Promoting Brand Awareness:
Whether consumers are checking in on Facebook, blogging or tweeting about products they like or dislike- does the saying “any publicity is good publicity” rings a bell? Social media can be a great way of promoting an organisation to the wider public. Running online competitions, advertising new products and promoting events boosts brand awareness, creates interest and increase traffic to the social media site. It gives the public an incentive to like, follow or share the brand, consumers have the opportunity to try their products and if you’re lucky, win something for free!
The influence the two-way communication of social media has on the Public Relations profession is exponential. Today, people expect real time information. The various social media outlets allow its users to access information from all over the world, no matter what the time. It’s a field Public relations practitioners are taking advantage of and the influences are exponential to the role.
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