Social media has indeed changed the way public relations practitioners go about their job. Although many roles have stayed the same, social media allows for a higher level of functionality to their jobs and is more appealing on levels of audience engagement.
Social media is a relatively new tool for the public relations industry, but having said that, it has exploded over the last few years with the majority of the world being signed up to some sort of social media site such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc. It is basically a new medium for practitioners to reach more consumers, it serves as a base to get a product or message “out there” to create a buzz about it.
Social media is also a useful tool for branding. If a public a public practitioner wanted an endorsement for a particular product, they could simply send a celebrity a product they are trying to market largely and if the celebrity happens to like it, they’re set. The celebrity could post a picture of the product or talk about it on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and next thing you know more people are buying the product because they look up to this celebrity figure and think it must be good if they’re buying it.
Having said that, social media is also a great place for logo placement and product placement. Logos that represent a product or company can be posted to social networks and therefore easily be recognised by people of the public, and when they see that product in the real world they may have more of a chance of buying the product because they already know what it is and what its about. This may also work subliminally.
The main advantage of using social media for public relations is the access to the diverse audience anywhere, anytime. Back when the internet didn’t exist it was hard to share or market a message or product. This can now be done by the click of a button to potentially thousands of people.