Businesses may question the necessity of public relations in a sphere dominated by the latest tweet, the most recent Instagram post, and the explosive popularity of Facebook. Rather than acting upon public relations and social media as an either/or situation, it is optimal to plan how they can dovetail together, where one network complements the other.
While social media may amplify the company’s message, public relations is the cornerstone of creating what the actual message is. Think of that communication as an unfolding of the company story – as it is this masterful storytelling that is the foundation of a successful communications campaign.
Companies have two choices of how their story unfolds. 1) They can generate their own story. This includes content for a new product introduction, merger or acquisition news, IPO, hiring of a key C-suite executive, or new business structure or direction. They can write and distribute a news release or other company generated blog or article or write content for their own website. 2) Brands can also respond to articles of interest to propel their company message. Examples include creating an article based on a hot industry trend or inserting themselves into a popular economic or societal topic and writing an article based on their position on the subject.
Whereas witty, enlightening, and unusual headlines, videos, and images can be highly effective via social media, the public relations’ prose is needed. For a new product release, for example, product details, such as its form, fit, function, features, and key benefits are integral for the editor to pay attention. An article that describes a new business process can be enhanced with graphical elements; however, the written word is very much appreciated. Without details clearly outlined in black and white, the media may easily bypass the news release for one that provides the necessary product attributes and company details.
Effective public relations strategists have taken their cue from social media. With a well written news release, blog or article, the intersection of public relations and social media can really take flight. A product launch that incorporates a product rich news release can more readily be shared via social media. It is simple when the product attributes are provided in one piece.