The answer might not be the one you were expecting. There is a growing perception, in the PR industry and beyond, that blog articles, Instagram posts or Tweets — if enough people view them — are just as valuable or effective as getting a quote in the New York Times.
Whatever your social media strategy, don’t be fooled by the hype. Indeed, while social media is a brilliant tool for augmenting PR efforts and can serve as an amplifier for your campaigns, it is far from the PR panacea it is being made out to be.
Greg Galant, the CEO of the website Muckrack that connects PR practitioners with journalists, gives the following advice on digital outreach: “Boring doesn’t work on social media. The last thing you want to do is take a press release and post it to a social network. It’s much better to tailor your announcement in a human way for each social network your audience will care about.
On Twitter, come up with an exciting way to say your announcement in 107 characters, remember you’ll need to save 23 characters for your link. Find a great image related to your announcement to include on your posts in Instagram and Pinterest. Make a 6-second video About You announcement on Vine. Even on social networks where you can posts a lot of text, like Facebook and Tumblr, don’t post a press release.
Rewrite it without the jargon, stock quotes, and meaningless phrases as though you’re telling a friend why your announcement matters.”
Here’s some bonus advice on the side: get punchier with your prose, perhaps by imagining your headline as a Tweet. According to the Princeton Review, digital PR is about “developing strong relationships with all the players in your social graph.
The techniques include SEO, content development, social media, online newsrooms, websites, blogs, and online media coverage.” Social media and content can rapidly have an effect on your reputation — in both a positive or negative way.
Author and digital media expert David Meerman Scott underscores the importance of speed and relevance. Scott recommends these actions: “Blog your take on the news, Tweet it using an established hashtag, send a real-time media alert, hold a live or virtual news conference, and directly contact a journalist who might be interested.” Indeed, it appears that rather than threatening to replace traditional media, social media efforts rely on many of the same foundations laid by traditional media.
The relationship, then, is symbiotic, where the lines between new and old have become so blurred that it almost seems redundant to view the two as separate entities. So what do you think?
Traditional or social media, or has it become necessary to create a fresh label for our new normal?
Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5W Public Relations