Combining Social Media and PR Efforts

ImageMany companies approach social media in different ways. Different departments are responsible for handling social media and it all depends on the company’s objectives. Scott Elser raised a question in his article Is Social Media Advertising or PR? asking if social media is more PR or advertising.  Elser stressed that there’s no clear answer and that it really depends on what a company wants to get out of social media. If a brand focuses on engagement and communication with its customers, then it is more like PR. When a brand is offering discounts, running sweepstakes to drive sales, etc. then their strategy aligns more with advertising.

The elements of social media that I like the most lend itself more towards PR. If social media and PR work together, they can strengthen each other. The article Bridging the Gap Between Social Media and PR gave great examples like reaching out to reporters or listening to journalists tweets to find the right audience for your company. Social media gives PR an avenue to talk to consumers. More customer service is moving towards social media and PR can be utilized to help form the company’s voice.

According to the article Social Media Matters: PR pros have the perfect partner in social media, social media can also aid PR with pitching stories, staging events, crisis messaging and arranging speaking engagements. Press release should always be pushed out on social media. When an event is being created, social media is a great way to get the word out for attendees and additional press. These few examples go to show that combining social media and PR efforts is a win win situation.

Journalists have a real opportunity to amplify their stories by utilizing social media according to Alyssa Kritsch in Four Ways Social Media is Changing Journalism. They also need to be great listeners when it comes to social media, to be the first one on the scene. Citizen journalists are becoming more of a resource since it is so easy to capture photos and videos from newsworthy events. I can say first hand that journalists in the golf industry like to be the first ones to tweet a piece of breaking news. Their strategy has formed into one where they tweet the news first and then develop a full story on their company’s website that is pushed out via social media after the fact.

Have you ever been a citizen journalist?

What trend do you see journalists using in social media?

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4 thoughts on “Combining Social Media and PR Efforts

  1. Funny you should ask, I don’t know if I have ever been a citizen journalist because most of the things I have posted in a journalistic capacity were while I was working with a news or sports based radio station, TV station or website. However, I think I went somewhat rouge a few times and posted things that would fit into that category. I.E seeing something while walking to class ect.

    Since the misfires of the Boston bombings, I see more and more people waiting to report the right facts. However, it is still not enough.

    • I saw a great example on Twitter this week. A UF journalism student took a photo of Best Buy on fire and it circulated quickly on Twitter. Lots of local Gainesville handles were sharing the photo.

  2. The closest I’ve come to being a citizen journalist are local events that are not really disaster oriented. Realistically, they’d be things that create hype for the ND community and are exciting for our fanbase… so they made some people happy and had some virility to them. Just were not something that would have made it totally global.

    I think we will continue to see journalists using social media in their recaps and accounts, but especially the anonymous accounts. It makes me think of the people providing updates on Twitter of what they knew about the Boston bombers to people– we want our information, and we’ll take it how we can get it. If you can’t get a real byline, you’ll give it to us in the fashion you can.

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