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Monday, July 23, 2012

Some PR techniques used today were even present in the early 1900's. These tried and tested methods have produced results time and time again and will probably continue to be around for a long time. But the balance is starting to shift. The social media revolution has gripped the lives on many people and many industries in many different ways and this is particularly true for the ever-changing dynamics of the PR industry.  

But what does social media have to offer the PR industry?
A great attribute of social media is the ability to monitor online conversations about your company, brand, reputation, products, services...whatever you want! Through utilising tools such as Technorati or Google Blogsearch and initiating keyword alerts through Google Alerts, you can track most conversations that relate to anything that may be of interest to you. Particularly useful for tracking what people really think and (most importantly) are saying about anything to do with your company or brand. As a result of these new technologies, it makes the monitoring of user generated content much simpler. However, it is not easy to stop these conversations from taking place. 

Social media can also be used as a tool to build those all-important relationships with your stakeholders. With all stakeholders able to voice their disapproving opinions to millions of people should you mess them around, using social media to build brand loyalty can be a very powerful weapon in the PR battle. Some companies struggle with pulling this off; some pull it off very well. One such company who manage this well are Coca-Cola who have developed an application that enables people to send a virtual Coca-Cola to friends, nifty. More than 51,000 people have installed this application, and the page itself currently supports 148,000 fans (and growing). This interesting and effective use of social media is a great example of what is making social media continue to grow and makes you wonder just how big social media can become, particularly in the PR industry. It also makes you question whether the use of traditional PR techniques would be just as effective. 

Can traditional PR techniques keep up with the blistering pace that social media has? 
Even though the balance in the PR industry is no doubt shifting towards a heavily "social media" influenced future, the tried and tested PR techniques which has served us so well for all those years will not disappear. They will likely become intertwined with the newer social tactics, making the future for PR a very interesting one.

Author Bio:
Beverley Jane shares her interest of social media on behalf of Berkeley Public Relations Ltd

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