Public Relations Before Social Media

by Tonya McKenzie

Before you post your newest business accomplishment, read this!

Public relations is the art of cultivating and maintaining a positive image for a person or business in the public arena.  Anybody looking to be viewed as a good businessman/woman, civil servant or just a good person should be cognizant of how people perceive them. If there is a negative view, you must have a crisis PR strategy. If you are viewed positively, you must engage in a strategy to maintain or even improve that image. If you have a neutral position in the public eye, you would want to engage in a very proactive PR strategy to gain a more favorable image. Either way, all professionals should have an element of PR in their professional and personal life.

In today’s society, a person is quick to run to social media and post their news directly to their platform. That is great self-promotion. However, if you would like to see a greater reaction, and long-term results from your accolades, it is important to add a public relations strategy to your business operations. This would include press releases and case studies to related outlets. Public relations creates a better path of communications between an organization and its target audience.  It can also garner the attention of those that you would like to reach and influence that has yet to pick up on what you are doing. You have to think, you have potential customers and clients that still may not know about you and what you do. How will you reach them if all you do is post to your direct sphere of influence? Media outlets don’t want repurposed content. They would prefer to have fresh, unpublished content.

Social media CAN do the same thing if what you are sharing is something that can go viral and shared over and over again with the possibility of reaching beyond your direct sphere of influence. You have to understand that there is more work to be done and more touches that have to take place for it to extend as far as it would if the information went through traditional media, a blog or other outlet besides your own.

Best results are obtained when you use public relations in conjunction with your social media. It is a combination that catapults your profile, reputation, and credibility exponentially. Why is it so potent? In public relations, the media is seen as an unbiased player, delivering credible information to the general public. Your social media is a direct relationship that you have developed with your personal audience. Directly using platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you’re cutting out the third party endorsement and offering your information directly. It is a much quicker, more direct route of communication to a very targeted and limited audience who have chosen to engage with you and your brand on social media. You are the direct source of news about you. It does not have the same feel as a neutral outlet communicating the information out to the public.

Because of how fast social media moves, missteps can happen and cause a real social media crisis. It can lead to negative press coverage, ruined relationships, and a stained public image. So, you want to make sure that whatever information that you put out is verifiable and well vetted. Before submitting anything to a media outlet or your personal accounts, think about the questions that a person might as if reading it. Fill in the blanks and leave the reader as informed as possible.

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For media inquiries or if you would like more information about this topic, please contact Tonya McKenzie at | Twitter: @TonyaMcKenziePR | Instagram: @TonyaMcKenziePR

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