Instagram. What started as an inane site where bored teenagers shared less than perfectly edited…
Public relations dates back to the 1900s and has always been at the forefront of change. Public relations professionals need to be in touch with all the innovations in the media and communications space. The profession has seen a lot of change over the century, and it has always been accepting of new and novel ways to reach out to people.
Table of Contents
How Has Digital Media Impacted Public Relations?
Before the onset of digital media (also known as new media), there were several other different types of media. For one, traditional print media dominated the avenues that public relations management teams could use to their advantage. However, the move away from print media has catapulted us into a digital age where we can consume different formats of content on various platforms and also express ourselves instantly.
This is a double-edged sword for public relations. On the one hand, you have so many different kinds of formats to work with and you can reach audiences more intuitively, but on the other hand, you run the risk of having your strategy work against you in a world that is far more expressive.
Here are 10 ways digital media has changed public relations:
More Ways To Reach Out To Audiences
Digital media has enabled public relations professionals to reach out to audiences and connect with them in novel ways like never before. The democratization of the internet through social media has made public relations a two-way street. When you launch a campaign, you’re no longer only concerned with what you put out, but also how it is received by people. Social media has allowed people to express themselves however they like.
Analytics & Statistics Lead The Way
With traditional forms of media, your scope of assessing the impact that your campaign had on target audiences was very limited. However, come the digital age, that is no longer the case. With analytics and statistics that can be monitored to see how your campaigns are doing in real-time, you always know how good or bad you’re doing.
This gives public relations teams a whole world of data that they never had access to before digital media. This has helped teams build more effective strategies to cater to their clients’ needs. Another aspect that the data and analytics help with is the fine-tuning of strategies and targeting of selected demographics based on age, gender, or other distinguishing parameters.
More Effective Communication
Organizations can make the most of these new modes of communication by connecting with audiences. However, what can be a perfect PR strategy could turn out to be the worst, if executed poorly. There is a lot more at stake now that people can interact with your content and have a voice of their own. Digital media can have even more of an impact on audiences when it’s used in tandem with traditional print media.
Round The Clock Engagement
Social media has made it possible for people to consume and interact with your content from anywhere in the world at any time. This allows brands to interact with so many more prospective clients but at the same time, it also brings with it responsibility. Customers now expect a higher standard of customer service and support from brands. There is a lot at stake for the brand with each customer they deal with.
Everyone Has A Voice Online
Social media gives ordinary folks the opportunity and platform to be heard by millions of people across the globe. The result is that journalism’s scope is widened. The term no longer only means newspaper reportage but has given rise to influencers who command large audiences and can create a really strong impact. Public relations professionals can use influencers as another avenue to get across to people.
More Formats To Work With
Social media has given audiences a platform to consume media in various formats such as photo, video, audio, and text. We’re no longer confined to text and printed images to connect with audiences and there is greater scope for engagement.
Candid & Real Connections
Social media has allowed journalists to take a step back from the rigidity of journalistic etiquette and be more candid with their followers. This allows them to connect with their audience on a more personal level, which is great for public relations. People are more likely to listen to something their favorite influencer has to say instead of anyone in print media.
Greater Consumption Of Media
Studies report that people are using social media more than ever before, averaging 2.5 hours spent on social media every day. This gives marketers and public relations professionals a greater opportunity to reach people.
Capitalizing On Niches
Social media has created niches and communities that center around people with very similar interests. This can be used to aid your public relations strategies by pushing your content through journalists and content creators to specific niches.
Increased Demand For Digital Public Relations Professionals
The impact that social media has on people has led to a surge in the demand for public relations professionals who are well-versed with the digital landscape. Public relations is more relevant now than it has ever been and brands are waking up to this fact.
The world has fundamentally changed over the past decade, especially for public relations professionals. We’ve moved further away from print media and onto the new age of digital media, which has become the norm now. People consume more media online than they do otherwise. This is changing the way public relations management teams work across the world as we wake up to the potential of new media.
Adapting to this change is only only half the battle. Social media takes up a large portion of this new digital world and there are several benefits to incorporating social media into your current PR strategy.
There is no looking back now and social media will continue to reign king as new technologies and innovations are in the works in this constantly evolving world. Social media is here to stay, and public relations professionals must stay on top of the latest developments to maximize their reach as much as possible.
If you want more PR tips and tricks from industry experts, read our guide to public relations that dives into everything you need to know to be successful.