In the world we live in today, it is difficult for our voices to be heard, but it is paramount to our success in creating and maintaining relationships. Sometimes it seems that our own voices are being drowned out by the billion others in the technological world we live in and we are left asking ourselves how our voice could possibly be unique enough. Sometimes it is difficult to find the time to perfect that voice.
This is why Social Media PR is so important for the modern entity, from the most international of companies to my Mother. I mention my Mother because ever since my sister and I left our Hawaiian home for college on the west coast, my Mother’s participation in social media has increased. But knowing my Mother, she doesn’t actually have time for all of this. So for the past couple of years, every time I am back in Hawaii, my Mother says she is happy that I am home, partly because I am her son, but mostly because I am her own personal unpaid PR intern. From working at Vantage to being my Mother’s PR intern, I have learned a lot about social media PR. So here are three ways social media has changed PR in 2015.
P is for Participation.
Executing public relations for clients depends on another letter P – participation. When a client finds themselves buried under the loud voices of the corporate and growing digital world, it takes participation in the digital world to create public relations for the client. Participation is the key word here because 2015 social media PR does not just mean presenting oneself to the public, it means going back and forth with the public and eventually creating a relationship with them. It’s not just about posting a picture on Instagram or posting an article with an online publisher, it’s about liking other Instagrams, responding to comments, and reading other articles on news sites and online publishers. This takes time and it is easy to be overwhelmed by what is expected, but it’s important not to be overwhelmed. Rather, one should embrace the notifications as they are signs of advertising, awareness, conversations, and overall integration of oneself or one’s product into the technological world. This is what my Mom has done and now when I get in the car after being picked up from the airport, I see her phone beeping, flashing, and vibrating with text messages and Facebook notifications. My Mom created a Facebook account to maintain communication with my Sister and I, but now she has ten times more tweets and instas in a week than I do in a month!
Your voice is unique.
In order for successful PR, it is required to be present through several different channels. At one time for my Mother, this was annual Christmas cards and daily emails, but now successful PR is through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Though social media allots for one’s voice to be heard by more people than just one or two recipients, it is becoming more and more challenging for that task to actually be achieved. This goes for corporations and brands as well. In order for successful PR, one must realize that their voice is unique. It is necessary that this voice is not only heard, but recognized as a unique voice and evolves as such. The days of a company only having to send out an edited, well thought out, monthly newsletter to its customers are dwindling. While frequent participation in social community and social publishing sites is expected it is still important to maintain that well thought out and edited voice.
PR isn’t just for you.
Sometimes brands look at PR as a form of brand awareness, but it is more than just that. In participating in the modern forms of PR, one is immediately and directly giving a part of their services, a part of their brand, to the public. When I end up on my Mother’s phone more than my own while on vacation in Hawaii, I am never annoyed because I’m thankful my Mother has embraced what the technological world that we live in today requires in order to create and maintain successful relationships. When a client recently wanted to start their own Instagram and Pinterest page, it wasn’t just about increasing brand awareness, it was also about helping people realize and begin to take part in their overall mission. Often integrating into the social media world helps people see one’s brand as a digital identity that is social and helpful, even modeling the everyday user of social community and social publishing networks.
Sometimes the way social media is so integrated into our everyday lives can be discouraging. When I take Bart back from SFO after returning from Hawaii, I want to roll my eyes at the number of people staring into their phones. I think to myself, look up and discover your newest best friend!. But then my phone vibrates with a new Instagram notification. It’s an Instagram picture my Mother just posted of me in between my parents with the caption “Miss him already”. I’m a proud son and a proud PR intern.