Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Social PR - The New Age PR

The Indian PR landscape is continuously evolving and it's fascinating to see clients adapt to the
integration of our digital efforts. As a communications consultant we need to realize that today, majority of our audience is online and we need to think of different ways to reach out to them.

Digital media and technology has paved way for innovation and creativity in our communications approach and we should embrace these new media platforms and tools. This evolution has given birth to what we call today as 'Social PR.'

While the clients are realizing the value of communicating to the stakeholders in an integrated approach - bringing online and offline together, PR professionals in India still seem to be reticent to this change. Of course, change isn't easy and it takes a while to adapt and evolve with change but if we don't embrace this change "now", we might not be relevant in the industry for too long.

How is Social PR different from Traditional PR?

"The principles of good PR don't change. What makes Social PR different is that it uses technology to socialize our work." - @Shonali

Social PR goes beyond social media platforms and is about conversation, engagement, connection and collaboration with the community that matters to you/ your brand. It also means reaching out to the right community and audience through online news portals and blogs.

"Social PR is just a cool way to spice up PR to make it more efficient" @IvaIgnjatovic

The new age PR/ Social PR is about identifying the right influencers to build a community of like minded people.

It's like creating a safety net for your brand

If you empower and educate the community, be honest and transparent with them, they will stand by you at all times. They can become a brand's biggest ambassadors and can help you reach where you want to be.

Everyone on social media is an influencer in some regard and it's imperative to listen and identify the real influencers for your brand. A real influencer doesn't necessarily need to have a huge social following, but should definitely resonate with the brand's message and should have a strong hold of the content and engagement with his/her community. 

Social PR content strategy is built keeping in mind not just the media but a larger set of stakeholders

In my opinion, content strategy for Social PR should be crafted in a way to spark conversations, not just with the media but with a larger audience and community. Social also gives the ability to re-purpose content which isn't usually the case in regular PR. Content for social can be targeted much more accurately as compared to that of regular PR.

To incorporate meaningful conversations on social, it is very important to listen to what your audience needs, wants and desires. Unless you learn to listen, it will be hard to crack the Social PR strategy.

With the rise in Social PR, a question that's often asked is whether there will be a fall in media relations. In my opinion, the role of media will still be very crucial and important to the overall PR strategy. However, the way media relations is conducted will change overtime.

Who is considered as media is also changing with the rise of influencers

A Social PR strategy will include targeting the influencers and media will be a sub-set of those influencers.

Given the changing dynamics of the communications landscape, it's important for communication professionals to understand that Social PR is just an extension of PR. To stay relevant in the industry and provide strategic communication counsel to the clients, we need to change our mindset, believe in the power of integrating marketing, embrace and accept this change with open arms.

What do you think?

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