The past decade has seen a rapid increase in the use of social media as it is now regarded as “beneficial” / “essential” for business growth. Just like traditional advertising, the growth of businesses on social media is hinged on Public Relations.
In many ways, there has been a significant impact of social media on PR. Firstly, it has facilitated ease of communication between brands and their target audience. Previously, brands simply communicated through the press without necessarily getting a feedback from their audience. But with social media, it’s easy to establish a connection and keep the conversation going with customers – which in turn builds consumer loyalty.
With the rise of social media, also came the creation of a new niche of individuals that have built wide following and are tagged “influencers”. The use of influencer marketing is one valuable way to improve brand awareness. PR professionals can easily reach out to influencers to promote their represented brands to a wider audience thereby meeting the PR goal of building brand visibility and connection with the target audience.
Additionally, social media has also greatly impacted the aspect of crisis communication. Because bad news travels very fast on social media, PR professionals need to be on their toes as they have to monitor each platform closely to ensure that the reputation of the brand they represent is protected. PR professionals also have an easier access to journalists, celebrities and other influential personalities. Prior to this, PR professionals may have gone through a long processes to meet journalists and celebrities physically, but with social media, they can easily reach out to them through their profile, deliver an impressive pitch and persuade them to create awareness for the brands they represent.
Overall, social media has made mostly positive impact on the public relations industry with impressive results to show for it.