Social Media is not the Same as PR

Marketing Tools PR and Social Media have Different Benefits and Challenges

There has been such an recent wave toward social media by many who are looking for answers to improving their marketing. Since it is so easy to do things like instantly get more instagram followers, this really is no surprise at all. It seems now that Facebook and Twitter are so popular that it is almost too tempting to focus your marketing communications on just social media. I think this would be a big mistake.

[pullquote]There are differences and the similarities in the strategy and the results…[/pullquote]I used to have organizations calling me to speak about how to use PR to improve marketing and sales results. Now most of the speaking requests that I receive are to present how to strategically use social media for marketing your business or how to integrate social media into an existing marketing campaign.

Social media is a powerful tool for some businesses, but I don’t think that by itself social media replaces a PR program or advertising campaign. If your company is looking for a social media management agency, it may be worth you checking out something like CommsLab for more information. Similarly, businesses or individuals may be looking for a dedicated account manager for their content output on Instagram. Companies like Upleap can help grow instagram followers and drive more sales.

There are differences and the similarities in the strategy and the results from using public relations and using social media in your marketing program.

Social Media:

  • For a good social media campaign, there has to be discussion and conversation.
  • The best social media programs use the format (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Digg etc) that most of the customers like to use.

Public Relations:

  • You can control the content of a press release, but you can’t control what social media comments or even the news stories that are developed as a result of your release.
  • Press releases can help tell the full story, something that is difficult to do in 140 characters.
  • I see using social media as a distribution channel for press releases (as well as PR photos and promoting events as well)

Do you find that social media trying to take over your PR efforts? And do you view this as a good thing? Or are you just running out of time in your marketing communications so you’ve cut back on traditional PR and substituted social media. I like this article from Social Media Examiner that compares and contracts Social Media And Public Relations.

(I wonder if social media will ever reach the point where it’s an abbreviation, like PR? I’ve had people ask me if PR stands for press release or public relations… But if we just call it SM, people might that SM is short for Sales & Marketing. )

Author: Chris Brown

Business owner operating a marketing consulting firm. Online Publisher. Keynote Speaker.

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