Does PR Support Social or Vice Versa?

Public relations has been transformed by social media. As news media evolved to digital distribution platforms in the early 2000′s the value of a well placed article via traditional public relations efforts also evolved. No longer was a call to the local beat writer to arrange a lunch with your CEO or CMO the most effective way to ensure your story / angle received coverage in the next day’s paper. Digital media created an entirely new ecosystem of opportunity for pr practitioners and the introduction of social media only widened the field even further by creating a new universe of prospective syndication networks by which a message might reach its intended audience. The question I have is how has this paradigm shift in the media landscape effected the value of news.

Combining the explosion of “media” outlets with social media syndication has made it more challenging to reach a large audience through one interview, news release or advertisement. The Super Bowl and other iconic media appointments offer a unique ability to reach a massive audience and that has been the strategy for Century 21 Real Estate, but we have also selected targets that have the potential to earn media well beyond the activation date. Take a look at some of the best work we achieved in 2012 and 2013.

Maximizing ROI on paid intiatives is key to the pr/sm function and it always has been for pr, but the definition of ROI is changing. I often hear my peers struggling to make sense of this new reality, but in my mind today’s media environment has exponentially increased demand for talented communication professionals. The role of the PR professional has now morphed from corporate executives employed by large corporations to that of community manager or consumer engagement specialist. There are many more opportunities for talented flaks now than there were 10 or 20 years ago. The overlap between paid, owned and earned media opportunities in the digital space has created a void that today’s mass comm graduate is ideally suited to fill.

So, does PR support Social or Vice Versa? Yes, but it is not that simple. Interactive, sales, training, HR, Marketing and Operations all have a stake in PR and Social Media. Figuring out how all these stakeholders can play in the same sandbox and achieve their own individual objectives while at the same time achieving the overall corporate objectives is the true goal of the modern communication professional.

Sender – Message – Channel – Receiver “Same as it ever was.”

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