Katie's Blog

Thoughts of a PR student

Social Media: The New Wave of PR? February 8, 2012

Filed under: PRCA 3030 — rebekahkatherine @ 4:15 pm

Social media has changed public relations in so many ways. For one, a public relations professional no longer just writes press releases and hopes they are put in the newspaper. We have direct contact with our audience by way of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and even Pinterest! Being able to use those social media sites and knowing that our audience is already there sure does make things simpler but it’s not always a good thing. Managing a Twitter feed for a company and keeping up with a Facebook page seems easy enough. I mean we all have a Facebook and Twitter account and know how to use them. Yet, updating your own Facebook status and tweeting about your own life are a lot easier than having to do the same for a company. I’m helping to create the Twitter account for my internship site, as well as updating their Facebook page and it’s a lot of work! Coming up with topics to discuss that will engage your publics is not as easy as trying to engage your friends on your own personal social media accounts.

Having a background in public relations is essential to using social media for a company. Those people are trained to know what to say, how to engage in conversation with customers, and how to handle a crisis and deal with complaints and compliments in a professional manner. It’s not just a job for anyone and those attempting to handle social media without the proper knowledge could get overwhelmed by it. If a customer makes a rude comment on Facebook, someone without the PR knowledge might handle the situation poorly and not only lose that person as a customer but anyone else who visited the page and saw the interaction. Not having a clear understanding of social media and how it benefits you can end up hurting the company in the long run. It’s best just to go with a PR person to handle the social media.

In today’s social media craze, not choosing to engage in customers that way is the worst thing to do. A company not having a Facebook or Twitter may seem out of touch and detract customers.


8 Responses to “Social Media: The New Wave of PR?”

  1. dchesh Says:

    You’re right about not having a social media page like Facebook or Twitter. These days, if a company (or even a person for that matter) doesn’t have one, people assume you don’t want to interact with them. It might not be true, but that’s how it rubs off.

  2. The creation of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites has definitely made reaching the public much easier for PR professionals, and that comes with so many benefits! But I too, have noticed that it is NOT easy to keep up a company’s site. You constantly have to respond to people’s comments, tweets, etc., find new things to post or talk about, and have something to say…all the time.

  3. PR practitioners are the ones who should be updating the social media sites of these companies. It reminds me of what we learned in class the other week about there being different types of complainers and how important it is to determine who these people are and how to categorize them. When you know that you will deal with them differently based upon what category they fall into. This is something the average person updating a site does not think of and may just react on impulse to which can definitely drive away customers.

  4. Cait Bailey Says:

    It’s so true, social media enables us to have DIRECT contact with our audience at all times. But does this make this easier or harder on the PR professional? I would say that social media has definitely helped the PR world, but while studying our social media clients for PRCA 3030, I’ve learned that lots of tweets, comments, posts are often ignored, and not unintentionally. Instead, it’s because it’s almost impossible to deal with millions of complaints, praises, questions a day. I feel that through this feedback, the company can get a better general consensus of what is needed from them, what changes/improvements need to be made, etc. Great post, Katie!

  5. marleymizell Says:

    I agree with what Rachel just commented. It is so hard keeping up with replying with all those comments or questions. It is hard enough keeping up with my own Facebook and Twitter accounts. But companies should definitely hire a PR person to manage all of that. When not having an understanding with certain methods and ways of communicating, it can be lethal for the company.

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