PR is getting what you’ve got into the hearts and minds of people who need it most. And one way to do that is via social media. Social media is a powerful PR tool but social media itself, is not PR. PR is the strategic effort to build reputation in the right way, at the right time with the right people so that it will bring you everlasting rewards long past the PR tactic itself.
Public Relations is a holistic approach to building a brand and business. And we can choose our adventure when it comes to doing this on behalf of our clients. Of course the adventure we choose depends on the budget, lead-time, problems we’re solving and the ideal outcomes.
Make sense? Ok, let me put it this way. PR is platform-agnostic. A great public relations professional shouldn’t prescribe you to any particular tactic i.e. publicity based on a loyalty to it (or in some cases a limitation of knowledge and experience outside of the tactic they steer you towards); they should prescribe the best tactic and tool for you based on your budget and ideal outcomes.
A public relations professional who prescribes every client with a publicity plan is like seeing a physio who prescribes every patient with the same treatment plan. Somehow many PR professionals and their clients have come to expect that media relations is the only and rightful way to solve PR problems for businesses and build brand. It isn’t. PR is tactic and platform agnostic. The quicker client and consultant can understand this, the more at peace our industry will be and greater impact our efforts will achieve for all who take-up PR as an investment. Don’t let clients default your capabilities into a 1990s approach to PR that no longer works.
– Jade Roberts, raraPR founder.
So while PR pros are pulling levers on social media management more and more (as as the gate-keepers of comms and storytellers of brand; are best placed to be!) there are major differences between PR and social media.
They should be seen as partners in crime, or thick as thieves really, perhaps BFFs is a better analogy. They both ideally stitch together to drive brand awareness, influence, social impact and social responsibility; but in essence they’re really very different.
Social media is a single focused communications tactic, whereas PR is holistically considering the entire communications, multi-channel strategy. Social media execution is almost just silly unless it;s thoughtfully aligned to your broader PR and business strategy efforts. However a PR strategy that includes social media as part of the marketing mix equals high-level impact and rewarding new business acquisition outcomes. It’s no longer ok to be ok with ‘not wanting to be on social media’ if you are a business owner.
While one day we will look back and laugh at this era of seen, being seen insanity, for now and for the long-term future however, social media is here to stay. And PR, while always evolving, and shape-shifting will move with the attention economy wherever it goes.
It’s crazy when we see businesses executing on social but not thoughtfully considering PR as a whole or vice versa. The synergy between the two must be maintained so that businesses big and small can maximise on the huge rewards from a PR strategy which includes a cohesive, consistent and meaningful social media piece as part of its communications puzzle.
So for PR wannabes, or business owners wondering whether you should choose PR over social media; well put it this way, social media is a PR tactic and doesn’t work to its fullest capacity without the backdrop of a thoughtful PR strategy. You need a PR strategy first and always, long before just social media but very much as part of the complete PR dance.
Social media is used to build and maintain trust in a company, so it’s only natural that the two must be singing the same song. They compliment and compound the impact of each other. They’re not mutually exclusive. They’re the same, same but different. Not whole without each other. Or at least not for now.
raraPR is above all the sum of people who together help build brands and share stories. We are present in our determination to make a positive difference to the world by representing individuals and businesses that are doing good. We are an extension of the personal stories within us, those that we exist for and those within you that need to be heard.
DIY PR TEMPLATES TO UP-LEVEL YOUR PR
For support with securing the PR tools you need in your business to up-level your approach and systemise, be sure to visit our SHOP to browse the PRBYYOU collection of DIY PR products, templates, tools and strategies that we use at raraPR.