PR is no longer just a one way direction of business image information – social media has turned main street into a multi-lane highway in which information travels back and forth at radical speeds. Conversations are generated at the click of the response button and the public itself is now a primary part of public relations activities.
The conversation is public relations
So in essence, we the public are now a big part of corporate public relations. Publicity is no longer something that is generated by the company or its PR department itself; it is often in the hands of the people and customers who are only speaking their opinions. From blogs to comments, just a few lines of text and a picture will play a big part in a company’s image.
#1. Have a valid place in the conversation
Consumers talk about brands every day. While it may not be the first place they look, eventually consumers visit a brand or manufacturer’s web site to find information about a product. Be sure to offer information that answers questions.
#2. Use your voice and have an opinion
Think about “voice.” How does your voice tie in with your conventional advertising? What are you doing and saying on the website? Are you reflecting your brand’s personality across your entire communications strategy? Listen to what people are saying about you, and have an opinion.
#3. Be relevant
Understand what’s important to consumers as they talk about your product. Then be relevant when responding to their needs.
#4. Be responsible
You can have all kinds of modes of communication with people, but they’ll only appreciate it if you’re up front about who you are. Be responsible about your identity.
#5. Remember that it’s a social interaction
Always keep in mind that when people make a decision about something, it very seldom happens in isolation.
The image you want- the image they create
So what can you do to make the move towards benefiting from social media public relations?
For starters, make sure that you have pages on popular social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, and be sure that these pages are well-maintained. No one wants to “not be heard” so make sure that if some is talking to you- talk back. The worst thing you can do is leave a page to the unguided hands of the public.
Because our everyday customer now has the ability to publish with the power to change the image of your company, presenting an image to the public that influences them towards positive action is the next step in the public relations world. Things are changing, but they change to make us better and help our audience to help us right back.