Do PR Rules Apply to Social Media?

Do PR Rules Apply to Social Media?

This post contributed by Jessica Gomez.

Image from: V3im

A respected colleague of mine posed this question of applying PR rules to social media to me recently. Despite the numerous years spent in the industry, I paused and thought…What are the rules to PR? In the past, public relations could symbolically be represented by the one-directional communication vehicle known as the press release. Really though, amongst the array of evolving digital tools, a PR rule generally delves into the scope of expert messaging on all outbound communication for brands. That being said, I am going to keep this simple – yes, PR rules DO apply to social media.

Overall Marketing Strategy
Generally, companies should think of PR functionalities as a part of their overall marketing strategy, and social media should be an important element as such. The line blurs on who should own running social media: your PR agency or in-house marketing? Nonetheless, all individuals who handle any outbound communications should be on the same set of overall company priorities. If the overall communication strategy is not cohesively being channeled through your marketing/PR/social media folks, you can miss important opportunities. For example, potential sales, responding to customer service questions and receiving feedback that could make your company’s products/services evolve from good to great.

Two-directional Communication
Against the backdrop of the social web, PR rules are shifting from one-directional communication models to facilitating, listening and responding models. Listening and responding, or what most industry folks refer to asengagement,” is being explored on the web through social media. It is an important communication channel to both marketers and publicists, which is why both should be interested in the evolving forums and tools to manage social media if they want to continue to be relevant.

Methodologies for engagement are where PR and social media part ways tactically, and the same rules may or may not apply. Generally, being mindful to the different rules for social media and PR lives in the context of the situation. As you would not wear gym clothes to a work interview, you should not use the contextual rules on the web in a formal company press release.

About Jessica Gomez
Jessica’s experience spans over 10 years executing public relations  for Los Angeles entertainment clients and more recently over the past 4 years specializing in Silicon Valley high technologies.  Jessica enjoys creating conversations for business-to-business (B2B) technologies, which includes software for supply chain management, logistics, legal, green energy, social media technologies, and all things mobile (including Apps for iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tablet & pure mobile application companies). Appear is tech-forward PR agency that specializes in making emerging technologies sexy.


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