One thing that didn’t exist when I got in the public relations business 25 years ago was the potential for something to – as we like to put it these days – “go viral.”
Of course, that was before the coming of the digital world, or as some of the younger people in my office like to call that time period, “the Stone Age.” ☺
I’m not complaining, though. You see, I believe that because of the Internet, websites and especially social media, public relations is more influential than ever.
Even in just the last five years, the PR world has changed drastically as such social media sites as Facebook and Twitter have played a greater role in the lives of everyone.
As a result, going viral can happen in many ways today, although let’s face it, not all of those ways are good.
Here’s one of the good examples. Let’s say you manage to pitch yourself as a source to a newspaper reporter, who quotes you in an article that’s tied to your area of expertise.
Obviously, you can share a link to that article through social media, but the wonderful thing is that you aren’t the only one who can do that. Anyone who reads the article can share it with their social media contacts.
Potentially, this article associated with your name could become available to millions of people, helping to boost your brand much more than would the here-today-gone-tomorrow print article of yesteryear.
Another advantage is that today’s media is instant – or nearly so because there’s no need to wait for the presses to roll. Readers can be perusing, commenting on and sharing the article just an hour or two after you talk with the reporter, long before a print version makes its appearance.
Let me share a few more examples of how PR is more relevant today than ever.
PR affects your website and SEO. It’s important to get search engines, such as Google, to notice you and your website, and the key to that involves search-engine optimization, or SEO. You can write your marketing materials with search engines in mind. Are there certain words or phrases that would be more likely to draw someone to your website? Getting placements in the media also helps because they may include a link to your website. That’s especially valuable when those links are on an authoritative website that carries great weight with search engines. Also, including a blog that is regularly updated on your website is a good idea because search engines tend to favor current information.
PR affects your social media. Everything is connected these days because of the Internet. Years ago, the local newspaper article about your firm that had people talking one day quickly disappeared the next day, and had limited circulation during its short shelf life. Now, as in the example I gave earlier, you can share that article with an almost limitless number of people. But it’s not just articles. Social media can be used in numerous ways to promote your brand as you comment on current news that relates to what you do, share photos of happenings around your office or store, or announce upcoming events.
PR affects your overall marketing strategy. Public relations helps you promote yourself or your business through attention you gain in the media. When the media quotes you or features you – and then you circulate that through your marketing and social media channels – your credibility gets a boost because there is an implied endorsement of you as someone whose views are valued. You can then leverage that credibility to help you achieve your ultimate goal of selling a product or a service
I think that last piece of advice is so important. You can have what seems like a great public relations campaign, but it loses a lot of its value if you are not capitalizing on it.
So don’t leave your PR efforts just sitting there gathering virtual dust. Promote those media appearances on your website. Share them on Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you get the most out of every PR victory.
Very virally yours,
P.S. If you want help gaining media coverage to incorporate into your marketing efforts, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 211 or visit our contact page.