Social media has changed the way a lot of industries do their business—and PR is no exception. Combine that with a long list of companies that talk a good PR game but actually don’t know the first thing about social media and there is lots of room for confusion. So before you invest in a PR agency, check their Twitter feed.
Any NY PR agency who advocates social media should also be on social media. There are two basic rules of thumb they should be taking into practice to ensure social media becomes a help rather than a hindrance. If they aren’t doing these things for themselves, it isn’t likely they are going to do it for you either.
The first is as simple as monitoring social media. In a time when content can be thought of and then published online in a matter of minutes, it is important for a PR agency to keep tabs on social media trends. Social media has allowed the media to get directly in touch with a person of interest with amazing speed; this essentially eliminates the role of a PR agency.
What the media outlet in question (and, perhaps, your client) doesn’t fully understand is that by sidestepping the PR agency and working directly together, there are many social, business, and professional cues that are being missed. These are cues that could potentially impact your client in a number of ways—most of which are to their disadvantage.
The second thing PR agencies have to do effectively is to keep building and pitching relationships. The ugly truth, all boiled down, comes to this: trends indicate that those working in new media (blogs, social media, online periodicals, etc.) are looking to uncover news by themselves and build an online following. For the most part, they aren’t interested in being pitched by a PR agency.
Because of this, PR agencies need to adapt to social media in a way most other organizations can’t: by utilizing relationships they have already built. This means that although Mr. Successful Blogger with his own following may have a huge reader base, he still doesn’t have the connections that might get him into the big-name traditional publications. When a PR agency can’t offer that level of service to themselves, they probably aren’t worth hiring in the first place.
For more insights on how the top tier PR firms perform their social media miracles, be sure to check out some of our other industry exposes.