Just about every PR company and business that had a public relations person on its staff subscribed to a PR news wire service. After preparing a press release, the PR person would email or fax their press release to their PR news wire service which, in turn, would send it to the news media outlets regionally or national, depending on the coverage the client sought. The media, in turn, then had the option of publishing the information for dissemination to the general public.
Today, with email, high-speed internet, blogger and influencer lists, AI and bots, etc., the reliance on such a service is not valued as highly by many PR people. Why? Using proper search techniques, it’s not difficult to identify and send the information off to organizations one wishes to notify about a new product, release, etc.
What’s new is sharp PR professionals who can identify and target specific audiences to send their messages to. The former way of getting the word out was like a shot gun approach. You hoped that the news outlet would republish your release and then prayed that your target audience would read it or see it on TV.
Most companies recognize the natural connection between PR and social media so that 66% of PR departments are currently responsible for their company’s social media presence.
Using social media enables you to approach your target audience directly with information, video, etc. It also allows you to tailor your messaging for different segments of your target audience. For example, if you manufacture pet food, you can create special messages and offers to cat owners, another for dog owners, yet another for bird owners, etc.
It also allows you to supplement your campaign by using influencers who have their own band of numerous and loyal followers. The possibilities are endless since certain bloggers who follow specific topics like your industry can also get enrolled and engaged.
One of the strongest advantages of PR and social media today versus “the old days” is that there’s a great opportunity to be interactive with customers and potential ones. That potential never existed with print and electronic media. One of the only ways of measuring the success of a campaign then was by counting the number of clipped coupons that were turned into the store. You now have the power and ability to show them what you want and to control your message as you wish..
Many journalists today utilize social media as well to identify and research potential stories. They still have a strong influence so don’t stop sending out press releases to them either. Who knows? Printing or airing your release could result in new customers as well.
Of course, all of the above only works well if you’re asking for, collecting and nurturing the internet relationship you have with your target and potential audience. That’s the importance of asking for and collecting as much information as you can about them, their interests, preferences, etc.