#PRprochat: 3 ways social media is changing PR

The digital age is here. It’s more important than ever to know how to present a brand online and use the digital media for public relations. What better way is there to learn about digital PR than a tweet chat?

Carrie Morgan, a PR consultant and author, and Dr. Ai Zhang, a PR professor and researcher at Stockton University, moderated a special edition #PRprochat ‘tweet chat’ on Nov. 12, about the impact of social media on traditional PR.

Many PR students and a few PR professionals from several states across the country — including New Jersey, Alabama, Florida, California and Utah — participated by sharing their thoughts on social media’s effects on public relations.

Here are three takeaways.

Write, write, write

Traditional PR skills are still relevant and important in the industry today.

PR professionals need to know how to write and get their messages across to their publics, whether it’s a 140-character tweet or even a 400-word blogpost about the company.

Morgan recommended writing with the end goal in mind, no matter what the medium. “’Being on social media’ isn’t a skill — showing ability to support brand messaging, build audience, [and] engage are skills,” she tweeted.

Create a blog to show employers and recruiters what you can do. Blogs demonstrate your writing ability much better than telling people about your writing ability.

Blogs, like traditional press releases, can also help polish writing skills.

The press release is not dead. However, it is used less frequently and it is just small part of public relations.

The group concluded press releases are good for hard corporate news. They are also great brand publishing tools.

“Don’t write self-grandiose puffery — use a press release for REAL NEWS. Real content. Real opinions/expertise,” Morgan tweeted.

Stay updated with trends

Brands use social media to engage with their customers which, in turn, results in greater brand recognition, greater brand loyalty, more opportunities to convert, etc.

Monitoring social media, staying updated with the latest trends and knowing the influencers is important for brands to successfully engage and grow their brand online.

So, when a question was asked about staying up to date on trends and monitoring social media, many of the twitter users participating gave their input on how to stay up to date:

  • Watch industry hashtags — who is writing great content?
  • Learn to use Google Alerts — watching for mentions, trends and keywords for editorial opportunities
  • See what’s trending on different channels, read articles, see who’s being quoted and track journalists
  • Utilize the news sources on tv, print and social media help to stay on top of trends.

Brand yourself online

The tweet chat’s last question asked about hiring and recruiting in the digital age. Many people had great things to say about how today’s digital environment is affecting the hiring and recruiting process.

With the ability to look at anyone’s social media profiles, recruiters and employers are even more impacted by what they see about a person online.

“Forget the employer … don’t post anything you wouldn’t want YOUR MOTHER to see!” Morgan tweeted.



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