By: Brooke Champlin
This week in class we were assigned a task to create a social media press release for our client. From Wednesday’s lecture professor Bufkins mentioned, “Many companies have moved away from doing social media press releases.” I was surprised to hear that considering how popular social media is during this time era. In Tips from eBay’s EOL Social Media Session, an article by Julia Wilkinson, she said, “As of April 2012: Facebook had over 900 million users; Twitter over 140 million and over 12 million. ”Wilkinson also said, “And one in every five minutes spent online is now on social networks.”
If social networks are becoming one of the most effective ways to deliver news to large audiences why are companies refraining from utilizing them? Many companies are afraid of what consumers might say about them on social networks: reality is, if they care enough about your brand to mention it on social media chances are they’re sharing the same opinions with other people. I believe social media can be used to reverse the negative perception consumers may have about a brand; it can be used as a “customer satisfaction tool”.
The traditional layout of a press release has evolved due to the progression of the Internet. The modern-day press release is a social media press release. An advantage to using a social media press release: it can be more of an “attention grabber” to its readers. The graphics and links on a social media press release are more likely to engage the reader to learn what message the content is trying to deliver.
Public relations practitioners go through mass media to communicate their messages; now they have the opportunity utilize social media as a resource to connecting with journalist and reporters. Many journalist and reporters have Twitter accounts. Connecting with them on Twitter is an effective way to introduce the journalist the information that they are trying to communicate between their company and the public.
Soon companies will realize if they are not using social media, their competitors that are have a step up on them. As students desiring a career in the PR industry, at least we know what the benefits of participating in social media can ensure a company. As charter members of the social media generation, can you image doing business without the tools now available?