While the formal practice of public relations has been around for over a century, in 1982 the Public Relations Society of America formally adopted a definition of public relations that remains accurate and accepted:
“Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.”
With social media, people now have one more platform from which to talk about companies and their products and services. What's different about social media, however, is its viral nature. When someone mentions your company in social media, what's being said (accurately or not) can be more noticeable and spread very quickly.
In a Hubspot whitepaper on leveraging social media for public relations success, several benefits derived from social media are outlined:
Generate Media Coverage - There are 3 primary ways that social media can boost your media relations efforts:
Social Media Monitoring & Crisis Communication - Social media monitoring is now a requirement for any PR professional. But beyond just monitoring the conversations, social media enables B2B companies to engage in the conversation and respond. The greatest benefit to PR efforts, however, can be your ability to respond in a crisis communications situation by updating your publics early, often, and with transparency.
Awards & Speaking Engagements - Winning awards is a type of third party validation and can also be a great recruiting tool. Social media can extend the announcement of the award winning. Similarly, social media can help promote upcoming speaking engagements of your key employees to underscore you company's thought leadership. Social media such as SlideShare, enable you to share the presentations afterward.
Customer Relations - Your customers are one of your most important "publics." Increasingly, customers are using social media to reach you (and journalists are watching and listening).
Employee Relations - Like it or not, a company's employees double as PR representatives. Being transparent and facilitating good employee relations is critical to maintaining worker trust and morale. Social media tools such as internal wikis and corporate instant messaging can help.
Click here to download a free eBook from Hubspot, "How to Leverage Social Media for Public Relations Success" or view the SlideShare presentation below.