The Perfect Match: PR and Social Media

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Hannah Agatston
Hannah Agatston



Public relations and social media is a powerful pair – it’s the proverbial “peanut butter and jelly” of marketing and branding campaigns.

Today, top tier media placements power the mass market, but The New York Times and the “Martha Stewart Show” are not the end-all be all. Branding, marketing and messaging must remain relevant and create a clear, cohesive message that promotes the client’s product. The contemporary cultural shift in communication through social mediums has created increasingly connected consumers, brands and the media.

Consumers are creating conversations online, the printed-paper is no longer the sole source for news and brands must maintain notoriety and relevance through strategic social media marketing and public relations initiatives.

PR and social media strategies should work hand-in-hand and complement one another in order to build a brand. It’s important, however, that brands understand the difference between PR and social media marketing prior to establishing a social media ego.

As I create and manage targeted social media campaigns for our clients, I am also working to capitalize and tie in PR efforts in the outreach. Networking with the magazine a client covets a placement in, the journalists and editors being pitched, and the client’s target market produces ROI that conventional PR efforts often will not produce alone.

Social media campaigns are a process that require research and strategic planning. Creating a Twitter account is the first step – it’s not the entirety of the campaign. Brands can benefit from social platforms by finding the platforms that best fit their personality and establish a strong presence and fan base.

The definition of what it means to be professional and lexicon that leads to results differs drastically from social media to PR. Here are a couple of PR and social no-no’s:

  • Over-pitching an editor or sending 10 pitches in one email
  • Mass product “pitching” on social

Social media is not a place to pitch and advertise. Instead, interactions should show that you’re up-to-date on today’s trends by contributing to conversations that don’t revolve around you – people will be interested in your product if you show interest in them. Social media is a two-way street, paved for communication – not shameless advertising. A brand’s presence and personality should prove industry influence, making you a powerful pick to feature in publications or broadcast segments.

Consumers are loyal when brands are humanized and transparent. Companies catch the eye of editors when they are established and embody the style and philosophy perfect for their publication.

Social media platforms are the place where companies connect by conveying a consistent image and lifestyle with their customers — professionalism is important, but creativity and transparency lead the way. The key is to cultivate a cultural context and show some skin!

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