This post was updated on August 22, 2018. Follow this link.

Remember way back to December 2009, I know that was so long ago. Kourtney Kardashian gave birth to her first child, the Tiger Woods Scandal unraveled, Lindsey Lohen entered rehab again, oh and Google announced that social media overtook public relations in Google’s Zeitgeist.

Whether or not you believe Google comes down to how you define public relations. In my opinion, I believe that PR has several meanings and encompasses a variety of things, but it all can be summed up as the communication between different channels. With that definition it’s clear to see that I believe social media is public relations, mainly because PR professionals have been doing “social media” for years, just on a different platform. For example:

– Story Telling : Spinning an angle of a story so that media covers it (old PR, yet still important), now creatively writing so that people re-tweet you or “like it”.
– Relationship Building : Maintaining connections with media, journalists, etc. Now on a much larger scale, knowing the main “influencers” of online media and creating that personal relationship.
– Crisis Managment : The PR game works both ways, for better or worse, and that will probably never change. PR pushes the good, but unfortunately has to control the bad as well. With social media this is very strategic because bad news can spread like wildfire.

So where do the traditional tactics of Public Relations stand today, as we’re quickly approaching 2011?

The Press Release: The days of faxing your press release are over and the new and improved social media release is catching on quickly. Services like PitchEngine and PressLift have brought the press release to life with easy distribution to popular social media sites and e-mail. The press release is by no means dead, it has just been transformed.

Media Outlets: Tired of using MediaAtlas to find the right person to cover your story? Look no further, Haro (Help A Reporter Out) allows you to broadcast your story or expertise to thousands of reporters, from The New York Times to the Huffington Post all with one click.

Clip Counting: I remember 2 years ago, clip counting for SBC, which is simplest form of PR measurement. It’s nothing more than counting all the editorial coverage that mentions your company, product or service. This will continue to evolve in the future, but Viralheat is the best option I’ve found for this. It calculates coverage, mentions, influence, and even sentiment.

Integrating the past & future of PR has the ability to save companies a lot of money. But in the end, PR is what you make it.

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