The power of social networks has dramatically and quickly transformed public relations in a way that very few could have expected. Understanding how social media has disrupted modern PR helps us wrap our heads around aligning our communications programs in a way that puts both disciplines in lockstep in order to amplify our messaging.
Public relations is the original social media marketing: PR pros were looking to socialize communication on behalf of a company, with the ultimate goal being spurring engagement in a target audience. (For more on that, check out this article on social PR.) By the same token, social media marketing is the most public of relations: rather than having a middleman between the message and the medium, we interact directly with our consumers via our owned media channels.
With that in mind, both social media and PR programs share the same fundamental goal: to deliver communication that spurs positive action on behalf our brand, thus earning media (“impressions” or “reach”). By understanding how social networks have disrupted the old PR paradigm, we can transform our programs with strategic campaigns that use the strengths of both disciplines to achieve quantifiable results.