A note from Jeff Morosoff: Hofstra Honors College students in my PR fundamentals class are required to submit guest blog posts throughout the semester. The following was written by Areanna Rufrano:
Earlier this year Time magazine comprised a list of the 13 sassiest brands on Twitter. The companies that made the list excelled in creating witty interactions and clever posts thus proving that the power of social media is a big advantage for public relations professionals.
A major part of what public relations entails is communication with the general public, and the most effective way to do that today is through social media. It is a highly innovative platform that provides a direct connection to a mass audience as a means to supply information and generate buzz. If used properly, social media has the ability to enhance a public image, maintain a loyal following and establish a strong public awareness for a company.
Even though most of this area is strategically planned in public relations, especially for campaigns and announcements, there is plenty of room for spontaneous engagement. The majority of these unplanned opportunities relate to either a current event or news headline. For example, Oreo made a brilliant move by tweeting “You can still dunk in the dark” during the 2013 Super Bowl power outage, which went viral within minutes. It became a national sensation and proved to be more effective than the company’s commercial during the game. So as long as the content is relevant and noteworthy, social media can be powerful method to attract public attention.
While social media is a great asset to utilize, one must be extremely cautious of the material that is to be publicized. Many times certain comments can be taken the wrong way even though the intention was good. Public relations professionals must work closely with marketers and social media directors to send out the right message. Ultimately, the general rule of thumb for social media is to continue to follow the “Seven Principles of Public Relations Management” created decades ago by former AT&T executive and PR veteran Arthur Page. Page’s principles emphasized action, patience, listening and–most importantly–truth. Your thoughts?