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Why social media is not everything in PR

Amber Daines | 24 April, 2024


Social media has become essential in public relations (PR), but it’s not everything.

Here are some reasons why:

  1. Limited Reach: While social media platforms have billions of users, they don’t reach everyone. Traditional media like TV, radio, and print still have significant audiences that might not be active on social media.
  2. Credibility: Traditional or old-school media outlets often carry more credibility and authority than social media. People may be more likely to trust a story they read in a reputable newspaper or see on a well-known TV channel than one they come across on social media.
  3. Depth of Engagement: Social media is great for quick updates and interactions, but it often lacks the depth that can be achieved through longer-form content like articles, interviews, or documentaries. The power of longer campaigns is longer results that reach more touch points, say, readers, listeners, and audiences who may not be on social media regularly.
  4. Target Audience: Not everyone uses social media platforms. Depending on the target audience, other communication channels might be more effective. For instance, older demographics might still rely heavily on traditional media.
  5. Control: On social media, brands have less control over the narrative. Negative comments or feedback can spread quickly and potentially harm a brand’s reputation. In traditional media, there’s more control over the message published or aired.
  6. Metrics and Measurement: Social media offers a wealth of data on engagement and reach. Measuring its impact on brand reputation or ROI can be challenging compared to traditional PR efforts.
  7. Adaptability: Social media platforms and algorithms change frequently. Keeping up with these changes and adapting strategies can be time-consuming and challenging.
  8. Over-reliance: Relying solely on social media can be risky. If a platform goes down, changes its policies, or a PR crisis involving the platform, it can severely impact a brand’s communication strategy. More than one channel type is essential in times of reputational crisis or post-crisis.
  9. Personal Touch: Traditional PR methods, like face-to-face meetings, press conferences, or events, offer a more personal touch and can help build stronger relationships with stakeholders. It is the best way to form two-way engagements, too.
  10. Cultural and Regional Differences: While social media is global, its usage, norms, and preferences vary significantly across cultures and regions. Traditional PR methods can be tailored more effectively to local nuances. We work with clients in Asia, New Zealand, and the UK, each with varied ways to say, do, and write content that leads to successful PR outcomes.

There is no denying the impact and potential of social media as an instant, modern, and powerful tool in PR. It should be part of a broader, integrated communications strategy that includes traditional PR methods to ensure a balanced and practical approach.

We would love to know how to amplify fresh ideas in PR for your businesss. Go to SME PR Packages for more details.