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Social Media: Reshaping Public Relations

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Social Media: Reshaping Public Relations

California Southern University

MGT 87510

June 5, 2018

Dr. Charul Shah


 Global Issue: Social Media: Reshaping Public Relations

Introduction

        Social media is a platform that uses the internet to enhance and facilitates communication with people worldwide (Munzel & Francis, 2014).  In the 21st Century, social media has become a common and increasingly effective tool for communication that fosters a connection between friends, family and companies.  More often, social media is defined in narrow terms and regarded as synonymous with social networks like Facebook and MySpace, where people can publish and critique.  Social media is a popular and compelling communication venue that is being exhausted by firms and individuals (celebrities) as part of their integrated marketing image and communication campaigns.  Social media enables them to interact in an informal and more personal way.  

Shoppers anticipate brands and their companies to lock in with their customers and fans.  Marketers are realizing that social media gives the power to consumers to move from spreading the word about brands from one-to-one basis to one-to-thousands (Simons, Schultz & Gabrielson, 2014).  Communication is typically directed from one thing to many; known to be effective, in many cases, it should be interactive, and is an engaging process, which can improve relationship building.  

Analysis

        Social networks.  Companies are venturing outside the traditional website channel to engage and reach out to their clients.  Social media is often labelled as where internet users can write, publish, rate, critique, express opinions, and engage with online content.  Examples include: blogs, micro-bags, video sharing, bookmark, wikis, and opinion site as well as social networks (Facebook, Tumblr) (Munzel & Francis, 2014).  What makes social media so popular is primarily because it is personal, it is easy to communicate at your fingertips and can be done anytime and anywhere.  Moreover, it allows consumers to interact and share information.  Companies as well as celebrities in the entertainment business are finding new ways to interact with customers, and fans in search of a more long term relationship rather than a once-off sale relationship one-way communication.  

        Cross-functional team.  Consumers expect one brand account to contain responses to all kinds of needs, including marketing information to all kinds of needs, including marketing information and customer service.  However, marketing managers simply are trained to deal with questions or complaints about service, product performance, or the non-marketing related requests.  Successful strategies for building connections with online shoppers requires a cross-functional social media group, one where promoting works in tandem with other company divisions (Mothersbaugh & Hawkins, 2016).  For example, the gourmet burger chain, Five Guys, utilizes a cross-functional social team through social media monitoring software (Hootsuite) and a process that empowers local franchises and frontline employees

        PR argument.  Social media can be real-time, open discourse between firms and clients. The environment is expected to have a fast follow-up of and message control metrics to address feedback.  Public relations’ professionals are able to manage a diverse group of specific market segment group, target and deliver a message across a multitude of touchpoints.  Moreover, PR is capable to implement damage control strategies to overcome detrimental news.  Clearly, this is a PR function (Mothersbaugh & Hawkins, 2016).  

        PR is more data-driven.  The majority of the platforms come with their specific analytical methods, such as Twitter analytics and Facebook analytics, but there is also a wide extent of third-party groups that are accessible such as Spoutsocial and Hootsuite, that monitor improvement.  The analytic friendly nature of social media will translate across to PR.  There will be ultimately even more information as PRs utilizes analyzed information to advise future campaigns and improve current promotions.  Social media management and analytic tools will play a much larger part of PR (Mothersbaugh & Hawkins, 2016).  Data-driven PR is not only the promise of PR, but there is a need to keep a brand pertinent in these economic times, where inaccurate and false news flood the media and many open source social websites.

        Data analytics.  This area has the potential to contribute to building more successful campaigns.  For example, during former President Obama’s second term reelection campaign, his success was attributed to the Republican party placing a target focus on social media (Wilson & Haytko, 2012).  Obama’s team successfully used data gathered through Facebook, which allowed the delivery of targeted messages to mobilize voters.  

Marketing Public Relations

        Marketing public relations (MPR) refers to public relations activities designated to support marketing objectives such as raising awareness, informing and educating target audiences, gaining understanding, building trust, giving consumers a reason to buy and motivating consumer acceptance (Leeflang, Lee & Kostova, 2013).

        Marketing communication mix.  Utilizing effective MPR has the capability to increase the promotional efforts to generate a stronger image for a firm.  Marketing communication mix   can complement the more traditional marketing methods which include advertising, sales, promotion, personal selling, and direct marketing (Mothersbaugh & Hawkins, 2016).  This is primarily due to focus on creating consumers and media buzz which can extend the impact of advertisements beyond thirty seconds.   Essentially, MPR can work effectively with traditional promotional tools to generate immediate responses, foster long-term relationships, spread word-of-mouth and elicit media mentions (Sirgy, 2014).

        Marketing and social media.  Marketing public relations creates a buzz about a product or service by encouraging traditional mass media (electronically), or individuals to communicate a message about a product, service or company to their audience, fans, or consumers.  Marketers are realizing the potential of social media and finding ways to integrate the traditional promotional methods.  Social media enables practitioners and celebrities to directly enter into conversations with their audiences, but it is also used to strengthen their relation and effectiveness with them.

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