Social media casts the net wide, but it can be somewhat unfocused. Think about it this way – you’re posting, interacting, observing, and getting feedback, and all of this is helping to raise awareness. However, publicity is a much more focused approach and it can bring more significant results.
Although social media is a great way to get the word out about your business offerings, public relations is an even better approach that takes a bit more work and planning, but brings much bigger returns. With a little work and ingenuity, you can learn how to plan your publicity strategy.
Publicity involves identifying journalists and influencers who would be interested in writing about you and sending them a story they can publish. This process puts you in control of what the public sees and how. By getting your well-crafted message in front of the right people who have a specific need for your product or service, you’ll get better results.
Established publicity methods offer a better way to build trust with your target audience than social media. Anyone can start a Facebook Page or Twitter account and start broadcasting their message to the masses. As social media is easier to use than getting media attention, it can be more difficult to build credibility on social media alone.
Your social media strategy must be part of your overall public relations plan.
Getting press coverage is an approach that makes you look more authentic. Your stories appear in high-profile publications, written by known journalists and trusted influencers. With a public relations strategy, you’ll establish better credibility and build your reputation in the market.
Connections on social media aren’t always genuine. It’s so easy to connect to people on social media platforms that many of these “friendships” and relationships can in reality be quite superficial.
When you do your own publicity, you have to build real relationships with journalists and influencers who can report on your story. You help them by supplying the stories, and they report to their audience. Over time, you can build strong relationships with these individuals who have large audiences of highly engaged followers.
If you spend a specific amount of time each day on social media posting and interacting, you’ll gradually start to see results in terms of traffic, engagement, and maybe sales. However, social media is something you build gradually through your daily efforts, and it can take a long time to see real results.
The effect of having just one highly targeted story published about your business can go much further and more quickly. Unlike social media, this takes a bit more planning and preparation in advance. However, you’ll end up with a message with much greater impact and staying power.
What is your specific goal in gaining publicity? As you’re in total control from the beginning to the end, you can better achieve your goals if they’re clarified and you take an organized approach. The specific goal you’re aiming at determines everything you do, from the story you tell to the publications you target.
Join the Public Relations Academy to take your creative ideas and put them into a systematic plan to help you deliver the content you need to succeed. You can also sign-up for our one-on-one coaching monthly strategy calls.
The Organization of Canadian Women in Public Relations (Women in PR Canada) and American Women in Public Relations (Women in PR USA) is a network of leading business women striving for excellence in the field of public relations. Together, our organizations form Women in PR North America.