The public relations field is not the same as it used to be because like every other industry that did not become extinct as a result of the advent of the internet, they had to change the way they do things. Computer technology and the internet are responsible for the technological shot in the arm that the world needed in order to progress at a more rapid rate. It made the sharing of information and ideas possible to people in previously isolated parts of the nation and the world.
Today, people do not have to work as hard to get information that they want, because almost everything that they could ever need to know is their fingertips. Today, it is easier to stay congruent with what is happening in the world because news stories from everywhere are being reported and are available every single day. This can be good or bad for a social media marketing agency depending on how it is handled.
Social media can be used as a launching pad for all kinds of people and organizations who are seeking success, but this process needs to be properly managed in order for those who are seeking that success to not fall victim to one side of the double-edged sword. That side being the dark side of social media that is ill-informed and quick to jump to conclusions when there are news stories reported from less than reputable sources.
The field of public relations concerns itself with the communication that occurs between an individual, government agency, business, political cause or organization that they represent and the general public. Depending on the client, the PR company may have to take the entire public into consideration when they identify a specific audience or they may conclude that their audience is far more exclusive.
The amount of success that any social media management firm or PR company is a capable of having depends on their understanding and relationship with their client’s audience. Maintaining and cultivating an understanding of the communities of those who have an interest in what is going on with their clients is important, and so are the relationships with the media contacts who provide that audience with information.
News is just a chain of people and organizations providing each other with information that is of importance to a particular audience where everyone has an interest in what is going on somewhere along the way. Some people just want a story to share with their friends and others want the audience to see the subject matter being presented in a news story in a specific kind of light because they have an ulterior motive. Ulterior motives do not necessarily come with a negative or deceptive connotation; they can have noble intentions too.
The line between lies and truth is easy to discern between, but the line between information presented with a positive spin and manipulation is a little more difficult to clearly see. Public relations companies have a duty to their clients to try their best to create and maintain a healthy public image, but they are not bound by journalistic integrity like those who report news for reputable news sources. So, because a public relations firm is not a news source, they collaborate with news sources who work within certain ethical boundaries in order to position stories for their clients in a way that is advantageous for everyone.
A respected news source is not going to risk their reputation over publishing a story for a PR firm that only serves them and their client, because their job is to provide news. So, when the information is written by a journalist or reporter who sees genuine merit in the story, it can be published to inform and simultaneously help create a positive image for a specific person or organization in the process. Plus, the news source gets a story so everyone involved in the chain of information sharing wins.
Social media management companies use the internet as their main tool. They can sometimes overlap public relations with internet marketing but when they do, they aim to create marketing opportunities in ways that do not require direct payment. The main goal is always to present their clients in a positive light and do what they can to control the communication that occurs between their client and their audience in ways that are productive and conducive to their success. Anyone can put a negative spin on anything and good public relations aims to proactively counteract that possibility.