PR agencies constantly have to adapt to new market trends and resources to keep clients competitive in the public sphere through press and other forms of new media. Original tactics and fresh approaches need to be leveraged as companies look towards public relations to increase their visibility, even in times of economic instability. Adapting to new media like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook is one such tactic that PR agencies should be familiar with. As I mentioned in my post, Public Relations, a Look Ahead in New Media, 53 percent of respondents in a recent Forrester Research report indicated an increase in their social media budget. So it’s not only important for PR firms to stay up to date just for staying up to date’s sake, but because it’s what clients want.
The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) recently examined how influence patterns are changing and how communications professionals are addressing those changes by adopting social media. Their report, New Media, New Influencers and Implications for Public Relations, revealed that of those surveyed, 57% said that social media tools are becoming more valuable to their activities as more customers and influencers use them. For 27% of respondents, social media is a core element of their communications strategy, while only 3% stated that social media has little or no value to their communications initiatives.
With more and more targets – customers, journalists, and bloggers alike – jumping on the social media bandwagon, it makes sense that companies are also following the social media trend to actively pursue opportunities and new ways of securing those opportunities through PR. But which channels are generating the most influence and the most use?
The SNCR found that 78% use blogs, 63% use online video, 56% use social networks, and 49% use podcasts in their organization’s communications initiatives (see table below). It’s not surprising that blogs and social networks are found at the top of the list as they are the fourth most popular activities online, even ahead of personal email, according to Nielsen’s Global Faces & Networked Places 2009 report. Since 10% of all time spent on the Internet is on social media sites, it’s logical that these outlets are being leveraged in PR campaigns.