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The digital revolution and its role in reshaping the Public Relations industry

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Over the last few years, the emergence of social media has marked significant changes in today's media landscape. This has given PR agencies a whole new perspective in how to run their campaigns, marketing initiatives, promotions and other offerings. However, the vastness of opportunities to be generated from social media also means that the rules are forever changing.

Recent market studies have shown that social media is fast becoming the most dominant form of online content, accounting for over 16 per cent of internet usage in 2011. This means that individuals spend a lot of time on the internet, which also comes as no surprise as we are now living in a world where mobile phones, laptops, tablets and SmartTVs keeps us constantly connected to the world wide web.

More often than not, our daily lives are widely spent on browsing and keeping connected via the internet. We read the news on news portals; check emails; tweet; purchase; connect with friends; make new friends; watch streaming TV; listen to streaming radio and play games—all done online.

What does this mean for today's PR agencies? It opens a whole new world of opportunities as social media becomes a trend that you can not just simply ignore and be left behind. Learning to capitalize on the gains presented by social media successfully positions you one step ahead of your competition. Social media has



ably positioned itself not only as a strategic agent that keeps you connected to the web but also as an agent of change. Today, because of social media, brands are now effectively connecting to their target consumers—gone are the times when traditional press releases, campaigns and other PR activities were the way to reach out to the consumers. With social media, brands can now openly engage and interact with their target audience.

Also, another impact made by social media is that the people are now the influencers. Through the internet, people are now finding like minded folk--using common interests, passion, beliefs and advocacies as drivers to set up niche communities. This is great news for PR professionals because it's now even easier to find specific target audiences.

Although these communities and groups are easy to find, you cannot just send out a message about your brand and think they will pick up on it. There is more to that, as these groups would like to see, hear and feel more. The key word here is to interact. PR agencies are achieving good results in the move to engage with their target audiences and learning more about them.

Social media has indeed changed the whole new way PR campaigns are handled, much to the extent of saying that if it didn't happen online then it's probably not worth talking about.