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Using Social Media for PR in a Global Pandemic

Since the pandemic started, the Public Relations game has evolved to say the least. Social Media has also played its part in evolving Public Relations to what it is today. These days, companies that do not use social media to manage their reputation are likely to be drowned out by the brands that do. Whatever your industry, Social Media is likely to play a crucial role in managing information about your company – but how can you use Social Media for PR in a Global Pandemic?

From using platforms to manage your reputation, or using it to meet your PR goals, there is a lot of opportunity for public relations professionals on Social Media. The ways to use platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter optimally for your public relations efforts vary from platform to platform. Here are some great ways to take advantage of all the platforms have to offer.

Finding Influencers

Depending on your company goals, working with influencers can be a great way forward. Influencers can give a larger voice to meet more people than the brand could by itself. That voice can be incredibly powerful if used correctly, potentially reaching hundreds and thousands of possible customers/followers.

Social Listening

No, we don’t mean listening to conversations you hear at the supermarket! If you do not currently understand the power of social listening, you have a lot to learn. Social listening allows brands to understand the public’s opinion both before and during the hype. If there are any potential arising threats to a brand’s reputation, you can identify this well before it becomes critical.

Reacting to the Press

Similar to the above point, using Social Media for public relations also allows you to react to any potential negative press early. If a user is talking about your brand negatively, this can have a huge influence on any potential customers/service users, so reacting to this as soon as possible is crucial. A brand can use Social Media to respond immediately to any negative press and give more information where necessary.

Making Announcements

It is no secret that word travels incredibly fast on social platforms, so getting any announcements out there is important if you really want to ensure people know about it. You can reach a huge audience on Social Media, so it’s critical not to overlook the importance of using it to relay any company updates, etc.

Incorporating Social Media Into Press Releases

Another great way of making sure you are getting the most out of your social strategy, is to combine it with your press release strategy. When you publish a press release, ensure that you are making it Social Media friendly. You can do this by making sure you have social sharing buttons and making use of platform-optimised images. It sounds obvious, but make sure you are also including a Social Media post for your press release – pictures, charts and infographics can really up your share-worthy game.

Social Media PR in Action

So, now you know how to take advantage of the heightened use of Social Media for PR during a pandemic, what are some examples of effective Social Media PR in action?

World Wildlife Fund’s #LastSelfie campaign

Social Media PR - #lastselfie campaign Social Media PR - #lastselfie campaign Social Media PR - #lastselfie campaign

 

*Images sourced from www.justforthis.com

In 2015, the WWF set out to connect with millennials on social platforms in an attempt to raise awareness of the planet’s most endangered species.

The campaign proved incredibly successful, and the premise was nothing short of genius. The campaign utilised Snapchat and the growing trend of selfies to send users ads featuring one of five endangered animals, along with the message ‘Don’t let this by my #lastselfie’

The poignant and emotional campaign resulted in around 40,000 tweets about the topic worldwide, and a whopping 50% of all Twitter users saw the campaign.

The campaign was so powerful that it won numerous awards, such as a Webby Award for People’s Choice: Social Media Campaign in 2015.

The #IceBucketChallenge

Social Media PR - the Ice Bucket Challenge

This notorious campaign set out to help fund breakthrough Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ASL) research and raise awareness in 2014.

The now well-known campaign originally started off as a PR project in Massachusetts, USA, but quickly gained lots of attention worldwide. One weekend, in which Justin Bieber did the challenge twice, saw mentions peaking at an incredibly impressive over 1.3 million in 24 hours.

The campaign was not only a PR success, but a huge success in general, as the ASL Association raised $100 million thanks to the challenge, and the Motor Neurone Disease Association in the UK raised $7 million.

Whilst these campaigns came way before the pandemic, they are both campaigns that could have easily been done from the comfort of our own homes. Even during a global pandemic, there are always ways that you can use Social Media for the greater good of your brand – get creative! If you need a bit of assistance with your Social Media and want support with your marketing campaigns, Giraffe is here to help. Check out the varied services that we offer by clicking here.

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