It used to be that sending out a press release was the whole conversation; ship it and the story formed around it. Brands and those who were in charge of their messaging were in control of the story from beginning to end. The press release was the end of the conversation.
Now sending out a press release is the beginning of the conversation— or more accurately, it’s part of a conversation that’s already happening everywhere across social media, including dark social (via texts, emails and other private messages that friends send each other about their favorite brands and sales, etc).
We’ve entered a new era of Digital PR and brands can’t expect to follow the old strategies for their marketing and communications, especially across social.
The crisis of trust
It’s no secret that the state of trust has been declining across many industries; social platforms are no exception, although consumers still hold brands responsible for the greater context of their social presence (all according to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer).
Consumers do still place trust in earned media because it comes through valid third-parties like journalists, influencers and more. Those messages can move beyond ad blockers and don’t come with the baggage of owned media.
The problem comes in that earned media is impossible to predict and many brands struggle to identify the correct influencers to work with to share and amplify their message.
A digital world requires an all-encompassing digital solution: Digital PR.
Digital PR includes everything from traditional PR to content marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing and search. All of these are interconnected and understanding that interconnectedness is the first step to a successful strategy for a brand. You can’t expect to ignore social media and succeed, especially if your target audience is active there.
Brands need to:
- Identify where their audience spends their time and meet them there
- Work to incorporate earned media into their owned media-based campaigns and communication strategies
- Tap into influencer marketing to lend authority to their messaging
The key is understanding that you no longer have control of the messaging from beginning to end. No one has for some time.
The conversation about your brand is already happening and there are a lot of ways to join in it. The most successful brands find the balance that’s right for them between social, influencers and the rest of the mix.
Need help navigating this space? Start with something like the Social PR Strategy Toolkit.