Using Earned Media, Social Media, and PR to Maximize Brand Awareness

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using PR and social media for brand awareness

PR and Social Media for Maximum Brand Awareness

Nothing beats when PR and social media for brand awareness. Used together strategically, they give your brand a competitive edge. With more avenues available to companies to reach their audiences, we are more inundated with brand messaging than ever before. Despite the myriad ways that brands have to reach their customers, though, the proliferation of media channels means it’s getting even harder for brands to break through all of the noise to reach their targets.

One study from Ragan found that 86 percent of TV viewers ignore or skip commercials, 44 percent of direct mail goes unopened, and 91 percent of email users had unsubscribed from an email newsletter they had previously signed up for.

Faced with these challenges, what are companies supposed to do? They can keep throwing resources at the challenge and following the same old formulas, to what will likely be diminishing returns. Alternatively, they could try a new approach by combining the strengths of two seemingly opposed marketing tools: Public relations and social media.

Below, our media experts at Avaans PR take a closer look at the benefits of incorporating PR and social media into your campaign strategy. Contact us today to learn more.

Harnessing Consumer and Media Synergy

Before diving into the gains companies can see from combining their public relations efforts with their social media campaigns, it’s worth taking a brief moment to compare and contrast how PR and social media work (or at least, how they’re supposed to work).

Social media allows companies to share their own messages by combining words, photos, video, and audio on various platforms. By contrast, public relations is the art of getting third-party organizations to say nice things about you on their platform (i.e., their newspaper, magazine, website, TV show, podcast, etc. Put simply, social media is what you say about yourself, while public relations what other people say about you.

While it’s tempting to dismiss PR as a relic from the pre-Internet era, nobody should forget the importance of public relations by focusing exclusively on social media. Some people are understandably skeptical of the messages they receive from social media, at first, until they learn to trust the brand. But public relations can win over cautious consumers by providing positive coverage from a third party. A study from the Content Marketing Institute found 70 percent of consumers said they prefer to learn about a business from articles as opposed to ads.

It’s a mistake to view social media and PR as unrelated or separate efforts for your company. Rather, social media and PR both serve the same function in different ways: To spread your brand’s messages, ideas, and values to your customers, stakeholders, and the other communities you serve.

When you take a holistic approach to your communications efforts, it’s easy to see how PR and social media can use each other’s strengths to bolster their individual effectiveness, as well as the overall effectiveness of your communications campaign.

The Benefits of Combining PR and Social Media

Here are a few examples of how leveraging both PR and social media can benefit your company:

Separate but unified messages across channels

A key element of any successful media campaign is a coherent, unified message across platforms. Combining PR with social media allows you to use multiple assets in different ways while still spreading the same general idea.

An example of how this might work is with a new product launch. You might have a blog post and a dedicated landing page with a short video about the new product on your website. Your social media team can use this content in their posts, while your PR team can use the blog post and other content to craft a press release and reach out to potentially interested third parties for additional coverage. Across platforms, though, the message is the same, which helps you better connect with your audience.

Efficient cross-promotion

Similarly, utilizing social media and PR harmoniously helps you make more efficient use of your resources. Your PR team can include easy links to your brand’s social media accounts in their materials and extend the reach of your social media content by reaching out to journalists, influencers, and others who might share that content. Likewise, your social media team can share positive stories about your company from third parties in your social media accounts, which helps lend authenticity to your content.

Increasing the size of your audience

Social media has massively expanded the potential reach of a PR campaign, and you should take advantage of this opportunity. PR campaigns are generally aimed at the audience for a particular publication or outlet, but social media can amplify positive press coverage by making sure that message goes out to thousands, perhaps even millions of people. By working together, both your social media team and your PR team can extend their reach.

Using PR strategies to improve your social media presence

As social media has grown and become intertwined with public relations, brands have had to learn a few lessons about proper social media strategy. A careless or insensitive post can generate a massive backlash in minutes or hours. Savvy brands will have a skilled PR team monitoring or running their social media feeds to watch out for distasteful or improper content, and they can respond quickly if anything goes wrong.

A Successful Brand Campaign Using PR and Social Media 

At Avaans PR, we already have extensive experience handling both PR and social media campaigns for purpose-driven brands. One of our biggest successes was a campaign for a hemp-based consumer packaged goods brand. With many people being skeptical of hemp products, finding a way to engage potential customers was a challenge.

However, by generating positive press coverage through live events, celebrity endorsements, personalized review opportunities for journalists, and customized social media content, we were able to generate more than three billion earned media impressions over three years, at an estimated earned media value of $5 million. The company also saw a 300 percent increase in its share price ahead of its IPO.

Talk to Avaans Media About Your Social Media Today

We’re proud to be innovators in PR and social media strategies at Avaans Media PR and Social Media. If you’re interested in seeing how we can help your purpose-driven brand meet its goals, please get in touch with us.

You can set up a call by visiting our contact page or by finding one of our team members across the United States. We have team members in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Honolulu, San Diego, and Washington, D.C. We look forward to hearing from you.

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