The relationship between new media and PR

Group of people accessing new media channels via smartphones

The relationship between new media and PR

With the continued rise of ‘new’ media channels, the discipline of public relations has changed dramatically. But what exactly makes new media different from traditional media and how does this impact your PR program?

New media vs. traditional media

Traditional media refers to those mass media channels which broadcast messages widely to audiences. This includes radio, television, newspapers and magazines.

New media channels, on the other hand, leverage the internet, creating an interactive, two-way dialogue, and include social media, blogs and online media outlets. Sometimes this is referred to as Web 2.0.

The audiences for new media channels far surpass that of traditional media channels. Facebook has nearly 2 billion users alone. It is really important you meet your target audience where they are most active – and in many cases this is via new media channels.

How does new media fit with PR?

New media channels meet many of the objectives of public relations – in some cases perhaps even more effectively than traditional media.

Building and managing reputation

Just like brands can manage their reputation via traditional media, the same goes for new media channels. Given the scope for target audiences to have a voice through new media channels, the risks to reputation can be greater via these channels but the rewards can also be much greater.

Creating a two-way dialogue

New media channels by their very nature support a two-way dialogue by giving your target audience the means to respond and engage in a conversation with your brand. This helps build a relationship with target audiences.

Securing earned media mentions

Given users have the ability to generate their own content via new media, the opportunity for earned media mentions can be greater and can have more currency.

By tapping into a pool of active third party advocates (social media users, commentators on online articles or bloggers) brands can effectively earn mentions – helping create conversations and build relationships with target audiences.

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