Social media has often times taken the lead as far as tools used by public relations professionals. Although this new tool has caught onto target audiences like wildfire, it does not mean that traditional PR methods are being thrown out the door. There are audiences that will primarily be reached by one medium or the other. Press releases are the traditional tool for dispersing news. Social media tools also spread news; however, the difference between the two is that press releases are sent to the target group you chose, whereas when you use social media sites you can reach a different group of people that you did not intend to.
For example, older audiences, above the age of 70, will most likely not have a social media account such as Facebook. In cases such as this, traditional press releases being distributed to newspapers will be the best strategy to use. Social media tools and traditional public relations tools may reach different audiences but they can, and should, work in tandem with each other to create comprehensive, effective campaigns.
Sending something such as a feature article out is a good way for your audiences to gain some insight on who your company is. Using social media sites will also have the same effect. Blogging, tweeting or commenting about an organization that you work for will show followers that you are more than just a company. A PR representative from that company can use new media to show personality and style.
Just a few years ago, the only technological tools that public relations professionals used were e-mail and cell phones. Today, there are multiple social media sites to keep up with and it is pretty clear in the field that professionals must learn how to use social media tools from a technological standpoint. PR pros will still be writing traditional press releases, but will also create social media releases to be distributed in a different way.
Social media sites grew rapidly and will continue to grow. The key thing to remember is that social media is not going to completely push traditional PR tools out of the way. Both methods of reaching targeted publics will continue being successful in the field of public relations.
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