Why media outlets are so much more effective than corporate PR and social media

Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. have deeply infiltrated many people’s daily lives. Social media now plays an important role in the corporate realm as well. According to Germany’s Bitkom digital association, around three quarters (72%) of businesses use social media channels for promotion. This is a natural result, as channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Xing, LinkedIn and Instagram are well-suited to communicating and managing relationships with a wide range of company stakeholders.

Social media platforms provide an opportunity to connect with people every day, even through small talk, to gather praise and criticism. With a culture of constructive and ongoing feedback, companies can better tailor their products and services to the needs of their target groups. However, several places show that these channels are not always the best. Social media is neither an advertising tower nor a portal for distributing press releases.
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In terms of reach, media outreach is far ahead of social media.

Because it’s far easier to post status updates to the industry or business press than it is to tell stories on a variety of industry topics, many companies do little or no attention to press. There are also cases where social media and media media are confused.

However, publicity decisions should be based on strategic considerations such as:
  • Where are the target groups for the promotion?
  • What are the functions of the different channels (press: information and opinion formation; social media: conversation and emotion)?
  • Which channel best fits your current and long-term goals?

Anyone thinking about public relations should consider the following factors that are essential to managing a company’s reputation:

1. Reach

Social media plays an important role in modern public relations, but its effectiveness in terms of reach is often overestimated, even among PR professionals. Contrary to popular belief, a single report in print or online media reaches far more people organically than multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter.

Specifically, posts on social media can only get a few hundred ‘likes’ if they are popular, while reports in industry or professional media reach at least thousands to hundreds of thousands of readers depending on circulation, subject matter and direction. With traditional media, circulation, impressions, and visitors are usually fixed, so reach is already transparently set before the first article is published. On the other hand, the organic reach of social media posts, where once you publish and leave the rest to chance, is highly volatile and difficult to predict.

2. Message persistence

Social media posts tend to get pushed back on the timeline. In particular, if the account holder or sender is active, they will be pushed back and disappear quickly. On the other hand, press coverage, as it can usually be found via a web link, resonates much longer and thus constitutes an important component of long-term reputation management.

3. Focus and target group orientation

Unlike social media, companies that focus on media outreach always target a clearly defined group, either geographically or in terms of content. You can tell exactly who it is by looking at the media data. Social media posts, on the other hand, are received by a wide range of people, the target group is difficult to define, and posts can reach just about anyone, regardless of transparent influencers, such as the degree of interaction within their own community.

4. Channels as a means fit for purpose

Press coverage is great for providing the public with in-depth information about a company and for building long-term relationships with media and opinion leaders. On the other hand, social media is great for talking to your target audience and building a community. Both are absolutely essential and should be incorporated into your company’s communications strategy. Experience has also shown that social media is useful for spurring additional content, such as expert articles, and generating reporters’ attention on key topics.

5. Decision Support

According to Gu, coverage in industry or professional journals can be an important decision support tool during the customer journey. Corporate decision makers, as well as customers, often rely on independent media judgments to “neutralize” their product or service choices and, emotionally, to rationally justify decisions they have already made. This can also be confirmed in the GFK online survey commissioned by Greven Medien. According to the survey, media articles in professional or local press are among the top five factors influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions. In the survey, 1 in 7 people (13.7%) said they were inspired by media reports. Why is media coverage so persuasive? Reporting about a company by an independent third party, such as the German die Presse, which has been perceived as rigid, is far more credible than disseminating information on social media or documenting the company itself.

Arguing against the effectiveness of media coverage: While companies must follow the posting frequency dictated by the media, in social media the sender of the message dictates the timing and format of posting. There are also no eligibility requirements for posting topics or texts. Editorial sovereignty resides with the medium itself, and subject selection is driven by the needs of the target group and its own direction.

Requirements for effective media outreach

Media outreach is not something you can improvise overnight, so if you don’t have qualified resources in-house, you should leave it to the experts. If you want media exposure, you have to meet several requirements. A well-written message isn’t everything. Companies should define clear concepts for:
  • the company’s position in the market
  • The target group you want to reach (who is your business for?)
  • The goal you want to achieve through your journalism work
  • Messages and topics to be prepared for that goal
  • Which channel to use (according to the target group)
  • How to handle content for journalistic work

Basically, there are many ways to increase exposure levels. Success in combining different disciplines in a meaningful way garners a particularly high level of interest. Therefore, companies need to use media publicity and social media correctly. This will hedge against risks and secure the company’s future.
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Source: ITWorld Korea by www.itworld.co.kr.

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