The 21st century has brought many new forms of communication, but the main one would arguably be social media.
Since the invention of Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc., society has changed the way it views the world. Before social media, people relied on the news (media) and word of mouth to receive the most up to date information on what was happening in their community and the world. Now, social media has given everyone their own voice and depending on their following, a sense of authority and influence. People can filter who they trust and block voices they do not agree with. Numerous points can be argued about the benefits and dangers of social media, but it has a hold on society and is not going away anytime soon.
One of the introductions social media has made is the influencer. Influencers are people who use their social media platforms to influence people into buying certain items of clothing, skincare items, books, etc. Some of these influencers are paid by brands while others simply influence by being their authentic self. For public relations, it is important that our clients use their social media to influence and work on amassing a large following through consistent and authentic engagement. When a client has a large following it positions us to gain wider coverage and interest from the media. In today’s world more followers equal power in securing better endorsement deals and leads to more press coverage. During any public relations campaign our clients can expect to participate in myriad interviews and it’s important that those interviews receive support through social media. For example, our client Gabrielle Dennis (from HBO’s Emmy-nominated A Black Lady Sketch Show and Netflix’s The Upshaws) co-hosted Entertainment Tonight recently. She posted backstage photos on her Instagram story and, Kevin Frazier, the host of Entertainment Tonight, posted on his Instagram story, and the show itself posted on their Instagram story, with Gabrielle tagged in all the stories. People who followed Kevin Frazier and Entertainment Tonight were now introduced to Gabrielle Dennis, and vice versa. The power of social media allowed both influencers to use their combined power to benefit each other. Having a large number of followers or having a big influence on social media makes it easier to establish credibility to the press and secure interviews with top tier media outlets. By sharing the experience on social media, Gabrielle gave her fans and followers a look into her everyday life while also gaining followers at the same time. Social media remains important because it allows people to reach an audience that may not be reached by the media alone.