By Rachel Neppes, BERKMAN

With the shrinking of the media and constant evolution of digital communications channels, the public relations practice is quickly taking a more integrated and direct approach to reaching and influencing the public. This includes using social media tools like Twitter and Facebook to create direct viral buzz among target audiences, leveraging video sharing platforms, such as YouTube, to add personality and creativity to a story or announcement, and using powerful endorsements to add credibility to a company, product or brand, just to name a few.

Relying on traditional media to reach and influence target audiences is a thing of the past. The simple truth of the matter is that the traditional media is shrinking. However, the good news is that there are a whole slew of new tools that can be used to effectively reach and engage with your target audiences, thanks to new communications technologies and approaches.

But how can we best use all of the new technology tools available to be effective and to cut through the clutter?  Below are a few tips:

  • Develop and Communicate Key Messages: Staying consistent with your client’s key messages is extremely important. Inconsistency can create confusion and prohibit you from maintaining a clear and concise brand identity.
  • Create a Conversation: Consumers are bombarded with new information every day. In order to hold their attention you must give them something new. Simply pushing information about your business will only reach those looking for it. To create new opportunities, you must network with others, creating a conversation interesting enough to attract new faces.
  • Stay Active: In order for these new technologies to work in your favor, you must stay active. One advantage of these new platforms is that they are linkable. You can link your client’s Twitter to their Facebook, their Facebook to their YouTube, their YouTube to their Blog, etc. By staying active on all of these networks and keeping all social networks connected to one another you offer your consumer 4-5 different outlets to receive valuable information. Going dormant on one network could cut off those who favor a certain platform.
  • Listen to Your Audiences: Understand what your target audiences are interested in talking about before joining the conversation. This will ensure that your interactions with them are meaningful and will make an impact on the actions they then take when armed with the information you are offering.

To be successful today in Public Relations, you must understand and welcome these advancements. To ignore this evolutionary process will leave you behind and out of touch with the market. These technologies, if used correctly, however, can be very powerful in not only reaching your target audiences but influencing them in a meaningful way that will benefit your business.