Social media has redefined the way most businesses do their marketing. It has forced many businesses to alter the way they do business altogether, including many within the PR industry. You’ll hear a lot of companies complaining about social media. These are the types that claim social media is a waste of time and that they already have too much on their plate.

Sadly, this is not too far from the truth … if you’re doing social media wrong.

To succeed in business today, you need to be involved in social media, have brand awareness, and be hip to mobile marketing trends. Most importantly, you need to be able to adapt your business to this digital age we are in. At first glance, it might seem a little overwhelming, but it can be approached if you follow a few simple principles. Ronn Torossian ’s Guide to PR in the Modern Age

Guide to Modern Public Relations - 5WPR

Monitor Social Media: In many ways, social media is sidestepping PR agencies. The speed and efficiency of social media gets information to targeted individuals and audiences faster than ever before. Because of this, PR agencies need to keep tabs on social media trends. It’s not enough to check your own social media accounts; you also need to stay abreast of breaking news in regard to social media. Staying well informed about the latest developments in the social media world will allow you to not only stay on the cutting edge and ahead of your competition, but it can also prepare you for any potential obstacles that might arise between you and your clients as a result.

Utilize Social Media: Far too many businesses make the mistake of creating Facebook or Twitter pages and then leaving them alone. It’s not enough to simply be online … you have to have a commanding presence. PR agencies in particular need to understand that social media platforms provide nearly unlimited ways to engage with colleagues and businesses. It’s the quickest and easiest way to spread your message and stay in touch with those who keep your agency chugging along.

Make It Mobile: Mobile marketing is growing by leaps and bounds. QR code technologies are allowing businesses to connect to their customers in real time. They can create and even change up the details of special offers on the fly with the press of a button. These same technologies can be used to connect with potential clients and other businesses for any number of reasons. This goes far beyond simple texts and emails; mobile marketing is slowly revolutionizing the way people use their phones and how businesses interact with their target demographic. With a smartphone there is one more way to get your message out.

New Relationships: If you can’t offer clients anything that they can’t get by themselves, your agency becomes far less appealing. However, if you are still fostering relationships with people and strengthening those that already exist, your network becomes larger. This increases your chance of being able to offer potential clients much more than they could ever get on their own through their new media channels.

Addressing the Elephant in the Room: One of the downsides to all of this easy accessibility is that anyone with a keyboard can get online and type out their opinions. This means that you will almost certainly get at least one or two negative comments for all to see somewhere along the line. Businesses need to have a plan for these sorts of events, assigning someone to act as the friendly face of consumer PR. This individual should address the negativity and what they can to stifle it immediately. There are several different ways to monitor these types of situations online, most of which are free.

As the social media landscape seems to change frequently and without any real warning, it can be hard to stay up to date on all of these items. Still, the adaptability of your agency or business needs to take the change as it comes. Consider how quickly things change. Home phones are basically extinct now and it happened within just a handful of years. When was the last time you used a phone book?

Change is inevitable. It’s up to you to be ready for it. This guide is a brief tutorial on how to get your PR firm ready for the digital age.