In public relations, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, might as well be the equivalent to The U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters tournament. In other words, what I am saying is that social media is a major (pun intended) tool in public relations and personal branding.
Some may think that social media is a waste of time. Why should I care what you had for lunch, some say or why do I need to see a picture of your cat? In truth however, through the vast harmless “junk” social media users find, public relations practitioners have harnessed the tool for pure social strategy. These social media platforms have created breakthroughs in interacting with target audiences and key influencers. Because so many people are on social media, public relations practitioners have fans and followers right at their fingertips.
In the sports industry, a PR specialist will at times take hold of an organization or athletes social media platform’s. This means, they will strategically tweet for a player or organization, reaching out to their fans, or supporting a charity for example through any social platform in order to work their personal brand. Because, with the easy click of a button, a team or athlete can make a crucial mistake by posting something out of brand, jeopardizing who they’ve come to represent themselves as, public relations professionals use their skills to avoid these blunders from happening.
With social outreach being so attainable now, social media platforms are both a blessing and a curse. By being able to interact personally with fans, athletes and organizations are able to break down barriers and give fans unparalleled insight into who they are behind the game. This makes it very amusing and fun for the fans.
However, one simple tweet, photo, or status, can completely change the way an athlete or organization has illustrated themselves. There have been many situations where professional athletes have shared controversial or inappropriate posts, which resulted in utter backlash from their audience. At that point, all that can be done is the removal of the post and an apology can and should be made.
It is very crucial that professionals be careful in what they share on social media. Although you may have deleted a post, it has likely already been seen and opinions have already been made. The fragility of the social media avenue is why PR specialists often find themselves assisting athletes and teams. According to socialmediaexplorer.com, “social media is essentially public relations in the online world.” Leave it to the PR pro’s to help with the fine skill of social media.