How Social and PR Teams Can Work Together

It’s one thing to understand your brand’s approach to social media and public relations as they stand on their own, but it is a whole different story when you try to determine where—and how—they intersect. Often, these are treated as two entirely different disciplines simply because, well…both the social media and public relations managers have their own very distinct role, responsibilities, and parameters for success. While both of these roles have unique roles and goals, more often than not, these goals are best achieved when both people are in sync and effectively collaborating on behalf of the brands they are supporting.

Where Social and PR Intersect

1. Influencer Programs

Establishing influencer programs is one of the more obvious ways for the social media and PR teams to partner up, and using an influencer should benefit both social media and PR efforts for the brand—not just one or the other.

Typically, influencers are hired to increase brand awareness. They do this by promoting the brand on social media channels, including the content in their blog as well as earning media placements. Ding! Ding! Ding! All of these efforts depend on social media and public relations working together. Thus, your social and PR teams should be meeting regularly to ensure they are on the same page and to set expectations for the influencer. If there is one common goal for an influencer program, the chances of achieving it are much higher than if the social team and PR team have different expectations out of the influencer relationship.

2. Press Releases

Press releases are written for a reason: to share newsworthy information about the brand to specific audiences. Whether it’s about a product launch, a new hire or an update on the company, the press release should contain information people care about. What better way to ensure this information reaches the public than for social media managers to include it in their content too? Let’s face it, the number of people reading press releases they find from traditional news sources has been declining. As people continue to adopt new technology, a good portion of the news they read may come from swiping up on an Instagram story, or clicking a link on Facebook or Twitter. If the PR and social teams work together, the information being released could reach a much broader audience (earning more and more impressions).

3. Don’t Burn Bridges

Remember, media pitches should be sent with trends in mind! Editors are already writing about trends, so it is important to write pitches that make it easy for them to spot a place for your brand in their article. Likewise, social media teams are always looking to include trends in their posts to engage with what the audience cares about at the time. Yet again, a perfect opportunity for PR and social teams to meet and discuss which trends to focus on to improve each team’s content: if your social media team is the eyes and ears for hot trends, your PR team has a better opportunity to be the mouthpiece for your brand.

Additionally, the lines between PR and social media teams have been overlapping for some time, especially as more and more editors are looking for pitches to be sent via social media. This creates further opportunity for social and PR teams to collaborate, plan, and produce better work for your brand.

The first step in easing the process is simple, but it’s certainly the most important: communication. A lot of the social media and public relations buckets of work intertwine and intersect, making it essential to be on the same page across the board. We recommend ensuring your teams have a clear understanding of which projects fall under which discipline first, so there’s a clear understanding of who is leading specific efforts and who to reference for questions or suggestions. At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with a stronger, better aligned group of public relations and social media professionals.

Collaboratively written by Core authors Jessie Donlon, social media specialist, and Jordan Glover, public relations specialist

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