Social media or newspapers : what’s the strategic opportunity to boost your profile?

For generations gaining coverage in newspapers and trade magazines was one of the main ways to make your target audience aware of your products and services. However, social media has revolutionised how organisations approach communications. With its instantaneous reach and vast audience, social media offers unparalleled opportunities for real-time engagement and brand storytelling, so why bother with newspapers and magazines?

Newspaper and magazine readership has been in decline as the digital age has replaced print media. Many firms now use social media platforms to amplify breaking news and information about products and services, ensuring wider dissemination of information. Interactive content like videos, infographics, and live streams enhance audience engagement. Social media analytics can then provide valuable insights, allowing users to tailor their strategies effectively.

Additionally, social media’s two-way communication fosters direct engagement with the audience, facilitating better brand-customer relationships and enabling organisations to respond promptly to feedback and concerns.

While a press release may be considered old-fashioned, it still has a crucial role in placing news and information in front of correspondents and content editors. The press release is a formal announcement written in a structured format, containing essential details, quotes, and contact information. If built around careful targeting and embargos, it not only sets the agenda for debate but offers the opportunity to secure influential third-party endorsement of products and services, strengthen reputations and drive audience reaction.

In a busy life, a well-crafted news release makes the hard-pressed journalists’ search for news content more helpful. Whilst its reach may be limited when compared to social media and digital marketing strategies, it’s generally more focused and can generate greater equity value.

In contrast, a social media post is a concise, informal message shared on platforms like X (the social platform formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram to engage a broader audience. It usually includes multimedia content and hashtags to increase visibility.

While a press release targets the media and industry professionals, social media posts aim to connect directly with consumers and followers.

A social media post should be concise and engaging, typically consisting of catchy text, relevant hashtags, and eye-catching multimedia content like images or videos. It should communicate the main message clearly, evoke interest, and encourage interaction from the target audience. Including a call-to-action (CTA) can prompt users to like, share, or comment, enhancing post visibility and user engagement.

When creating a social media post, it’s crucial to avoid certain pitfalls. Firstly, steer clear of offensive or controversial content that may alienate your audience. Avoid excessive self-promotion, as it can be off-putting. Refrain from using too many hashtags, as they may come across as spammy. Be cautious with humour, as it can be misinterpreted. Lastly, consider carefully how to respond to comments or messages, your speed of response, tone and style, can influence your brand’s reputation.

Social media posts offer immediate and interactive engagement while in contrast, press releases enable formal communication to journalists and opinion forming exposure in influential media outlets. Combining both approaches will optimise communication strategies, maximising exposure and build credibility for comprehensive campaign success.

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