Public Relations, not just for corporations and huge businesses

by Luke Freeman

Public Relations is defined as “a mutual beneficial relationship between an organization, your company or the one you work for, and their publics,” said Hanna Park, a professor here at MTSU. I’ve learned that public relations is not just about your typical press release or news advisory, it’s much more. Connecting with the individual is the goal of many smaller companies. As a musician and PR major I’ve incorporated what I’ve learned through courses here at MTSU.

In the entertainment industry social media is one of the quickest ways to reach our publics. Of course, most of us know what social media is, but there are plenty of social media sites that you may not know about…and honestly, there’s probably many that PR pros don’t use yet either. Twitter is one of the most common forms of social media, along with Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo and many more. Small businesses, bands and individuals can use these types of social media for great things. Guess how much it costs? Virtually nothing. Yes, virtually. There are always ways that you can boost your reach of a message you post. For instance, on Facebook as a band or business you can choose the amount you want to spend, choose your demographic and choose what post or picture you want to advertise.

This strategy on Facebook works for many artists that I’ve worked with over the last few years that do international business. The reason the advertisement option on Facebook is so effective is that within the demographic options you can choose what age, race, sex, location and what the users are interested in as criteria. My band, Lions Among Us, use Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to send messages to our fans and sites like Mail Chimp to get our press information out there. Using twitter we reached over 40,000 followers in a little over a year. Most of our reach was in places like Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark. Because one of our ads on Facebook reached a Japanese music store owner, in August of 2013 we sent 10,000 albums to be sold in Japan.

A quote from PRSA’s West District stated “Online social media has taken over the Internet like wildfire, and it’s the companies who aren’t able to market themselves online that suffer the consequences from competing businesses. Print press releases and media kits are still a necessary part of public relations, but social media has become equally, if not sometimes more important, than print PR.” This quote just goes to show that social media is a huge part in generating publicity in any type of business. Two way communication with your audience creates a better way to get information. The first step of any PR plan is to do research, look at what your public is looking for. Social media can be that successful way to reach and understand individuals around the world.

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About janpatricequarles

MTSU Professor of Mass Communication
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