People’s opinions matter and when many people have the same opinion about something that they are emotional about, a movement can be created. Common bonds are what make anything happen in this world because no one can make a difference all on their own. Understanding the things that make people tick is what makes a PR firm know what they need to do in order to effectively reach the audiences of their clients so they can focus and deliver their message in a way that is beneficial for their image. Public relations mean the same as it did before the internet age but things have change a great deal.
Managing the spread of information between a public relations firm and their clients is still the name of the game but the way it is done takes place in a virtual format more than anywhere else. The newspapers still deliver messages to the public but finding someone in their 20s today who subscribes to a daily newspaper is like finding someone who is completely out of touch with their current reality. Because, even people in the their 60s and 70s have grown to accept and appreciate the internet and the sources that they can find on it in order to educate themselves on what is happening in the world around them.
Exposure is what it is all about but managing that exposure so the public hears what they should over the noise that is created to obscure the real message. There are a lot of factions competing against one another for influence in the online media world and no one can really count on anyone to provide objective information, but most people do not even question what they read if it sounds believable. Call it gullible, call it uneducated, call it naïve but either way it is a reality that most people are easily influenced and generally speaking, they believe what they hear. So, any business, government agency, political candidate or public figure should rightfully take control of what they can when it comes to what people hear about them and what they are trying to accomplish.
The internet has changed everything and companies who used to call themselves PR firms are now referring to themselves as social media marketing and management companies because they know the general public spends most of their time on social media sites. People use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and all kinds of social media outlets to share information about whatever happens to be going on in theirs and the lives of people in the media who they follow. Tons of people want to feel like they want to be on the cutting edge of breaking stories and even though it is mainly for entertainment value, people form opinions about businesses and individuals whose names come up on social media outlets in some way based on the information presented.
Messages of all kinds are transmitted on the internet via social media websites whether it be press releases that are prepared for those viewing them specifically from one of these sources, or information obtained from another source that is transferred to this information-sharing medium. There is no such thing as a story that appears in a newspaper or magazine, or on the radio or television that somehow will not end up on the internet if it affects enough people’s lives and someone feels that they want to make the information available. A PR client’s interests are one thing but their audiences and their opinions are a completely different matter altogether, so there has to be a facilitator who is able to create some kind of technological fusion between the two.
A public relations company is capable of doing a lot of things in terms of planting strategic informational seeds in the right places so that the people who pick them up deliver nourishment in the form of positive exposure to people with whom they interact. A PR firm more than anything else needs to know their clients and their audience and knowing where their audience gathers online to receive information in a virtual place is as important as any physical place where they would go to hear a spokesperson for a company speak about anything that is of personal concern to them. Any message that needs to be delivered to the public for any purpose whether it is to garner support for a political cause or to elicit sympathy for someone or an organization that is somehow being victimized, needs a helping had from an expert who knows how to effectively plant the seeds.