PR is essential in the media cycle and grown exponentially in the past few years. However, with the rise of social media platforms such as twitter, instagram, facebook and Snapchat, the future of PR, and public affairs firms has become uncertain.

Despite growing focus on technology, it is important that we must not overlook traditional PR tools, e.g. TV, radio and print. Effective PR will continue to be essential in building brand awareness, gaining customers and differentiating the brand from competitors. It is essential to integrate both traditional PR platforms as well as social media into a PR campaign for the most impact campaign.

While there is emphasis on digital strategy and social media for PR, traditional tools encompass components required for a successful brand campaign. Although social media could be seen as a threat to the business of public relation, it can be said that they exist in a symbiotic relationship, where it has become essential for a public affairs company to take advantage of social media opportunities for their clients. Damage control however, can be difficult on social media when dealing with controversial issues, and has thus created the need for public affairs strategy that should be executed in the case of an emergency (i.e. a crisis management plan).

Social media provides creative freedom to reach out to the target audience, but unless this is managed by someone with PR knowledge and experience, the spread of the message will not go very far. There’s only limited content to share on social media without a public affairs strategy. And what one shares is mostly the interviews or the stories covered by media – for which you need traditional PR. Furthermore, traditional means of PR must still be used to reach those who are not tech-friendly. In essence, rather than being something that replaces PR, social media has become a tool of PR which enhances its effectiveness at reaching wider audiences.

Desiree Peterkin Bell is the founder and CEO of public affairs company DPBell & Associates. Desiree is someone who intimately understands the growing role of social media in public relations, and is able to devise a brand campaign that utilizes a balance of traditional PR methods and social media promotion. This is what differentiates her public affairs company from other public affairs firms. To find out more about Desiree Peterkin Bell and the services provided by DPBell & Associates, visit her website.