Our President & CEO, Megan Baker, was recently part of a panel of public relations professionals to discuss some of the trends and challenges of the quickly-changing PR industry. One of the biggest trends that the panel has seen taking over the industry is the use of social media campaigns for brand awareness and how major companies are taking a stand for various causes.
Social media is driving the news. No matter where you go, almost every person you come across will have at least one social media account, which is why it makes it so easy for movements like #MeToo and #MSDStrong to garner so much media attention. As a result, many brands and organizations wonder if they, too, should take a stand and participate in the movement.
PR pros are tasked with executing effective ways to project a client’s voice. Is your client creative and doing something extraordinary visually? Then they’re perfect for Instagram. Or, are you trying to establish your client as a thought leader? Twitter provides the perfect platform to get their ideas or opinions out quickly and concisely. If a client expresses an interest in participating in a social movement, it’s important to think about if doing so would fit well with their brand.
One company that has taken a stand as a result of a social media-driven movement is Dick’s Sporting Goods. Two weeks after Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the sports retailer announced that it would no longer sell assault-style weapons. However, the company did have some connection with the shooting. In an interview with Good Morning America, CEO Ed Stack acknowledged that the shooter had purchased a shotgun at one of the company’s stores months before the shooting, although that was not the gun used during the shooting. This is what led to Stack to cease sales on assault-style rifles.
Today, as a NYS Certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), Baker Public Relations chose to participate in the #EqualPayMovement as we believe in the empowerment of women and equal pay for work. We are a team of seven women and two men with a unified voice, and this movement deeply aligns with the voice of our brand.
Overall, as technology and social media evolve, our PR goals will stay the same: know your message and know you’re your audience.