How does social media compare with traditional media?
According to a study by Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon Universities, earned media delivered through social channels has a larger impact on sales than traditional earned media.1 This study revealed that a “unit” of traditional media accounted for 894 new customer sales and 403 existing customer sales. Since social media mentions were more frequent, the authors argued that social media is a valuable tool but it does not drive opinion alone.
The study also found that social media and traditional media work together in a feedback loop. Social media increases and amplifies the reach of traditional media while traditional media feeds the credibility of social media users by increasing, guiding and focusing their conversations.
Credibility is extremely important when using social media. To be credible, social media users frequently source their claims in traditional media. On the other hand, journalists tend to be very active on social media and use it to amplify their reports and inform their work by actively monitoring comments and story “shares” on social media platforms.
Are news releases still relevant?
The world of news and information is rapidly changing, and the traditional distribution of press releases is quite different than it used to be. Although the criteria that make up a great press release has changed, the value of a good release has remained constant.
As information leaders, journalists recognize that a social media post is already old news and therefore, they still appreciate receiving advance notice through a news release that provides them with solid background and an opportunity for follow up. It is an important media strategy to follow journalists, note what questions they are asking, what stories they are interested in and to get to know them online.
Social media may seem a less costly way for an organization to promote its message that traditional media approaches, but this is not actually the case when you consider the significant amount of time required to monitor social media.
A well-crafted press release can be likened to a seed that requires social media to allow it to germinate and grow. Both media strategies are investments and each supports the other.
Social media has changed a great deal about how information is spread, but it is no longer the new kid on the block. The combination of a solid news release, engagement on social media with key journalists, and regular participation in the appropriate online community is the best way to keep on top of today’s fast-paced news world.
Research Canada has established the Hriportal.ca as a meeting place for online conversations about health research and innovation. The Portal amplifies Members’ views in the online community through social media and a low-cost news distribution service which sends releases directly to journalists covering health and medical research as well as political and national news beats.
Contact us to learn more.