The social media is a powerful and persuasive tool for practitioners of public relations mainly for those working at multinational and big corporations provided that it is given same importance as conventional media.
Aamir Abbasi, Senior Vice President National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) is an experienced PR practitioner in the corporate world is confident about his successes and achievements for image building of the company through social media.
In an interview to The News Tribe, he said that a successful PR practitioner should adopt all available resources for strengthening relationship with the press and stakeholders of the company, which has been made easier by social media.
He believes the social media is an amazing tool which can play a vital role for your company due to its advance features and widespread audience that are not available in conventional media, mainly due to its interactive nature.
Social networking site specifically Facebook is a platform where a PR executive can engage his company’s stakeholders particularly investors and customers that helps wining their confidence.
Creating a company’s page on Facebook is not a big deal but updating it carefully and artistically needs your creativity and investment of time, which will definitely pay you back with profit.
No doubt a Facebook page explains in detail about the products and services of the company without expenses, which is not possible through advertisement on print and electronic media even by paid advertisement in some cases.
Secondly, it tells the masses about the commercial and different activities of the company particularly sports and social corporate responsibilities in the case of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).
One of the activities on Facebook that helps you engage your fans is to give them important information which impact their lives and public service messages. Only giving company information will not create a relationship of any kind.
A career guide to budding PR practitioners
Aamir Abbasi gave valuable tips to budding PR practitioners in the light of his more than 15 years experience with several companies including PARCO, PSO, KESC and NBP.
According to him:
A PR official should have a friendly personality and he or she should know all reporters in particular who cover the beat in which his company is included.
He or she should posses good communication skills both in verbal and written having capability to communicate properly in Urdu and English.
A good PR person should be available all the time to reporters and editors for his comments and input because this is a challenging and 24/7 job.
Besides he should be a non-repelling person who is always ready for reporters with pleasant mood whatever the circumstances may be.
He must possess a good news sense which is an important skill to get good coverage in newspapers and TV.
In addition to it, you must be very well connected in your own organization as well, so that you frequently get news stories for the media mainly for brand and image building of the company.
He said the interaction with media people on regular basis is very important to strengthen your relationship and credibility with the journalists. Therefore your feedback is considered important for stories on your organization, and you should give a solid input in any of the stories, which prevents your organization from any miss reporting that could have resulted due to lack of information.
When it comes to damaging news, in 50 percent cases, the story is killed if you give timely response to media. On most occasions they carry false information which needs to be clarified.