The world of marketing public relations, or MPR, has transformed rapidly. Exceeding the norms of conventional marketing practices, it has turned to innovative and/or complementary methods to surge the competitiveness within a globalized environment.
MPR enlightens us that the use of social media could play an important role in engaging new customers, persuading public attitude and changing their behaviors.
The Marketing Public Relation, or MPR, is in the verge of transformation. Five years ago, never have I witnessed a public relations practitioner who could write a press release right on the spot, in where an event –for instance, launching a new product that is later on shared to editors or media reporters, buzzers or bloggers, shareholders and other stakeholders as well as customers-was held.
In that time, press releases were not only published on clients’ company websites, but they were also posted at their affiliated PR firms. Practitioners sometimes posted press releases in Google so that reporters, who were unable to attend, could download them from the Google, a web search engine, including photos and videos. Internet users were allowed to see and engage upon the affair.
In Indonesian context, Jakarta Vice Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama directly reported broadcasts from YouTube videos. His amicable yet witty strategies were seen as efficient in delivering accessible, honest reports and, hence, have opened the mind of many.
According to Sylviana Murni, an assistant secretary to the provincial Jakarta administration at that time, Basuki’s orders of uploading every meeting to YouTube with official government account, has attracted attention from many countries.
“Since videos were uploaded to YouTube, along with his transparency to SKPD, 50 countries viewed with 1,5 million clicks,” she said on December 10, 2012. The videos automatically gave a platform of freedom for Indonesians, both inside and foreign countries, as well as foreign citizens to discuss directly through media chatting.
MPR is about planning process, implementing and evaluating programs, which encourages purchasing and customer satisfaction through trustworthy communication information. It also gives the impression that the company and its products can identify the necessities, requirements, concerns and interests of the customers. Public, as potential consumers, is MPR’s main target. In this case, credibility –including the message deliverance and media- determines MPR’s effectiveness.
One of the characteristics of social media is decentralization, which means, through conversations that awakens social media; every person can involve in MPR activities, gain access through social networking among companies as well as represent the company through his personal account.
The consequence, apparently, results the company to lose control over branding messages. Hence, company believes that public should be able to represent a brand managed by the marketers. In other words, when a company enters social media, company must build a mutual interaction effectively and give the brand message consistently in order to trigger conversation among people. The brand is meant for customers and so do customers for brand.
Another challenge faced is the integration of it to make all messages conveyed as what the values of the company desires; not forgetting that social media continue to evolve like a geometrical progression. Not until three years ago, public only recognized Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. And now, they have become familiar with Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and others.
Several brands such as The Today Show and Starbucks utilize Social PR news reports via Instagram. Starbucks, known as an early Instagram user has currently more than 250,000 followers. Starbucks tries to show customers’ experiential actions in the stores from all over the world through Instagram.
Referring back to MPR, publicity is an influential mean. Advertising and individual sales are fundamental purpose of publicity in order to elevate brand equity in two ways. First, doing it through the awareness of the brand. Second, building a brand image –more likely brands set in most minds of the consumers- cooperating with strong and profitable associations.
No until five years ago, companies had gained their publicities solely through forms such as news releases, press conferences, and other types of information. Such publicities had only gained understanding from the media perspectives.
Now, social media has taken the place. Blogs, online contents, news releases, social media; those platforms allow companies connect directly with the consumers in the public arena. A significant change that occurred in the dynamic world of MPR.