Chances are, if you’re an active user of TikTok or Instagram, you’ve witnessed or even participated in a PR campaign through influencer-generated content or branded accounts.
While the phrase “PR” may have a negative connotation to some people, it’s not inherently bad, and PR cycles on social media happen much more often than you might think. However, it’s good to be able to spot one so that you can accurately decide whether a product or angle is worth buying.
What is the PR cycle?
Juliana Martins, CEO and founder Eleven11 Media RelationsHe said a PR cycle is “an actionable, strategic plan that an advertiser or PR agency will put together when launching a public marketing campaign.”
Okay, what is a public marketing campaign? In short, it is a public effort that emerges through media forms. Based on a predetermined goal, such as increasing revenue or persuading influencers to talk about a new product, a team of PR representatives will decide how to approach this outcome. While a PR push is designed to look that way, it’s purposeful and not organic.
Kyle Ankney, head of public relations Red Heifer Environment“PR cycles [can also] comes after a brand or public figure misstep”, but such marketing strategies are not the only ones in existence. Many social media PR cycles happen to sell a product or get people talking about a brand.
Account strategist and manager Chan Desai, otter PRHe’s clear about the role social media platforms play in shopping habits: “TikTok is home to countless public relations cycles with its ability to go viral at lightning speed,” he said. “As publishers, we’re always looking for the latest; If he’s trending on TikTok, he’ll naturally be involved in PR cycles that week.
How do PR cycles work on social media?
After determining what a brand, organization, influencer or public figure wants from the PR cycle, the next step is research.
“An advertiser will do some in-depth research to understand the target audience of the campaign and what they respond best to,” Martins said. “Once the campaign starts and if it’s successful, you’ll see a stream of engagement for a few days or weeks.”
You can see this in the way it appeals to certain demographics, with Millennials and Generation Z being some of the most easily identifiable on social media. According to Isabel Ludick, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at ExcitedCats.com, “a social media-based public relations cycle listens carefully, provides effective and clear communication, and posts good feedback on the brand, products, or services as a way to attract more customers and followers.”
Martins pointed 2021 example From the tanning brand Isle of Paradise. The company has employed five influencers to create content such as tutorials and the popular “get ready with me” (GRWM) videos on TikTok that show them using Paradise Island tanning drops and then feature this content. It was later reported that his income increased by 68% for the week.
But the internet is versatile and a brand’s target audience may differ from the average consumer. Isle of Paradise customers are The different face of TikTok than shoppers Pleasing’s buyers are the unisex beauty line of beloved singer, fashion icon and popular young person Harry Styles. As a result, PR campaigns may need to use similar but opposite tools and may appear completely different to consumers.
The subject of discussion: One of the Pleasing most popular TikTok videos It has 4.8 million views. It does nothing to sell products beyond displaying it to users at odd angles, instead leaning on obscure viral clips, a Shrek meme, hashtags (#edit, #buythis, #lol, #emotional) or even an audio clip that doesn’t exist. Harry Styles. The audio file now has over 100 videos of Styles fans reacting to the video.
For someone who isn’t into the joke (i.e. the weird internet humor that Gen Z adores and uses), this video makes absolutely no sense, but it garnered over 992,000 likes with top comments like “IM CRYINH” and “oky”. I think I’ll go and get more stuff.”
Bother brands have vetted their audiences and got to know them well, producing content that sells – even if that doesn’t outwardly promote the product as something you should buy.
If PR is behind everything, how can I make an informed shopping decision?
Not everything you see on social media from a brand is a PR push – sometimes it’s just social media marketing in progress – but posts on a company’s TikTok or Instagram are likely to be carefully selected. Influencers recommend or use products, is is most likely part of a PR cycle.
How do you know if the purchase is worth it when so much content is biased and makes you click “add to cart”?
For one, customer ratings and reviews can still be used for good. While some companies filter bad reviews on websites, usually larger malls like Amazon and Target Don’t, provided negative reviews don’t violate their guidelines. It’s a good idea to read a few reviews to get a well-informed idea of the possible pros and cons of a product. You can use a browser extension like fake point To alert you when there may be previous reviews on a product on Amazon manipulated by the sellers themselvesThere has been an ongoing issue for the site.
Review Directory Another useful add-on for Chrome or Firefox and webwebsite was also launched. You can enter an Amazon URL and it will provide a summary of the reviews and let you know if there are too many spam reviews.
If you are interested in experience with customer service or the validity of a particular company, Better Business Bureau it is a great resource. BBB is an international association that accredits companies and brands on their integrity and performance. Gives a rating based on complaint history, company type, time at work, transparency in apps, and more. These are provided on a scale of A+ to F, while customer ratings are given in the 5-star range and are based on reviews written by shoppers. (However, some businesses are not BBB-approved, but legal. pleasantfor example, it is not accredited; The only customer review about it on BBB’s site is a complaint.)
Trust Pilot is another resource that compiles customer reviews about various brands, companies and businesses. According to TrustPilot About the pageThe site actively aims to create a better experience for both shoppers and businesses. The company is also working to combat bias and fake reviews – there, pleasant It has a 2.8-star rating out of 5.
And while online shopping is certainly a mode of the day, you don’t have to just scrutinize potential purchases on the web. For example, let’s say a TikTok influencer appears on your “For You” page and is excitedly talking about a trendy new sneaker they bought. Claiming to be stylish, comfortable and high quality, it can be easy to instantly agree with their reviews. You don’t have to though. You can go to a store in person to try on the shoes, walk around in it, and get a feel for whether it would be a good option in your closet.
It is worth noting that some brands that are popular on social media are only online; Satisfaction is one of them. You can welcome hesitation in your shopping decisions and choose to wait or decline that purchase altogether, rather than swiping your credit card information right away. Uncertainty is a welcome feature when it comes to online shopping, because you’re not doing it. Always take what you envision in your brain. You may decide to wait for reviews from real buyers or choose to shop for a tried-and-true brand in your repertoire.
So… are PR cycles bad?
Depends on who you ask.
Participating in a PR cycle as a consumer or follower can often be unintentional. It’s not bad practice to like, comment, or share a particular social media post from a brand – you’re using the app for its full purpose – but it certainly is to contribute target of the campaign. Branded posts are premeditated, strategic and aimed at getting views, but if you decide to engage with it, a particular brand is likely to match your interests or sense of humor.
“It’s up to you and your content interests,” Martins said. “If you want to publish and support a brand/person/organization’s PR campaign for free, go ahead! If it is trending, it can help with exposure and engagement.
Ankney also made a very valid point: “PR cycles are essential for brands and influencers alike,” he said. “Knowing your audience, having a message or purpose, and [that] clearly and methodically it’s not a bad thing.