Instagram: A Powerful Tool for PR Pro’s

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            As one of the fastest growing social media sites, Instagram now has 100 million active users (Whittman, 2013). It is my go to social networking sites because I believe that pictures say 1,000 words. Everyone can be a photographer and capture any moment they are ready for. The editing capabilities, along with other apps, like PicStitch, allow for endless amounts of unique posts. You are able to connect with celebrities, companies, friends, family, sports teams, and more. The world is shrinking with every new social media technology available. Instagram is a way for people to build their brand, whether it is personal or business related.

            Public Relations professionals need to become comfortable with Instagram. Lucia Davis wrote an article titled, “6 Instagram Tips for PR Pros” in PR News. He says that PR pros should follow 6 steps when launching an Instagram campaign. Those are: To start with a clear start and end date, to engage with other Instagram users, to leverage other blogger’s and influencer’s followers by teaming up, to use third-party editing apps, to share photos with more people through hashtags and to host a contest as a way to engage existing and new fans (Davis, 2013). Major companies can benefit greatly by using Instagram when launching a major campaign. Based on what Davis says, it is important to network and connect with other influencers because you can also reach their followers.

            PR professionals can communicate and improve a brand through Instagram. Jenny Wittman’s article, “Instagram- The PR Perspective” in Cision Navigator, describes the positive impact that Instagram has on companies that stay relevant with social media (Wittman, 2013). PR professional, Natasha Koifman (mentioned in the article) believes in the effectiveness of hashtags and its ability to reach a variety of different audiences. Another PR professional, Leila Lewis discusses the popularity of Instagram in the wedding industry. Different companies will benefit more from Instagram than others (Wittman, 2013). Choosing the right image is not an easy task. PR professionals have to take into consideration what the audience will be drawn to and what will have the most visual impact. Creativity is important in the field because everyone has the ability to use the same social media tools to whether you are a professional or part of the audience.

             As an frequent Instagram user myself, I would recommend limiting the amount of hastags used, posting clear and appropriate photos, taking advantage of the editing features offered, tagging other users, using the newly released video feature, and interacting appropriately with users that comment. Remaining professional is key. Having fun and being creative with Instagram will engage people and catch their eye immediately! Start new trends.

References: http://www.prnewsonline.com/water-cooler/2013/06/12/6-instagram-tips-for-pr-pros/

http://navigator.cision.com/Instagram-The-PR-Perspective.aspx

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4 thoughts on “Instagram: A Powerful Tool for PR Pro’s

  1. I definitely agree with the idea that instagram is extremely effective in marketing products, businesses, etc. I love your statement about a picture being worth 1000 words, and I think that the reason why instagram is so popular in this day and age is because this generation is something that hasn’t been around yet. Instead of reading things, we like visuals- we like being able to look at something and know what it is, interpret it the way that our minds interpret it. Instead of reading news through a newspaper- we like to see things, watch things unfold through videos and pictures. All I can think about was when Kevin Ware, the forward from Louiseville basketball team brutally broke his leg during March Madness last year and it was all over every single news station. I signed onto instagram and literally seconds after the accident happened, that gruesome picture was on instagram, with #prayforkevinware underneath. People who don’t watch basketball probably knew all about what had happened solely because of instagram. With companies recognizing how prominent instagram is, they can really use it to their advantage. Even though I think instagram really is becoming huge in PR world, I do think that Twitter still remains top of the competition- with Instagram at a close second!

    1. Pictures and videos are definitely taking over traditional reading and writing! Our generation is obsessed with capturing pictures wherever we are and recording videos whenever we can. I think PR professionals understand this trend and have used it effectively when working for different companies. For example, I follow Victoria’s Secret on Instagram and they use the video tool almost daily, but in a unique way. I think the first time I saw an image of Kevin Ware’s leg was on Twitter (So gross)! Great example though because I think the world knew who Kevin Ware was within a couple hours of the incident, thanks to social media.

  2. I also love Instagram! I think that it is such a great way to capture the attention of its’ viewers. You may not have time to sit and read about a company’s latest product or their new changes to their business, but posting pictures on Instagram is a fast way to allow the viewer to get information on the go. Now with Instagram video, lots of new opportunities have been created for PR practitioners and Instagram. I definitely agree that a picture is worth a thousand words, and through Instagram, we are allowed to jazz up a simple picture to make it unique and more appealing! Great post!

    1. Great point! It is a fantastic way for consumers to view a product on the go. There are many opportunities to be creative through a picture, and if done right, a brand can really sell itself well. The same goes for Instagram video. I think there are still a few tweaks that need to be done to the video feature because it does not work all of the time.

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