How Public Relations Practitioners Can Leverage WhatsApp As A Communication Channel For Enhanced Media Relations
By Andrew Chinambu, Founder and Chief Future Officer of Efficacy Media.
In today’s fast-paced business world, communication has become even more critical to the success of any business. Effective media relations is key to build a strong reputation, maintain positive relationships with key stakeholders, and achieving business objectives. One platform that has proven to be a valuable tool for enhancing media relations is the WhatsApp application.
WhatsApp is a messaging application that was founded in 2009 and is currently owned by Meta. It allows users to send text messages, voice notes, photos, videos, and other multimedia content to other WhatsApp users, using their phone numbers as identification. The application is available on both iOS and Google Play Store and has over 2 billion users worldwide. It has become a popular tool for communication and is used by individuals, businesses, and as a Chatbot for customer service. The application has evolved to offer a range of features that make it an ideal tool forc ommunicators to easily connect with media houses through journalists who now receive media invitations, media kits, footage and conduct interviews among others things which facilitate for enhanced media relations through the use of WhatsApp.
One of the main advantages of using WhatsApp for media relations is the speed of communication. With instant messaging, messages can be sent and received in real-time, making it easy to stay in touch with journalists, bloggers, influencers and other media professionals. This can be particularly useful during breaking news events or when responding to media inquiries and during a crisis for an organisation.
Group chats are another valuable feature of WhatsApp. With group chats, you can communicate with multiple journalists or media professionals at once, making it easy to share updates, news releases, and other important information. Group chats can also be used to facilitate discussions or to gather feedback on a particular topic of interest.
Voice notes are another feature that can be useful for media relations. With voice notes, you can quickly record and send a message, making it easy to convey information or answer questionsfrom a source. Voice notes can also be useful for providing background information or context that might be difficult to convey in writing for broadcast media houses.
WhatsApp can also be used to build and maintain relationships with journalists and media professionals. By using the application to stay in touch and provide value-added content, you can develop a rapport with key stakeholders and position yourself as a trusted source of information. This can be particularly useful for securing media coverage or generating positive publicity through the use of the WhatsApp status to share business updates and product or service information with the media.
To get the most out of WhatsApp for media relations, it’s important to use it strategically. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Use WhatsApp to share news releases and other important information. By sending news releases via WhatsApp, you can ensure that journalists receive them quickly and can act on them promptly and open for them to ask questions promptly. You can also use the app to share images, videos, and other multimedia content that might be useful for coverage.
Create a media contact list in WhatsApp. By creating a list of journalists and media professionals in the app, you can quickly and easily send messages and updates to key media. You can also use the list to facilitate group chats or to invite them attend an event.
Use WhatsApp to build relationships with journalists and media professionals. By sharing valuable content and insights, you can position yourself as a trusted source of information and build relationships with key news desks. This can be particularly useful for securing media coverage or generating positive sentiments.
Consider using voice notes to convey information. Voice notes can be a useful tool for providing context or answering questions that might be difficult to convey in writing. By using voice notes, you can also add a personal touch to your communications and build rapport with the media.
Use WhatsApp to stay informed about breaking news and industry developments. By joining relevant WhatsApp groups or following key journalists and media outlets, you can stay informed about breaking news and industry developments. This can be useful for identifying opportunities for media coverage or for responding to emerging issues.
In conclusion, WhatsApp can be a valuable tool for enhancing media relations if utilised in a professional manner. By leveraging the platform‘s instant messaging capability, group chat, and voice note features, you can stay in touch with journalists and media professionals, share news releases and other multimedia content, and build relationships with journalists. To get the most out of WhatsApp for improved media relations, it’s important to use it strategically and to focus on providing value-added content and insights.
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