May 25, 2017

Fueling Conversations: How Social Media Sets the Scene for PR Pros

By: Allison Diroll

It didn’t take long for Olive to recognize social media as a form of PR, offering strategic social media marketing services to our clients since our earliest days. However, despite our early adoption, we understand that this distinction may not be as clear-cut to those outside of the industry.

In its simplest terms, public relations is the way in which the public talks about your brand, and social media offers a perfect space for those conversations to happen. The recent United Airlines fiasco is a great example of how this works.

As you’ve probably heard by now, United Airlines found themselves in quite the PR disaster when videos of their airline employees physically dragging a non-violent, unconscious paying customer off of a flight took the internet by storm.

It wasn’t long before people around the world began to weigh in on not only on the altercation, but also on the company and their brand as a whole, sharing their own negative experiences and further jolting the company’s image in a negative light. If you think that’s bad, it doesn’t stop there. The airline almost instantly became the butt of viral memes, parody videos, SNL skits and more, continuously fueling the conversation – that’s what we call really bad PR.

While catastrophes like these aren’t necessarily new to PR professionals, they seem to hold more weight today than ever before – all thanks to social media. Unlike traditional media, which would cover a story once or twice, followed by a press release apology from the company before eventually fizzling out, social media provides a platform for endless circulation and spinoffs of a story, as well as a platform for public discussion. Because of this, it has become crucial for PR pros to not only be aware of the conversations happening about their clients online, but to also be as integrated and involved on social media as possible.

It’s also important to note that the United Airlines example is on the more extreme end, and there is just as much if not more space online for positive conversations that illuminate the great things that are happening around the globe, which is exactly what we aim for at Olive! By recognizing social media as a crucial link in your brand’s communication to the public, you’ll have the opportunity to not only see what others are saying about your brand, but ultimately lead the conversation. It’s the difference between being proactive versus reactive.

If you’re ready to join in on the conversation, we’re ready to help you take the PR (and social media) world by storm. Shoot us an email at, and see the great things we’re up to by following Olive PR Solutions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!