Social media for public relations: Lessons from four effective cases

Ilhem Allagui*, Harris Breslow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This paper employs the collective case studies approach in an examination of four award-winning public relations campaigns conducted across a variety of social media platforms in order to determine the best practices of, and near term trends, in the effective use of social media for public relations. In their examination of these campaigns the authors discern the following trends in best practices: social media campaigns employ digital storytelling techniques that are both immersive and emotive, and that promote various forms of content sharing these stories involve members of the target audience in at least one form of open-ended offline engagement that involves sharing behaviors; the content is optimized for mobile displays and controls; and, finally, the content is timely. The authors conclude that, although marketers think of social media in terms of brand awareness and reputation management, the effective use of social media in Public Relations campaigns can generate conversion, facilitate brand positioning, and maintain continued brand sustenance. The authors conclude that the effective use of social media is disrupting the PR campaign cycle: the role of campaign events to generate publicity in service to a PR campaign may, in the future, be displaced by social media campaign tactics which belong to an entirely different ecosystem where the act of sharing social media content generates publicity in lieu of a campaign event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-30
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Awarded-campaigns
  • Case study
  • Digital-storytelling
  • Effectiveness
  • Public relations
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing


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