We have always advocated the judicious use of social media as another PR tool for companies looking to extend their brand. When applied effectively, social media can extend the reach and impact of legitimate third-party earned media coverage. Now we find that journalists agree with us, according to a recent survey from Ogilvy Public Relations.

Journalists are gauging the impact of their stories by the reaction they see on social platforms. Over 90 percent of the 77 media members surveyed believe that there is relevance between the social media reaction and the impact that their stories have.

This reinforces our belief that social media alone does not drive PR, but that it can have a strong effect on PR initiatives. Earning the credibility of legitimate third-party mainstream and new media coverage is what drives brand recognition and company growth, and augmenting that with social media, blogs and video can help propel your message across additional media channels.

As we have reported previously, the downsizing of newsrooms and editorial suites has led to more cooperation between professionals in the media relations world and the journalists and editors who are looking for stories that can increase readership. Building a cohesive earned media strategy will continue to provide a greater return than relying on one or the other exclusively.