Before you read this post, let me make a couple of things clear: 1. I am a guy. 2. I don’t find anything personally appealing about Pinterest.
Now, let me explain to you why neither of those facts should keep me from learning all I possibly can about the latest social media craze that is Pinterest.
As anybody remotely interested in public relations knows (heck, anybody that gets online once a week), social media is a serious driving force in modern times. Of the approximately 240,000,000 internet users in the United States alone, 65 percent use social media . While Facebook still claims the most users of all social networks, Pinterest is rapidly gaining popularity. Why would any public relations professional ignore such a trend?
Because we’re talking facts in this post, it’s only fair to point out that Pinterest is a heavily female-dominated site. With 80 percent of Pinterest users being female, it’s easy for men in the public relations world to step aside and not invest their time in understanding the site. However, I intend to persuade you that this mentality is directly in opposition to what makes a successful public relations practitioner.
Although Pinterest is far behind Facebook in total users, Pinterest has already toppled Facebook in its ability to actually drive users to make purchases. If public relations is truly to be used as a mechanism to create a positive public perception of a company or organization (and consequently encourage consumers to patronize that company), then public relations professionals should chomp at the bit for a site that has a high tendency to actually increase purchases.
Pinterest is heavy on visual appeal, and the majority of the content found on the site is pictures. People “pin” pictures that they find appealing, and thus those pictures are shared with more and more users. Who can then be surprised that Pinterest is pushing people to the sites where the pictures originated and thereby driving up sales? You better believe that some users who see a delicious chocolate cake or beautiful vacation spot are going to find a way to attain what is on the screen.
Another important consideration as to why all public relations professionals should be interested in Pinterest is that you can’t ignore an entire segment of the population. Yes, Pinterest is mostly frequented by females; but the last time I checked, public relations is about more than reaching out to members of your same sex.
About the blogger
This is a guest post by Tim Pate, the treasurer of the Colorado State University Chapter of PRSSA. He is a senior journalism student focusing on public relations. He interns with the Department of Communications at CSU’s College of Business, and his interests include reading, writing, social media, travel and sports.
So, fellow men of the public relations world, I ask you: What efforts will you make to understand Pinterest?