A PR’s quick guide to Social Media Ads


There once was a time when for a PR office to talk about advertising was against all the rules. There was editorial space where to win coverage brought third party endorsement and credibility. And there was ad space – paid for and a clear ‘sell’.

Life has changed.

It has changed because the media is no longer restricted to newspapers, radio and television. We now have an abundance of media channels driven by technology that can do the most amazing things. From passive receivers of news and information, we are now all active participants and paying to find new audiences to join in is part of every PR’s armoury.

Social media advertising is goal-oriented, targeted and affordable and for that reason can be used to add volume to a campaign voice and draw new people to engage with a brand or message.

A Facebook ad promoting a quiz or a poll directly to a niche audience could provide valuable content and data for a campaign or news story; a LinkedIn ad could promote content that would attract industry professionals to a website; while any social media ad supporting a competition can increase engagement with a brand beyond all expectations.

As a PR tool, social media ads can work.

  1. First set clear goals. This will help determine the platform and ad type
  2. Define your audience. It is easy on social media, using factors such as likes, age, location, device, gender and behaviour.
  3. No need to break the budget. Although prices can vary, on Facebook, it is possible to reach around 5,000 people for as little as £15.00.

Social media advertising spend has outstripped spend on the traditional media routes and it is not surprising as it opens up many more possibilities – not just for traditional advertisers, but for PR practitioners as well.

To see how your PR campaign can be amplified through social media ads please don’t hesitate to contact us for more info and advice.

Lizzy Lambley is a Director of PR at Indigo