Social media is a lot of things, but one thing it is above all else is one of the best ways to attract an audience of loyal followers and it can be a dream come true for PR professionals. Many people are laboring under very misguided impressions of exactly what it is that public relations is and how it works, and there is also a great deal of misunderstanding when it comes to an online SPR degree.

However, much of that can be dispelled just by looking at what is being thought of as social media’s indisputably biggest success of 2016. Can you guess what that is? That’s right! Donald J. Trump’s victory over the favored frontrunner, Hillary Rodham Clinton. So how does PR and social media enter into all this? It’s easy to explain.

First a Look at What PR Is

Many people look at public relations as a way marketers can promote an image in the public eye, sometimes painting unrealistic pictures of what a person or brand truly is. That could be the case, but that is only a small part of what PR is and where they do the most work is in counteracting negative press.

Another thing that should be said right up front is that not all schools that offer a public relations masters are created equal. It takes a special type of university that is ranked highly and utilizes the talent of the nation’s top experts. These are the pros who are able to show you how to turn an image around. In other words, they are experts in damage control.

Donald J. Trump, Social Media and Public Relations

This is where Donald Trump came up with the magic formula! He had an ace PR team on call to help erase any of the damaging press the left was throwing out there, much of which proved to have no basis in fact. At least, that was the spin his PR team was able to put on it. Then, it was ingenious to put Trump on Twitter, tweeting away to his loyal (and not-so-loyal) followers because he was what people were looking for.

They wanted a candidate who was not embroiled in politics as usual and they wanted one whom they could count as one of them. He might be a billionaire, but he worked his way out of debt so many times it made people feel as if there was hope for them as well.

What It Took to Turn the Tables

With social media and some of the best PR in the world, Trump won what appeared to be an unwinnable victory! All the networks were predicting a solid Clinton win and as election night wore on and Clinton was nowhere to be seen (or found!) and Trump was out there tweeting away, perhaps at the behest of his PR team, it became apparent who the people’s choice would be. Yes, with social media and a crack PR team at your disposal, the sky is the limit.