By: Donald Smith


I was browsing the Internet and stumbled across an article talking about the success Dunkin Donuts was having on a social media application called Snapchat. This started to make me think about how many companies have not yet fully adopted Snapchat into their public relations campaigns. Then I started to wonder if Snapchat would actually be a viable option for most companies.

“Snapchat Ghost,” by Snapchat

The answer I have come to is a bit mixed. This is because of two reasons. It would be a viable tactic because it allows for a more personal experience with its use of pictures and videos, it incorporated the personable characteristics that made Vine and Instagram so popular. Kelly Bennet said it best in an article for PR News, “It’s one of the few social media platforms that encourages the sharing of one’s unfiltered life. Snapchat humanizes your brand and offers a great opportunity to show your company’s culture.” This humanization encourages relationship building among your company’s publics.


However, the reason Snapchat may not be as viable as it seems is that its user base is still fairly narrow. In the same article Bennet shows that 71 percent of Snapchat’s users are under 34 years old. So unless your publics are with those in college, or at least around college ages, then Snapchat might not be a tactic you wish to pursue.


Something else that somewhat bothers me about it being a tactic is what I saw in a Social PR Chat article. In it Lisa Buyer wrote, “Snapchat is the here and now. Snapped and done. Here today and gone tomorrow.” I have mixed feelings about this statement because I feel that in PR we are supposed to build long-standing relationships and deliver messages that stay with people, not deliver messages that are here today and forgotten tomorrow. Although I do understand we live in a fast and fleeting society where virtual messages live for a split second before the next tweet is posted or status updated taking place of the previous one.


So, before you decide to make Snapchat a part of your company’s communication plan take a look at a few of these materials. There is a Snapchat cheat sheet from Cision; Snapchat tips from IBM; and Snapchat tips from Crenshaw Communications.


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