With its highly engaging environment and 800 million-plus user base, Facebook represents unlimited opportunity for companies looking to establish brand presence and develop long-standing relationships with customers and fans. Many public relations and marketing professionals have found success in building communities around their brands (and their clients’ brands) and adapted their communication strategies to be more “Facebook-friendly.” In this week’s Pulse, see if you can glean some tips from these world PR agency leaders who also lead in connecting, contributing and communicating online. We think you’ll ﬁnd plenty to learn from here, and even more to “like.”
Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category
Perhaps more often than anything else, I am asked about press releases and their continued role and relevancy as communications vehicles. “Has social media made traditional media irrelevant?” “Can the process of distributing a press release simply be replaced with a tweet?” “Have companies abandoned releases as a means to share their news with stakeholders?” My answer to all of these questions is quite simply, “No.”
When many of us think about buying a product or service, whether we’re in the consumer or B2B space, there is no better source for insight and opinion than a “trusted advisor” or colleague. We can ask what their experiences have been with a similar product, how it excels (or falls flat) in the marketplace, etc. Yes, we can go to a company’s website or talk to a sales rep for information (or a competitively slanted response), but at the end of the day, that kind of research might not really help us make decisions. In the past, when I needed to find information, get reviews or decide on the brand or product I wanted to buy, Google was my first choice. Today, though, for me and many others, this isn’t always the case. Social media – and social search – are changing the way we find vendors, get advice and eventually make purchasing decisions.
There are a lot of PR blogs and bloggers out there – and that’s a good thing. From Richard Edelman to Brian Solis, many are RSS and TweetDeck mainstays, and whether you follow industry giants or niche writers, some of the most insightful and foreward-thinking blogs about communication, social media and audience engagement are authored by those in the PR space. With “The New Breed,” we set out find ten PR blogs we could recommend to you that offered a unique mix of content and personality, and gave you some new ideas and fresh thinking when it comes to public relations.
I’m a huge fan of online networking. When Marketwire introduced the Social Media 2.0 press release in 2008, I was encouraged by my colleagues and managers to start experimenting with social media as a way to communicate with my clients, prospects and industry peers. It worked. Not only have I kept up with my social networking, but I’ve made some incredible connections. With what I’ve learned, I’ve also become a resource for others who are looking for help with their online networking efforts. Here are my ten rules for online networking:
We’ve all heard the mantra “content is king” – a quote originating from an article Bill Gates wrote in 1996 in which he stressed that content sites, not ecommerce sites, would generate the bulk of income in the years ahead. In fact, content has become as essential to a company’s success as its products and service. But now, content – text, images, video/flash, audio – can simply overwhelm. “Everyone” is publishing content and it is “everywhere,” ranging from blog posts to white papers to videos posted on YouTube. With all this noise, the content we post on our websites may not be attracting our target audiences and achieving expected results. So how do we open the door to greater content-publishing and audience-engagement success? Like anything else, the devil’s in the details.
In today’s digital landscape where content, SEO and social media collide, your headline is more important than ever. Whether it’s at the top of your blog post, press release or online article, the key to grabbing attention and getting your message across is to start with a captivating headline. You not only want your news to be read, you want it to be optimized for search and easy to share. When you write your headline, you need to consider writing to accommodate search engines, social networks and human readers alike. Lofty goals for a dozen words, indeed. Here are a few quick tips to help you with your headlines:
We’re inundated with stories about the failure of mainstream media to rise up to the challenge and expectation of social media stakeholders and digital consumers, and with accounts of iconic enterprises scrambling to find a way to deal with steadily declining paid subscribers and advertisers. There are, however, nimble adapters – even media icons – that are not only learning to survive in the new media era—they’re thriving in it. Some even lead the charge when it comes to breaking ground in innovative uses of social media techniques to gather, report, publish and distribute the news.
A traditional press release is still relevant in today’s evolving PR landscape. But more and more companies are complementing their traditional releases with social media press releases (and even replacing them) because a social media press release is a vehicle to tell a fuller, richer story by offering multimedia assets and a way for your audiences to easily share your content through their social networks. When you take the time to properly plan your social media release, you increase your chances for getting your content read and shared with greater frequency.
Many North American employees spend as much time (if not more) at the office as we do at home, so it’s little wonder that we want our workplace to be more than a sea of cubicles bathed in fluorescent light and muzac. But what makes a great space? We set off in search of the coolest PR and marketing agency reception areas knowing we’d see some pretty incredible spaces: exposed brick, funky artwork and open, welcoming interiors. We didn’t expect to see the utterly amazing, quirky, and just plain fun alternatives to traditional office design, including an antique carousel, a barista bar and even a “WOW” bell for clients to ring when they experience great service. Equally impressive was the extent to which these agencies and their employees personified the social media ethos: collaborative work environments, Wi-Fi lounges, breakout spaces that foster creativity and sharing. Let’s take a look at ten of the places some very fortunate and creative people call “the office.”
When it comes to social media usage around the globe, the stats, trends, and “did-you-knows” are seemingly infinite. A lot of surveys have been conducted to determine the most socially connected cities based on numbers alone, so we did things a bit differently: we identified international cities that personify the social way of life in their own unique ways. We’ll take you to London, the city with the most Twitter users worldwide, and to Seoul, whose broadband penetration rate of 83 percent is nothing short of astonishing. And you’ll learn which US city is the best for online dating and where you’d likely get the best salary as a social media manager.
I’m a news junky. Have been my whole life. Probably why I started out as a reporter and why I enjoy much of what I do today. It’s the story that matters and the impact that story has to bring people closer or pull them farther apart. Every story has the power to – at the very least – get the conversation started, and, hopefully, get people to take some action. The story that broke a decade ago is one that touched every human being, and one that is being remembered on this 10th anniversary with the dedication of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum taking place today on the very site in New York that has been known as “Ground Zero.”
Perhaps the best examples of real-time content are Twitter and Facebook. Think of it: every tweet, retweet and post is content that you are authoring and sharing in real time. You share an opinion or post a question to your friends and followers and often, you’ve got a response even before you can hit “refresh.” These real-time conversations produce real-time content. But in and of itself, the conversations on Twitter and many other social networks are not innately SEO-friendly.
Crisis management in the face of social media requires a masterful and agile skillset. Today’s crises (and their responses) play out in real-time, as do breaking news and opinion about the situation at hand. Add to that the viral nature of social networks and the ability for a story to get around the world in mere minutes, and you’ve got a virtual powder keg of bad publicity threatening to explode in the hands of the organization at the center of the crisis. Gone are the days when you can bury a story or get by with a simple “no comment.” How your company reacts (or doesn’t) to a bad situation can sometimes make or break its future.
More and more companies, both B2B and B2C, are integrating social media into their overall marketing mix because they have realized the incredible opportunities that exist across the social web. The ability for real-time customer service, lead generation, brand and reputation management, sales opportunities…the list goes on. Let’s go over a few reasons why your business should be using social media.
Marketing and PR professionals continue – in droves – to realize the business value of social media within an organization. They know it can foster collaboration among internal teams, enable real-time customer service, and create communities of fans and advocates who can help to shape a company’s products, services and brands. Getting the C-suite to open the company doors to social media, however, can be tricky. Management often cites concerns over privacy, security, brand erosion, and employee training, and they remain unwilling to invest in or allocate the proper resources (both human and financial) to allow social media to contribute to the company’s success and bottom line.
[Note: This post is the inaugural entry in “The Pulse,” a weekly feature that will explore trending topics, rankings and industry “bests” across a wide spectrum of communication disciplines. We'll post a new "Pulse" each week through 2011 here at Channel M. ]
Lots of PR and digital agencies do a great job for their clients in helping them to establish a social media presence or build a loyal network of fans and brand advocates. But fewer do a great job with their own social media presence. Today’s social media-enabled agency knows it’s not enough to simply amass a large number of followers or broadcast promotional messages on their Facebook page — audience engagement is the currency of the social media landscape. So who’s doing it right, which agencies are most connected to their communities, and why?
Join us for a Brian Solis/Sysomos webinar, “Impacting Business with Social Media,” Thursday, August 18Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
Most marketers know that social media must be part of their business strategy. Unfortunately, they also know that convincing executive teams and getting company-wide buy-in of a social media strategy (and one with an actual budget) is no easy feat. More and more marketers, however, are finding success by building a case for social media within their organization by putting concrete action plans and real metrics in front of their C-suites, and attributing true ROI to their efforts. These are the marketing champions who have proven that they can use social media to connect with customers and truly impact their business, brand, and bottom line. Want to become a champion? Join us for “Impacting Business with Social Media,” a free webinar hosted by Brian Solis.
If you had 20-minutes for a conversation with Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn to learn how he uses social media and sets the strategy and morale for 180,000 employees, would you jump on it? How about a chat with Eric Morrison, former CEO of The Canadian Press, to hear his insights on why integrity, honesty and transparency are fundamental to the success of any company (and any company’s communication)? Well, you’re in luck. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Research Foundation and Marketwire have launched a new podcast series — “Conversations with CEOs.”
Still think audience engagement isn’t essential to public relations? Three reasons why you need to think againFriday, August 5th, 2011
[This article was originally posted on Bulldog Reporter in its July 28, 2011 edition.]
Building relationships with target audiences is more possible than ever before—and far more essential. But we shouldn’t rely on a one-way push of marketing messages that we hope will find our audiences through traditional channels. And just tweeting occasionally or starting a Facebook page doesn’t mean we’re social media-savvy. Today, public relations is about more than key messages, focus groups and press releases; it’s about audience engagement. It’s about identifying key consumers and communities, listening to their likes and dislikes, and participating in conversations with the people who affect our bottom line — even when a transaction isn’t imminent.