Why only public relations practitioners should manage your company's content

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Public relations is the only marketing communications discipline fully equipped to manage a businesses' online presence.

Public relations is the only marketing communications discipline fully equipped to manage a businesses' online presence.

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  • 1.     Six  Of  The  Best  On  Why  Only  Public  Relations   Should  Manage  Content     By  Peter  Boyes       1.  We  know  how  to  tell  the  right  stories  to  the  right  people     All  media  relations,  but  especially  social  media  needs  our  unique  skills  in  the   creation,  stewardship  and  ability  to  share  engaging  and  relevant  stories  with  the   appropriate  audiences.  Whether  you  call  it  content  marketing  or  brand   journalism  it  is  a  core  function  of   what  we  do.       Public  relations  is  about  telling  our   clients’  stories  using  a  range  of   carefully  chosen  communication   styles  and  media.  We  have  to  be   great  journalists.  Social  media  is   another  way  to  tell  and  share  your   stories.  It  is  not  an  IT  function  or   an  advertising  copywriter’s  blank   sheet.       2.  We  are  strategic  communicators.       Just  because  ‘technology’  is  involved  it   doesn’t  mean  that  IT  people,  or  video   producers  or  ‘digital  experts’  are  the  right   people  to  handle  an  organisation’s   strategic  communications.  An   understanding  of  visual  storytelling  is   needed  but  the  paramount  importance  of   words  cannot  be  underestimated  in  social   media.  Social  media  is  another  form  of   conversation  and  conversations  are   essentially  about  using  words  effectively,   then  listening  to  the  response  and   reacting  accordingly.      
  • 2. Public  relations  is  about  effective  conversations.  We  have  to  be  experienced   writers,  editors,  proof-­‐readers  and  listeners.  These  are  the  essential  skills  for   blog  posts,  tweets,  status  updates,  and  online  debate.       3.  We  understand  what  is  relevant  for  your  business.       Social  media  is  not  just  about  random  posts  that  interest  the  poster.  It  is  about   supporting  an  organisation’s  strategic  business  objectives.  To  do  that  posting  has   to  be  timely,  interesting,  and  relevant.  There  is  a  Goldilocks  factor,  not  too  much,   not  too  little,  not  too  bland,  not  too  blatant.     Public  relations  is  about   understanding  when  to  say   something  and  when  not  to.  We   are  experienced  in  creating   content  relevant  to  a  specific   audience.  If  we  are  pitching  to  a   journalist,  or  your  clients,   politicians  or  key  opinion  leaders,   talking  to  your  staff  or  your   customer  base,  we  know  how  to   tailor  the  type  of  content  we   share.       Yes  social  media  provides  us  with   excellent  tools  to  measure  our   interactions  and  better   understand  our  publics  and  communicate  with  our  stakeholders.  But  it  is  only   one  part  of  a  complicated  series  of  interactions  all  of  which  are  important  in   maintaining  your  social  networks  and  meeting  your  customers’  expectations  of   you.       4.  We  are  experienced  in  building  and  maintaining  relationships.       At  the  very  core  of  PR  practice  is  the  development  of  fruitful  relationships  for  our   clients  through  effective  communications,  whether  that  is  with  journalists  or   stakeholders.  Many  of  these  professional  relationships  are  maintained  by  phone,   email  and  now  social  media.  To  do  that  we  need  to  understand  your  business   intimately.     Social  media  is  all  about  understanding   maintaining  those  relationships.  That  is  not   the  role  of  IT  people,  ‘digital  experts’,  website   developers  or  advertising  executives.  Only   public  relations  has  the  complete  skill  set  to   manage  relationships  with  people  we  have   never  met,  find  accurate  information  quickly,   and  meet  customer  service  expectations.      
  • 3. 5.  We  are  the  issues  managers.       Public  relations  practitioners  are  highly  trained  in  issues  management  and  crisis   communications.  It  is  our  job  to  be  aware  of  issues  that  are  sensitive  for  you  and   your  business.  These  are   the  skills  required  to   identify  and  manage  a   social  media  crisis.  At   these  times  you  must  get   your  organisation's   point  of  view  into  the   conversation  as  fast  as   possible,  answer  any   questions,  correct   misinformation,  and  be   as  helpful  as  possible.  PR   is  the  best  agency  to   handle  reputation  management  within  a  digitally  viral  environment.       6.  We  are  the  ears.       Our  longstanding  experience  is  getting   feedback  about  our  reputation  is  easily   transferred  to  social  media.  We  know  which   questions  to  ask  and  when  and  of  whom.  And   most  importantly  we  know  how  to  use  that   information  to  inform  future  communications,   create  positive  organisational  change,  and   improve  customer  experience.  There’s  nothing   more  deadly  to  an  organisation’s  profile  than   surveying  or  asking  questions  of  its  audience   and  then  not  using  that  information  to  deepen   the  relationship.  Yet  with  most  online  surveys,   that  is  what  happens  every  time.