What is different between traditional “integrated” marketing
communications & social media?
(Hint: coordination & Control)
SOCIAL MEDIA IS…
Consumers are turning more frequently to various types of
social media to conduct their information searches and to
make their purchasing decisions (Lempert, 2006; Vollmer &
Social media is perceived by consumers as a more trustworthy
source of information regarding products and services than
corporate-sponsored communications transmitted via the
traditional elements of the promotion mix (Foux, 2006).
WHAT IS THE “HYBRID”
OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN PR?
In a traditional sense, social media enables companies to talk to their
In a nontraditional sense, it enables customers to talk directly to one
another (less control)
Conventional marketing wisdom: Dissatisfied customer tells 10 people
New age of social media: dissatisfied customer has tools to tell 10 million
What can public relations officers do?
Social media also enables customers to talk to companies (market
research, 2-way communications)
LOSS OF CONTROL
Public relations personnel have little control over content,
timing, and frequency of information
This „groundswell‟ “has profoundly affected all aspects of
consumer behavior, and has bestowed consumers with power
they have not previously experience in the marketplace.”
(Mangold, Faulds, 2009)
How does this change your strategies as a strategic
Social media empowers the individual
NEW PR STRATEGIES
- Provide networking platforms to bring people together with
other people who have similar interests
Forums on your organization website
Facebook pages; organized “chats”
Dove‟s “Campaign for Real Beauty”
If you participate in external chats, forums, etc. you must provide full
disclosure of who you work for, what organization you represent
Example: Toyota provides a link from its website to a blog
written by a father and son team who have embarked on
annual 5,000 mile adventures to the Arctic Circle, Baja Mexico,
and other unusual destinations in their Toyota FJ Cruiser
(Toyota, 2008a). Readers can respond to each blog by posting
their own observations and insights. They can also post their
own stories from the road at www.ToyotaOwnersOnline.com.
NEW PR STRATEGIES
- Use blogs, Twitter,
Facebook, etc. to engage
Encourage feedback (on a blog,
Engage in honest, open
- Engage audiences in
photo/video contests, invite
audiences to share their
own stories; online voting;
- Have “ask me anything”
sessions on your website,
NEW PR STRATEGIES
Use social media to:
Provide information (“Science Behind the Brands” articles,
Provide exclusivity (offering special deals to newsletter
Engage audiences‟ emotions
Talk about the superior price, quality and value of your *product(s)
Support causes that are important to consumers (eco-friendly
products / behaviors, etc.)
Tell stories (company stories, customer stories, employee stories,
SOCIAL MEDIA USE IN
A survey of ~600 public relations practitioners
– what were the key results?
SOCIAL MEDIA & PR
Social Media: Dykeman (2008) says, “Social media are the
means for any person to: publish digital creative content;
provide and obtain real-time feedback via online discussions,
commentary and evaluations; and incorporate changes or
corrections to the original content” (p. 1).
Social Media impact corporate and organizational
PR people spend 25% or more of their work time with blogs,
social media sites, new media.
(Still, a minority of organizations actually measure social media
performance & impact.)
PR people consider Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube,
blogs and podcasts most important in their communication and
I TWEET HONESTLY, I
“Participants have a sense of audience in every mediated
conversation, whether on instant messenger or through blog
comments.” – Marwick, Boyd 2010
„Audience awareness‟ factors into your goals, vocabulary,
technique, subject matter, etc. when writing online.
Give some examples – who do you imagine your audience
to be? On Facebook? On Twitter? On your Blog? On
But is this true? Your real audience could be different than your
“We may understand that the Twitter or Facebook audience is
potentially limitless, but we often act as if it were bounded.” –
Marwick, Boyd 2010
140-character text updates to a network of others
Dynamic, interactive identity presentation
“Self-presentation on Twitter takes place through ongoing „tweets‟
and conversations with others, rather than static profiles.” – Marwick,
“The potential diversity of readership on Twitter ruptures the ability to
vary self-presentation based on audience, and thus manage discrete
impressions.” - Marwick, Boyd 2010
@reply lets users target a conversation or reference a
particular user, BUT these tweets can be viewed by anyone
The vast majority of Twitter accounts are public. Tweets
can be seen through the site, RSS feed, third-party software.
Re-tweets can go even further. Various tools allow users to
repost tweets to Facebook, MySpace, and blogs.
Who do you imagine reading your tweets?
“I guess I’m tweeting to my friends, fans... and talking to myself.”
“As an individual (not org or corp) it’s worth it 2 me 2 lose followers 2 maintain
the wholeness/integrity of who/what/how I tweet”
“when I tweet, I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately. Pure expression of my
Who do you tweet to?
Users write different tweets to target different people (e.g. audiences).
Users with many followers may imagine a broad audience with disparate tastes
“I don’t think any tweet reaches everyone but they all appeal to someone. I try
to mix it up.”
Use of hashtags to target different “silos” of audiences
What makes an individual seem authentic on Twitter?
“like my stream 1/3 humors, 1/3 informative, 1/3 genial and unfiltered,
transparency is so chic. try to tweet the same way.”
“to me, authenticity means being human; tweets include mix of ups, down,
personal, professional. v.little robot or corporate speak”
“High honesty about what you’re here for. Don’t pretend to be my friend if you’re
here for promotion. (Promo is fine. Lying isn’t.)”
What won‟t you tweet about?
Users balance the desire to maintain positive impressions with the need to seem true or
authentic to others
“anything i’d consider TMI (to spare my followers): family problems, relationship
rants, etc. This ain’t FB.”
“bathroom activity, romantic relationships, complaining about an employer”
Depends on the purpose of your twitter account
“i’m very conscious that twitter is public. i wouldn’t tweet anything i didn’t want
my mother/employer/professor to see”
Balance: Revealing personal information is seen as a marker of authenticity, but is
strategically managed and limited.
No hate speech; “try to send messages that will bring people together”
Twitter appears to encourage “digital intimacy” and reinforce
Many individual twitter users value authenticity (maintaining
one‟s values, not chasing followers).
Twitter is used: as a broadcast medium, marketing channel,
diary, social platform, and news source…
Social media combines elements of broadcast media with faceto-face communication: Tweeters maintain impressions by
balancing personal/public information, avoiding certain topics,
and maintaining authenticity. (self-censorship and balance)
Strategic Twitter users mix together tweets with different target
audiences to maintain broad appeal, instead of appealing
simultaneously to multiple audiences.