Social Media: The New PR


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How to use social media in your public relations efforts. Processes, best practices and the tools you need to get started.

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Social Media: The New PR

  1. 1. Rachel Yeomans! Principal, Astek @rachelyeomans John Armstrong! Sr. Community Manager, Astek @johnequattro SOCIAL MEDIA – THE NEW PR! SMPS Chicago Boot Camp workshop An Astek Academy Presentation 11/05/13
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION! •  Blurring delineation of social media and PR •  The death of Public Relations? No. There will always be a need to manage communication between a business and its public: –  –  –  –  –  –  Prospects Investors Media Government Internal employees Customers •  The Web is creating efficiency in messaging and impact
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION! People will be talking about you. Social media is another place to do it. However, unlike the telephone or even email… … social media is viral. Social PR is the ability to… 1) Spread positive and promotional messaging 2) Control negative and damaging messaging
  4. 4. Communicating with the Media!
  5. 5. Communicating with the Media! Media  Rela)ons  is  one  segment  of  public  rela)ons,  although  it  comprises   much  of  what  people  think  about  in  terms  of  PR.     Social  Media  is  changing  PR  by  changing  the  channels  and  methods  by   which  companies  obtain  coverage  in  the  media.   Adver)sing  is  paid,  while  PR  coverage  is  by  defini)on  free  third-­‐party   valida)on  that  builds  credibility.  Social  media  can  help  you  reach   those  third  par)es.      
  6. 6. First…engage your existing fan base! …and stalk the competition!
  7. 7. Now…find those influencers! …and don’t spam them!! How you ask?:! •  Technorati •  GroupHigh •  Traackr •  Pursway     Build that list!!
  8. 8. Tactic #1 (via Twitter)! Connect with journalists, reporters, bloggers and influencers who cover topics in your industry.! Twitter:! •  Most writers and journalists are on Twitter since it’s a great source for breaking and trending news •  Easy to introduce yourself and your content How to find authors on Twitter: •  Look for influential industry blogs •  Scan industry newsletters •  Use blog search engines like Technorati •  Connect with journalists at Subscribe to and share their content. Show them why you are relevant: •  Post your content •  Share your stories •  Promote your work •  Ask them questions – develop a relationship!    
  9. 9. Tactic #1 (via Facebook/LinkedIn)! Connect with journalists, reporters, bloggers and influencers who cover topics in your industry.! These platforms are more personal than Twitter and require a somewhat personal relationship to the journalist. This is an option for writers you feel appreciate you or your company in a way that shows they your information and opinions. Creating connections on these platforms is difficult, but rewarding.  
  10. 10. Tactic #2 (Making the Pitch)! Focus on Your Target! •  Know the journalist’s topics and interests. •  Spam kills relationships •  Know their style •  Show some effort (comment on something they wrote) •  Do unto others… •  People reciprocate out of appreciation (or guilt) •  Both are equally effective Don’t pitch the same people repeatedly •  Just because they wrote about you once, doesn’t mean they’ll do it again. In fact, it’s much less likely – if only for content variety
  11. 11. Tactic #2 (Making the Pitch)! Short and Sweet! •  People like easy •  Short is easy •  Short can be compelling •  Highlight why they should care •  Let them request more info •  Like in high school essays, bulls@#ting is so obvious Offer value. Why will their audience’s care? •  Go beyond the author – think about their audience •  Give them a unique angle and make it interesting Be Honest With Yourself •  Is what you’re pitching really unique? Really? •  If not, find another angle, target or incentive
  12. 12. Tactic #2 (Making the Pitch)! Some Resources: • •  Pitch writing service •  HARO •  Connecting journalists with people who have stories •  More popular •  Full of journalists •  Need to stand out from the noise •  Refer to “Be Honest” bullet •  Guest blog platforms
  13. 13. Tactic #3 (Creative Content)! Make the pitch interesting by multi-media. Create a story. Why do things go viral? It’s not because of a great pitch. It’s because the content was so awesome that people just had to share it. •  Quality matters •  Is it saying something useful? •  Is it saying something in a different way •  … suggesting a unique insight? •  Video •  Infographic •  Clever cartoon •  Unique data and research reports/surveys
  14. 14. Tactic #3 (Promote Content)! The PR value of Social Media: In terms of promotion, social media exists to share content. Content necessitates social media.
  15. 15. The Social Media News Release ! … is a template that is made to be scannable, sharable and provide easy access to rich-media. •  Sharing •  Embedded buttons for blogging, social and other interactions •  Sample social media posts that are easily copied and pasted •  Scannability •  Bold subheads, bullets •  Shorter statements •  Anchor Text links to draw eyes to important terms •  Visuals! Media! •  Links •  To additional information and media on your social/digital sites •  Link efficiently •  Don’t link to your home page, link to the product/event page •  Contact Information •  At top of the page •  Direct contacts •  Social contacts as well      
  16. 16. The Social Media News Release !
  17. 17. The Social Media News Release !
  18. 18. The Hubspot News Release ! Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing News Release •  Heavy focus on Search Engine Optimization •  A combination of style that blends traditional and social media press releases Most Popular Goals (via Hubspot’s survey) •  Generating web traffic to your site •  Getting people to write about your story •  Publishing events or announcements over the wire •  Building inbound links and increasing SEO with better rankings
  19. 19. The Hubspot News Release ! Research shows: •  Traditional releases are 20% more syndicated that social releases •  Links were syndicated 14% more than traditional new releases This is in part because many websites that release full news releases don’t have the capability to support embedded media and anchor texts. (In lay-terms, it’s a copy/paste issue) The Hubspot News Release is a strategy that relies on a traditional press release as a framework to create something searchable and digital-friendly.
  20. 20. The Hubspot News Release ! Best Practices for News Releases •  Be direct and concise •  Have something worth saying •  Write in a newsworthy angle •  Conduct keyword research •  Helps the release to be found long after the initial blast •  Helps the portal that promotes your release •  Use a headline that under 80 characters •  Web-friendly •  Make it keyword-rich (headlines are prime Google Search “juice”) •  Limit your release to 300-500 words •  The conventional wisdom on length for content/readability balance •  Avoid cliches, jargon, hype and hyperbole •  “Cutting-edge, innovative” – write for an audience beyond the media •  Include your logo •  Don’t embed media – link to it on the release
  21. 21. The Hubspot News Release ! Best Practices for News Releases •  Put the most important links at the top •  Use keyword anchor text: “Chicago CRE web design firm Astek announces the development of the world’s first portal for the creation of an online avatar that will train your iPhone how to filter out annoying texts from your children.” •  Place full URLs next to important links in case they aren’t syndicated correctly •  Search Engines look down on too many in-text links – 3 to 4 is ideal •  Be consistent with anchor text, headline and keyword usage
  22. 22. Tactic #4 – The Company Blog!
  23. 23. Tactic #4 – The Company Blog! Expert   Resource   Resource’s   Website   Webinar   Webinar   Host’s   Website   Online   News   Social   Media   Social   Media   Audience   News   Website  
  24. 24. Tactic #4 – The Company Blog! •  Consider placing news release information on your blog complete with rich-media, links, etc •  Modify text to offer more a casual voice that reflects your company’s online personality •  Create this blog article before you send a press release to drive traffic from the release to your website •  The blog exists to promote a number of things that probably shouldn’t go on a press release •  Industry conference speakers •  Company awards •  Other achievements (but be humble) •  Product/Project launches and updates
  25. 25. Tactic #4 – The Company Blog! For optimal promotion, your blog should contain the following functions and elements: •  A unique personality •  Social sharing icons •  Engaging rich-media and image usage •  Good search functionality •  Effective Keyword choice and usage •  A consistent and strategic effort to promote it •  A simple, easy-to-read, user-friendly interface •  An conspicuous link back to your homepage/services
  26. 26. Tactic #5 – Digital Contact Page! Does your website have easy-to-find links that direct bloggers, journalists and other readers to your content and social media platforms? •  Provide a media contact •  Links to blog RSS feeds •  Links to the blog •  Social site links (YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ others) •  Important press videos •  Twitter feed It is ideal to place this information outside the clutter of other info, so as to give it prominence for the person with a media purpose.
  27. 27. Tactic #5 – Social Monitoring! Let’s learn how to control the messaging… A number of monitoring tools exist to keep tabs on your brand throughout the internet: •  Google Alerts •  Twitter •  RSS feeds (from Google Alerts) •  Facebook conversations •  Social Monitoring programs •  Hootsuite •  Sprout Social •  Sysomos •  Radian6 •  Rowfeeder •  Social Mention
  28. 28. Tactic #5 – Social Monitoring! Whether positive or negative, be quick about your response. •  Be informed – set up notifications from your monitoring process •  Have a communication plan throughout the company •  Setup a “response tree” in the event your SM person is out •  Update the public (and employees) often in the case of an issue •  Be transparent in a crisis! (and if necessary, bring in legal / HR) •  Be quick to apologize •  Be authentic in the apology •  Take responsibility •  Explain what happened in a blog post •  Explain how you will make things better •  Explain how you will prevent it from happening again •  For personal complaints, address it online and resolve it offline With positive comments, be equally as quick and authentic in showing appreciation!
  29. 29. Tactic #6 – Employee Relations! Your colleagues are PR representatives for the company Because most of them are on social media they are an invaluable tool for promotion: •  They know the business as well as anybody •  They tend to be loyal •  They have opinions and skills that the public wants to hear •  They contribute to the company values and culture that is an important part of the brand personality •  People take pride in their work, and people share things in which they are proud •  Eight-plus hours a day is spent at work. There are simply a lot of experiences to share.
  30. 30. Tactic #6 – Employee Relations! Invest and enable them to be a part of the promotional process: •  Explain to them your support for talking about the company on social media (have a policy – see below) •  Explain the business benefits and goals •  Create content they want to share with their friends •  Develop a policy of creative investment – allow them to propose ideas to promote and share •  Have an easy communication channel to learn about content •  Be transparent and promote trust •  Incentives are effective in promoting engagement
  31. 31. Tactic #6 – Employee Relations! … however, not all are loyal or “socially sophisticated.” They need inspiration, guidance and structure for social media: Create an effective social media policy that protects the brand •  An overly-strict policy inhibits fun, creativity and participation •  Keep it simple and very clear •  Social media must be made fun, or else it will not be used!
  32. 32. Tactic #7 – Measuring ROI! Ok. So how do you know it’s working? Monitor and Analyze progress to get the most out of your time and money: Quantitative: ! Quantify audience reach via the publication’s/blogger’s audience - Cision / Group High Track Mentions in Google Alerts Reports from syndication services Social media platform insights (Facebook, etc) Google Analytics (to measure web traffic) SEOMoz (measure of backlinks and website mentions) Qualitative: ! Speaking engagements Anecdotal evidence from customer conversations