How to Leverage Social Media for Public Relations Success: Part II
Social Media & Media Relations
In my previous posting, we discussed on how Social Media Participation is Crucial for Public Relations and how it has revolutionized the means on how organizations can communicate with their audiences. We tapped into insights on Asia’s Social Media Growth to gather feedback on the reception of Social Media and the potential that it has in the practice of Public Relations.
In this discussion, we look into how Social Media can generate tangibles in the field of Media Relations; generating positive coverage in the mass media without the need for advertising can be considered as the objective in Media Relations.
1. Connect & Develop Relationships with Influencers in Social Media
The fundamental basis of Media Relations is self-descriptive in its name and one of the best ways to land a mention of the organization begins with the network connections with the journalists, reporters, bloggers and influencers who cover topics in the related industries.
Enter the Digital Age, where technology development has introduced social media platforms that enable individuals to map connections across the globe. The web and social media represent such great potential for individuals and organizations alike to interact and develop relationships with the mass media. By connecting with these influencers, the objective is to achieve a top-of-mind-awareness of the organization when an opportunity presents itself.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, are popular social media platforms that provide an exhaustive network of individuals who are influencers and opinion leaders in their industry. More often than not, these individuals share a slice of their professional life and interests on these platforms, providing an opportunity for organizations to align their messages with the journalist’s interests. The gist of such an approach is to be that influencer’s main source of information should the opportunity for a mention or feature of your organization arise.
2. Company Blog
Creating content is a great PR outreach tool for generating media coverage and one of the best ways to share on the organization’s news is through a blog service. This is different from the distribution of news releases via a wire service, which can incur significant expense. The blog serves as an outlet for information for the media to mine for and attributes towards thought leadership in the industry. Blogs can be classified under two categories: (1) Corporate Blog, focused on company-centric and industry related-news, (2) Thought-Leadership, focused on insights and opinions on subject matters relating to the company and industry. As a general rule of thumb, these blogs should be kept as separate accounts to avoid diluting the credibility and quality of content published.
3. Social Media Newsroom
The Social Media Newsroom allows for journalists and bloggers alike to gain easy access to learn about the organization. It is a page on the corporate website that has detailed information outlining the company, its products/services and contact details for the relevant spokespeople. It cuts down on excessive red tape by directing the journalists and bloggers to the correct spokespeople who are trained to answer any possible questions in a professional manner.
Providing a Clear Media Contact
This should be the feature of the Social Media Newsroom as it serves as the first contact point between the organization, the journalists and bloggers. The placement of this detail should be prioritized and in a notable section of the website to increase its visibility. Hiding this detail in an obscure corner of the corporate website only serves to deter interest in the organization. Ideally, multiple modes of communication should be provided into ensuring that such opportunities are not missed.
Social Media Presence
As described earlier on the significance of social media, the social media newsroom should aggregate the various social media platforms that the organization engages in so as to increase the online presence of the organization. It allows the journalists and bloggers to source for more information on the organization through these platforms to garner a more comprehensive understanding of the organization. It provides an opportunity for the journalists and bloggers to interact with the organization through interactive elements such as videos and photos. It lends to the social media newsroom, visual content that communicates more than just text.
Instead of having detailed paragraphs describing the company’s previous achievements and awards, it is ideal to have them condensed into links for further expansion. This helps to give the website a more streamlined appeal as it does not clutter and focus can be given to the more important messages that the organization wants to communicate upon.
Social media has become an essential tool for the public relations practitioner in the practice of media relations. A world without borders has allowed the public relations practitioner to connect with anyone in the virtual world and social media is a product of this development. But yet, given this expansive tool, the subject begets to ask on how this can translate into value to the organization.
In my final post, we will discuss on the values of social media monitoring and how to measure the ROI of Public Relations. If you have enjoyed this post, please leave a comment below.