Public Relations: Top Tips for Social Media Integration

Social Media Integration- Adelante Live BlogYour social marketing efforts aren’t a stand-alone effort! They also impact your traditional marketing, advertising, public relations, and customer service. Last week we explored how social media can support and enhance traditional marketing and advertising. Today we’ll look at how social media works with your PR campaign.

If you’ve been paying attention to news online, you’ve probably noticed a little story about an Applebee’s waitress, a Reddit photo, and the restaurant’s lackluster reaction to the whole fiasco. The key takeaway here is that social media now plays a critical role in your public relations, so it’s important to be proactive about it. A few guidelines to keep in mind as you use social media for PR:

Use your platforms wisely.

Facebook and your corporate blog aren’t the best place to post every last press release, but some savvy Twitter use can get you connections with key journalists. Use the platform to connect with these individuals–and give them information that’s really useful to them.

Find the story.

PR isn’t just about press releases! It’s about telling the story of your company and–more importantly–the people who make your business a success. As you put together your editorial calendar, weave in blogs about “everyday heroes” who make your business stand out. Perhaps it’s a regular customer who’s been coming to your restaurant since it opened, or maybe it’s the employee who spends every weekend volunteering.

Send a consistent message.

Branding impacts both marketing and PR, and it includes much more than just your logo. Your topics, tone and register all affect the way people perceive your business online. And ultimately public relations is about giving your audience a favorable impression of your business, no matter how they encounter it.

Plan for the worst.

Mistakes happen. You and your business won’t always be perfect and satisfy every customer. Increasingly, dissatisfied customers and clients take to social media to air their grievances, so you must have a plan in place for handling complaints. Decide who will respond and how. It may even be helpful to craft a few “go-to” responses, so that you don’t scramble to post something that actually makes the situation worse!

Focus on connections and relationships.

In the past, PR focused on one-way communications: sending out press releases, providing sound bites, getting media coverage. But consumers–and reporters–today expect something more. They’re truly looking to build relationships with your business….which requires two-way communication. Be willing to explore where that communication could lead, and find new ways to invite or enhance the conversations.

 

Jen Straw - Last Straw MediaOur guest blogger is Jen Straw -the CEO and founder of Last Straw Media, LLC. Jen is a social media expert featured on FOX and NBC. She has 17 years of media writing experience in television, print, public relations and social media.  She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa, teaching writing for PR, media writing, writing for broadcast news and studio television.

PR: Get Your Press Releases Noticed

Press Release Stack - Adelante Live Inc. BlogWhen your company has a big announcement or event, you expect coverage on TV, in newspapers and online. The challenge: the media ignores a majority of press releases they receive on a daily basis. So let’s face it, simply knowing how to write a press release isn’t enough.

Make Press Releases Newsworthy

One of the first press release tips is easy enough; make it newsworthy. Can a journalist tell a story about your event? Their audience likely wants to know “what’s in it for me?” Also, think about how the journalist will show the story. If you have a great visual, live action, it makes for better storytelling. The fact is, what a company thinks is worth major media coverage, the media probably does not. That doesn’t mean you should throw up your hands and give it, instead connect with media contacts that specifically focus on your industry. For example, if your company is hosting a charity event, instead of emailing the press release to the entire newsroom, contact the food writers or around town columnist. Your event is more likely to be considered for coverage, and the rest of the newsroom will appreciate the fact you aren’t filling their email accounts with information that is essentially useless to them.

Make Reporters’ Jobs Easier

In the age of multimedia reporting, journalists have a lot of work on their plates, don’t we all? But the reality is if you make it easier for reporters to cover your story, it’s more difficult for them to say no. Be sure to give them all the information they need, rather than making them search for it. Press releases should include hyperlinks to company websites and other sources. It’s important to also include a photo in case the writer can’t cover your event but wants to write something up to preview it instead. Also, it’s all about timing. Avoid sending a press release during a major news event including a presidential visit, hurricanes or in the middle of breaking news.

Spell it Right

Correct grammar and spelling seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of mistakes that are included in press releases all the time. Sometimes, writers misspell the name of the company or brand. If you can’t spell that right, how does a journalist know anything you’ve written is correct? With every grammatical error or misspelling, you lose credibility. And that includes the name of the reporter. If you can’t spell his or her name— can you spell delete?

Include Bloggers Too

Not every event or announcement will appeal to traditional media outlets. But thanks to the power of social media, you still have the potential to reach thousands, if not millions more people at one time. Don’t forget to distribute your press releases to bloggers who focus on your industry. Bloggers have loyal and engaged readers who are also connected on other social media networks including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

For more information about press release writing services, contact Latitude 27 Marketing at Info@Latitude27Marketing.com or call 813.644.3460.

 

Loran Tripp - Latitude 27 Marketing Our guest blogger is Loran Tripp, President and Founder of Latitude 27 Marketing. She has 10+ years experience in marketing and public relations.