Traditional PR has been turned on its head! Press releases are a dying breed with the advent of the Internet. Newspapers and traditional media sources are going under or struggling to survive with skeleton staffs. Television news has been replaced with infotainment “news.” Social media has taken over marketing budgets and become minimized as an “intern’s” job.
It’s no wonder PR professionals, like me, feel the need to fight back.
While the world that we practice PR in has changed, I want to make sure every business in America knows that PR in itself has not changed! What your publics think about your business and how they feel about your brand can be shaped through an integrated PR strategy that includes both traditional and social PR strategies and tactics.
Rather than jump ship on PR, consider how PR and social media integrate to contribute to a well-rounded marketing strategy. Challenge your PR team to complement their traditional tactics with these core social tactics.
In the past, companies would cut out their newspaper clippings and hang them on their walls or create a “media clip book.” That was how they “amplified” their media coverage. Ah, I remember the days as a lowly PR intern charged with creating said media clip books. Today companies can do so much more to amplify their PR coverage without the seemingly silly efforts of the past. They can Tweet about it. Continue the conversation on their blog. Share the news with their fans on Facebook. Conduct an opinion poll on the topic. Post it to YouTube. Etc. The list of ways to amplify your PR goes on and on and a qualified PR professional can help amplify your PR so it lives on forever.
Example: A company once contacted me to ask how they could get the word out that a popular celebrity was spotted with their product. I told them to share the photo with their fans, blog about it, issue a press release on the newswire about it and host a contest on Facebook so their fans could try to win the product the celebrity was spotted with. There are so many ways to amplify PR through social media – the two go hand-in-hand.
Nothing boosts a company to the top of organic search engines like quality inbound links. Guess what? PR is crucial to getting those quality inbound links. A link from CNN.com or USAToday.com holds more weight in search engine “gold” than a link farm – and guess who can help you get these quality links? Yep, your PR agency. Rather than focus on search engine optimization, which often focuses on quantity over quality, ask your PR firm to help you secure quality inbound links for your business.
Example:A company recently hired us to help them get inbound links from top-tier parenting bloggers. We launched a blogger outreach campaign that secured our client more than 30 high quality inbound links provided by 30 bloggers with high Page Ranks.
Never before have PR professionals been able to engage and interact with your customers on such a personal level. In the past, in order to send a message to your customers, your marketing team or agency would either have to send out a direct mailing, place an advertisement, or pitch your story to a reporter and convince them to write about it. Today, however, the possibilities are endless. Your PR team can serve as your company’s voice when it comes to engaging with your fans via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, plus they can help you connect and build positive relationships with media and bloggers.
Example: We worked with a company to help them launch a new product. We integrated social and traditional PR to get the word out about the new product. On the social side, we created a newsletter announcement, posted pictures on Facebook, held a photo contest on Pinterest, and hosted a Twitter party to celebrate. We also pre-pitched several bloggers so we could secure press on the day of the announcement, and we submitted the new product for review with traditional magazines that were important to our target audience. Whew! There’s a lot to do but we worked hard to maximize our engagement efforts with our fans.
Remember, PR and social media go hand-in-hand. In fact, you might say they are co-dependent marketing strategies. A solid PR strategy that embraces social and traditional media tactics can help you amplify your brand, build your SEO and maximize your fan engagement. Traditional and social PR integration is crucial and well worth the investment and effort!
Guest Post By Jenny Finke, Red Jeweled Media
Jenny Finke is a PR specialist at Red Jeweled Media, a Denver-based PR agency that specializes in PR and social media marketing for small businesses marketing to women. Visit her online at http://www.redjeweledmedia.com.