8 Ways To "Socialize" A PR Campaign

Social media can be like a “secret sauce” for public relations programs. Even if it’s not the main ingredient, it adds flavor and power to a traditional program. The key is integration. Here are some simple steps for extending a PR campaign through social media.

Define your goals. At times companies feel pressed to make a deeper commitment to social media, yet they haven’t identified their objectives.  Do you want to drive and monetize traffic to a website? Enhance reputation?  Get the attention of influentials? Each will inform a different set of metrics, as detailed by measurement expert K.D. Paine.

Start by listening. Sure, you’re already using tools to monitor the conversation if your brand is being discussed. What if it’s off the social radar? There are relevant industry issues, trends or competitive activity that can help inform a strategy. Sometimes what you learn can even translate into quick visibility. A Google Alerts for your industry’s hot topics can help identify the right bloggers and media, and it might also let you jump on breaking news with your own commentary or content.

Join the conversation. Even if you have a robust content marketing program, one of the easiest ways to attract more views is to become a member of relevant online communities. All it takes is time and continuity.
Optimize your PR content. Don’t forget to enhance press releases. Use more video and images; it serves two needs by being more searchable and more compelling to journalists and bloggers.

Build new relationships with social platforms. Twitter, with its liberal follow model, is unbeatable as a social tool for reaching influential media and analysts. Check out Muck Rack, which organizes all journalists on Twitter into “beats,” build your own lists, or join relevant Twibes to engage users. You can also use relevant LinkedIn discussion groups, or start your own.

Create more content. Of course, creating content is where many programs stall. If a corporate opinion blog is too much to take on, consider aggregating industry trends or issues once a week, linking and giving credit to other sources. Or, set a goal of commenting weekly on industry blogs. If that’s too much, arrange to guest blog for a trade publication or content site on a regular basis.

Reuse, recycle, repurpose.  Remember that an industry speech can be easily converted to a bylined article for a trade or business publication, which can then be republished as a blog post. In some cases, all you need do is shorten or reformat, and add a topical lead.

Anticipate feedback.  The “command and control” messaging days are gone. Socialized news announcements and content will attract public feedback.  Have a plan for responding to engaged users, and be ready with a fully “socialized” issues and crisis plan if your brand is vulnerable.

An earlier version of this post appeared on the Marketing Executives Networking Group’s MENGBlend blog.

A PR Apps Wishlist

“There’s an app for that!”

We have become dependent on the best apps for Smartphone and other mobile devices in both personal and professional life and look forward to the latest and greatest. Here are some promising new apps to make our lives a little bit easier in 2013.

Asana
Ideal both for individual users and groups, Asana allows users to not only stay connected to their colleagues but to the tasks they are working on as well. As an added bonus, it’s a free app (for groups under 30), and offers an invaluable service offices small and large can well use.

Parking Panda
I rely on public transportation for my commute, mostly because parking in New York City is a nightmare (as in most major cities.)  Mobile navigation and GPS apps which help us find everything from restaurants to laundromats are fine but without parking tips, some people may never reach them! Enter Parking Panda which provides users with daily and monthly parking options (including rates) that are close to their destination, thus alleviating (some) of the headaches of city driving.

Buffer
A huge time saver, Buffer allows you to schedule all of your social media content through one place. In addition, it also enables you to schedule to your content at the ideal time of day via their spiffy algorithm.

CloudOn
Running Windows on a mobile device can be a very trying experience. Thus, CloudOn is a necessity for any professional, as it seamlessly integrates Excel, PowerPoint, Word and even Adobe Reader with your devices’ keyboard.

Divvy
Like eating in big groups, but hate getting stuck footing the biggest part of the bill (which I usually do)? Divvy allows you to scan, mark and calculate just your orders for both ease of payment and peace of mind, about who is paying for which piece of pie. Just snap a photo of your receipt, mark it according who ordered what, and keep your friends honest.

Battery Stats Plus
While a dead battery may offer a much appreciated respite from the trials of work, no one likes the subsequent feeling of alienation, or the drop of an important conversation caused by the untimely demise of your battery. Battery Stats Plus provides you with more than just a visual icon of how much battery you have remaining, it gives you detailed stats on which apps or processes drain your battery the most. Meaning you can have your battery cake and eat it too.
Know of any other great apps that can help make 2013 easier? Leave them in comments section below.