I asked 10 distinguished PR and social media pros to share their views on how it can be done.
Here are their responses, with my appreciation for their insights!
Margo Mateas, Founder, The PR Trainer: “PR pros need to remember to take time to become part of the communities they want to reach, and not just engage in ‘drive by' social media. It only takes a second to ‘Like' someone else's post or to leave a supportive comment. This strengthens trust and makes it more likely for them reciprocate the next time you're promoting something.
Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO, Pure Performance Communications: “Take the best of your communications past into 2013; your ethics, accountability, critical thinking and great communications skills. At the same time, be open to different types of engagement through social media, by experimenting and embracing new technology to build stronger relationships with stakeholders. You need to be 10 steps ahead to counsel senior executives about the changing media landscape, and on the same page with savvy, wired consumers to understand their preferences and to better serve their needs.”
Brad Phillips, Mr. Media Training, author, The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need to Know Before Your Next Interview: “Few public relations professionals can keep up with all of the new social networking sites that seem to pop up on a monthly basis. So as a New Year’s resolution, PR pros should try to familiarize themselves with each of the platforms—and then commit to participatingin the one that is most likely to help them reach their audiences and accomplish their goals.”
Amy D. Howell, CEO, Howell Marketing Strategies, LLC: “Our firm will be measuring how the social posts are driving more traffic to client websites and how that is helping their SEO. We have completed upgrades to client websites to include integration of social platforms.”
Jeff Domansky, The PR Coach & Principal, Peak Communications: “I'm excited about 2013. It will be the year of the ‘visual.' Whether you're storytelling, blogging, content marketing, doing media relations or social PR, great pics and video will drive your success. And everything you do better work on mobile, too.”
Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs: “Focus less on what you think you ‘have' to do to maintain a social presence. Focus more on what is meaningful for your brand.”
Stacey Acevero, Social Media Manager, Vocus/PRWeb: “Think about social media as a book, or a timeline of the story of your business. But it’s not storytelling, it’s telling a true story well—so write social media posts that inspire conversation, share thoughts and real outcomes that resonate with your audience. Be less ‘braggy' and involve the insights of others in your PR story.”
Joan Stewart, aka The Publicity Hound: “Recycle your content, create it in multiple formats, and share it on the social media sites. Example: Take a how-to blog post and turn it into an MP3, and then a video (record yourself offering 3 tips from the article), and then a slideshow for LinkedIn, and then a series of photos for a Pinterest board. Note to self: Do this in 2013 and stop creating content from scratch!”
Michael Cherenson, APR, Executive VP, Success Communications Group; 2009, Chair and CEO, PRSA: “Social media is public relations and today’s professionals, to better serve their clients and help advance their own careers, need to invest in training and learn how to re-learn the art of communications.Every public relations professional must become an active participant, native to various social media platforms. And PR pros need to recognize Google’s algorithm is now one of our most important publics; your content needs to entice your audience and Google’s search engine.”
Shonali Burke, Principal, Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.: “I see far too many PR pros functioning in a bubble. Offline, they live and work in the bubble of the agency world, and online they don't interact with people from different industries and walks of life. One of the best things about social media is the way it can connect you with just about anyone else in the world who is using that platform. It's amazing what we can learn from people so very different from us. So as we embark on 2013, let's rediscover what makes social media so wonderful—the ability to converse with literally just about anyone.”
Which piece of advice will you be focusing on in 2013?