#SocialPR is no longer a luxury or an experiment for brands and public relations practitioners, according to PR experts Lisa Buyer and Steve Momorella. Lisa, the owner of The Buyer Group and the author behind the new book Social PR Secrets and Steve, the owner/founder of TekGroup shared their secrets during a webinar with other public relations professionals at the Public Relations Society of America.
For them, the power of social media can empower brands to become their own publishers, gain additional visibility from Google as well as more credibility from the media.
“You can create your own stories,” Buyer explains, “While you shouldn’t ignore traditional media, brands no longer have to rely on it either.”
Momorella cited the example of the Philadelphia Phillies Public Relations Director, who after being fed up with bad press the team was receiving amidst a bad season, took to Facebook and Twitter to seek out her own brand loyalists. By seeking out diehard fans on social media through the team’s social media channels, the team was able to build up a list of active followers larger than the subscription base of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Your brand advocates are going to amplify your message for you,” according to Buyer. “Public relations has started to move away from how many impressions you can receive from a placement in the Wall Street Journal, to building your own sphere of influence that is independent of any media source.”
Then Vs. Now: Reaching the Media and Gaining Credibility
Now more than ever, there are more opportunities to be a self-publisher. Branded Twitter Chats, Google Hangouts, for example are the new press conference. You can also use text and mobile messaging to reach your followers, as well as the media.
Remember journalists use social media too, and you can use social media to connect with them directly. Over 50% of journalists consider social media links to be important. Almost 35% visit a company’s Facebook page for information often.
“How influential you are as a brand or a public relations professional, that has an impact on how journalists and search engines are finding your brand.”
Consider that a network evening newscast reach approximately 22 million people, whereas Twitter has 200 million active users, and it’s easy to see why #socialPR is becoming more popular with brands and public relations practitioners.
Social Media also levels the playing field for brands, irrespective of company size or budget.
“The size of the company doesn’t matter,” says Momorella, “If you have good stories to tell, social media gives you a place to tell those stories.”
Social PR Secret: Download the 2013 Social Media News Report and find out what the media thinks about social media and your brand’s news.
Today’s content can be linked in 140 characters or less, anywhere, anytime, by anyone. press release must be social and must be optimized. Buyer and Momorella suggest creating three different versions of your release, one paid distribution, a longer version for your company website, and a third version for your blog.
Mobile Newsrooms: A Necessity
“You don’t have to be mobile to use mobile,” Buyer explains. Confused? Her Social PR Secret is not every user is on-the-go when they are accessing a mobile site. Many are now using their iPad or Android phone even when a desktop is within reach.
That means your online newsroom must be mobile-friendly, or you’re losing 30% of your audience, according to Buyer. When you consider that the mobile vs. desktop usage numbers that are being reported today are actually far behind actual usage numbers, not having a mobile-ready newsroom is a huge public relations problem.
“Only 5 years ago no one was visiting an online newsroom from a mobile device, but now mobile is a huge piece of the puzzle,” says Momorella.
To watch a replay of the SocialPRSecrets webinar hosted by Lisa and Steve http://www.prsa.org/Learning/Calendar/display/6045/Social_PR_Secrets#.UquSlGRDs-s
Read the book Social PR Secrets and a full chapter on the power of online newsrooms and more.