Three Things PR Pros Should Do To Get The Most Out of Social Media

By: Kristina Markos and Maria Baez

Video Companion of this Article: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhAvcgt7yOo

It’s no secret that public relations and social media are synonymous in today’s viral landscape.   Consequently, clients are expecting that a lively social media presence will play a role in public relations initiatives alongside media relations, digital strategy, and event marketing.  Because of this, it is our job to make sure that our clients’ brands are known, respected, and connected to beneficial and influential conversations taking place on the web and on social media.

However, social media is a tool that we can use internally as well as for the benefit of clients— social media actually helps us to be creative, communicative and effective PR mavens. When properly executing social media campaigns for both consumer and professional services clientele, we post relevant content, interact with influencers and connect with others using hash-tags. When properly executing social media campaigns for ourselves and for our company brand, our goals remain the same.

Seasoned PR professionals who are constantly connected should know the three ways to most advantageously use social media:

  1. Breaking News Can Cramp Your Style, but Don’t Let It:  The news is unpredictable, so it can be challenging to plan a full social media strategy when the news is changing every day.  But where there is an element of surprise, there is an opportunity.  For example, when major media outlets and publications were covering the government shutdown, Ebben Zall Group took to our company blog  to discuss the situation. We found a way to incorporate our business objectives into what was going on nationally so that we stayed in the conversation.  Bottom line: the art of maintaining relevancy is easy if content stays timely.
  2. Monitoring Headlines Means Monitoring Handles:  Every morning, we monitor headlines from national and local news sources to stay current with trending topics and expert insights.   To go the extra mile, we find reporters on Twitter and follow their respective feeds. When we communicate directly with these reporters, RT their status updates or stories, it demonstrates goodwill and usually opens the door for further communication. We have found that kind of communication can lead to relationships with journalists who are vital to a PR campaign’s success. We also make an effort to keep a close eye on hash-tags that industry gurus are using to ensure that the most popular tags are included in our original tweets.
  3. Active Social Listening is Smart Listening:  Social listening is defined as simply monitoring popular social media outlets to see what is trending, gaining popularity, and sparking conversations on the internet. We actively listen to social conversations so that we can be smarter PR professionals.  When we know what is popular, we are able to craft our content in a way that it is positioned as a conversation starter. Being an active listener also means tracking social media updates from our clients’ competitors. When we monitor competitors, we are better equipped to help our clients stand out from the crowd by starting new conversations and sparking lively interaction.

Social media is a tool that provides a transparent environment for us to monitor what brands are communicating; what reporters are talking about; and which trends are emerging. PR professionals are known for quick thinking and capitalizing on timely opportunities. This is the essence of social media: it is about engagement through audience-centric content and conversations, and it underscores the need for us to stay nimble and fluid.

Without social media, campaigns would not have the digital amplification that they do in today’s communication landscape.  However, rampant conversations on social media can be perceived as loud and noisy; and good PR pros like us know that we have to filter the noise — so that you don’t have to.

Kristina Markos:  

kristina headshot

Account Supervisor at Ebben Zall Group, is making her mark in all facets of public relations, creative services and content creation. She has worked for digital design agencies in Chicago and Miami, which has given her a sharpened edge in digital strategy implementation.

Prior to joining EZG she launched and led Kayvee Publicity in Chicago (a public relations firm focused on fulfilling creative needs for financial services clients). She was also a writing and communications instructor at Indiana University Northwest.

Earning an award from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting, Kristina graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree in 2006. She also earned a Master of Liberal Science from the University of Toledo in 2010.

Maria Baez:

maria headshot

Maria Baez is a PR Account Executive at Ebben Zall Group where she works with clients to develop and execute engaging campaigns that incorporate elements from traditional and social, and new media tactics. A graduate of Marist College (Go Red Foxes!), Maria earned a degree in Communications (2010) with a concentration in Public Relations. She was a four-year member of the Division I Marist Women’s Soccer Team and credits her ability to thrive in fast paced environments, deliver quality content with pressing deadlines, and effectively multitask, to her lifelong commitment to athletics. A Long Island native, Maria now resides outside of Boston. In her spare time, Maria is committed to utilizing her skills and experience in PR to help up-and-coming young professionals – who are interested in the industry – through various mentor and leadership programs.

Advertisements

Pros and Cons of Keeping Your Personal and Business Social Media Life Separately

Posted by  to Social Media

Somewhat recently I have been seeing a trend developing with professional accounts on social media sites. They have been becoming more personal, and that line that was once so clear between personal and professional life is being blurred. People are even inviting their clients, bosses, coworkers and professional contacts onto their personal social media profiles. Something that was extremely rare in the past.

Does this signal a change in how we view those two part of ourselves on the web? Is it becoming more natural to combine the professional and personal into a single world? Or is it just a coincidence?

For the most part, I believe it is a personal choice. So let’s look at some of the pros and cons of keeping your social media professional and person lives separate.

Duplicate Original

Pro – You can be open without fear of offending a professional contact.

We are all more open with our views, likes, dislikes and opinions on our social media profiles when they are only personal. Some are a little too open, as a matter of fact. But that is your right, as it is your own space where you are free to discuss anything you find appropriate. When you allow people from your professional life to take part in that space, you are more limited.

You have to watch what you are saying and posting, and have to keep in mind that what you would say to your buddy isn’t the same as you say to a client. It also leaves you unable to rant, which is a good way of occasionally blowing off steam. After all, do you really want your boss knowing he made you angry when he spoke to you about proper image for having a crooked tie with a booger hanging out of his nose? Probably not.

Con – You have to have two accounts.

Let’s be real: maintaining more than one social media account takes a lot of time. Which doesn’t stop us, of course. I will bet you have a profile on several different platforms that you use on a regular basis. But that doesn’t stop it from being a bit of a hassle, and with a professional and private account each? Well, that just adds a secondary account to every social media site you sign up for. That means you will be twice as busy trying to keep track, unless you use a program like a social media dashboard. In which case, you have to be careful not to confuse.

Double

Pro – You won’t be held professionally accountable for your personal views.

Most of us like to be able to freely express ourselves on other sites. Sites which are generally signed into using social media of some kind. By having two separate accounts you can freely comment without it being linked back automatically to your professional persona. Of course, this isn’t always the case. We have seen many examples of people who have made offensive comments on the web under personal accounts and had it traced back to their professional one. But hopefully you won’t be trolling sites or saying anything outrageous or cruel anyway. As long as you are a rational human being, you will probably be fine.

Con – You are splitting your target audience.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had a personal friend or family member share out my content to their massive lists, with a personal recommendation. Which ended up bringing me much more visibility and a surge in visitors for the day. When you have two accounts, the likelihood of this happening is slimmer. Which means you are effectively cleaving your audience in half, and missing out on the opportunity for sharing through people you know face to face.

Meeting In The Middle

In my opinion, the best thing to do is meet in the middle – which is to say, I think you should choose what side works best for you, while recognizing the difference between social media sites. For examples, LinkedIn is for professional use rather than personal as well as Facebook is rather for your personal life (yes, many people won’t agree with me here). So sometimes you won’t have to figure if you need two accounts. YouTube is likewise a good one for professional use, as you are unlikely to need a personal account for commenting. Or Pinterest, which is a fantastic place to merge both the professional and personal with little risk.

How do you handle the separation between those two parts of your life on social media? Let us know in the comments!

5 Ways PR Firms Impress New Clients

By  This Post can originally found here

We started working with a few new (and terrific!) clients in the past couple of months, and early reports indicate that all systems are go and we’re off and running positively. These same reports also indicate that our smart and savvy public relations and social media teams execute in a way that is a welcome change from the process, behavior and lack of results generated from the agencies previously supporting these companies. It’s important to show a new client that you are ready to roll, and here are a few ways for a new PR agency (and specifically, a new team!) to get things started on the right foot:

First, embrace the new client/business/category with gusto – and show the client that you are sincerely interested. You should pay close attention to the client’s business objectives – first and foremost – but also key care-abouts of the new client. They may covet one specific blog over a pack of others, and one key message over the organization’s larger story. In any case, taking tactical steps to let the client know you are paying close attention as you ramp-up and get started is key.

Second, be responsive. I’m unwavering in my belief that client service continues to be hugely important in our business. It’s essential to a successful working relationship, and equally important at the start of a project or an ongoing program. Be smart and strategic, but respond with enthusiasm so the new client “gets” that they are a priority in your day.

Third, be certain you are thoroughly prepared for all of your meetings/calls/etc. Give the new client confidence by being on your game. Have a game plan for the start of the program – in a logical order so the new client knows what to expect.

Fourth, work hard to land the big hit – or specific result – early in the working relationship. Identify what that result specifically is, and do what you can to make it happen. Once a new client sees first hand that you can generate results that make a real impact, you’ve strengthened a new relationship and provided a powerful shot of optimism about the team’s abilities!

Fifth, start the ball of enthusiasm rolling forward. I’ve seen it happen so many times in my career that partnering with an agency was the catalyst for positive things happening on both sides of the relationship. The communications and product teams were active, engaged and enthusiastic about partnering with the PR and social media team, and all parties worked together for joint success. Be positive in your approach and embrace the new client, category and task at hand, as the positive vibes will go a long way.

The best—and worst—times to post to social media

By Kristin Piombino- This post can be found here

t’s the million-dollar question for social media managers everywhere: What is the best time to post to social media?

 

While the optimal time to update your Facebook page or Pinterest boards may vary depending on your audience, Social Caffeine created an infographic that lists, in general, the best and worst times to post to the major social networks.

[RELATED: Master the can’t-ignore social media tools after Mark Ragan’s one day social media boot camp.]

Here’s a look at three of them:

Facebook: Traffic is highest between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET.

Best time: Between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET

Worst time: 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. ET

Pinterest: Saturday morning is the best time to post.

Best time: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET or 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET

Worst time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET

LinkedIn: Post before or after business hours.

Best time: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET or 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET

Worst time: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. ET

Check out the full graphic for more:

Kristin Piombino is an editorial assistant for Ragan.com.