paneramonitoring Kathy Drury
Social networking and PR are so completely interwoven it is nearly impossible to have one without the other in this technological age. A great example of this is seen in my Issues in Public Relations class where we are constantly questioning how well social media was utilized by different public relations campaigns.
Prime examples are discussed daily in class as the class evaluates which cases brought in the most Facebook “likes” or determines the most “tweeted” about topic. The more talked about and more “liked” topic translates into the more effective campaigns. Public relations is a numbers game and the more people that know about and talk about a topic the more likely a topic or message will be successful in reaching its targeted audience.
Social networking has been best defined for me through my public relations courses as a way in which one communicates one’s ideas or messages over a medium that connects millions of people through common interests or ideas. Networking has made it easier for businesses and individuals to connect more personally to their clientele and potential clientele.
In an article from Allbusiness.com, published by The New York Times, there are helpful hints on how to use social networking sites to help with public relations. The article titled, “How to Use Social Networking Sites for Marketing and PR,” is found at http://www.nytimes.com/allbusiness/AB11702023_primary.html.
The networking article mentions advice from Krista Canfield, the public relations manager for LinkedIn, a website dedicated to business professionals developing their career portfolios. Canfield instructs people to use the social media sites wisely. Taking contacts seriously and valuing the connections are beneficial. Additionally, selectiveness when it comes to what is posted and to whom is wise. Long-winded “notes” and too much information at once are shunned.
As always in public relations the theme seems to be short snippets of info, keeping everything direct and to the point. On Mashable.com blogger Christina Warren shares her insights on the effectiveness of social networking and media in relation to public relations. Warren’s article at http://mashable.com/2010/03/16/public-relations-social-media-results/
Warren further mentions the White House’s presence on Twitter, Facebook, blogging and YouTube. This is just another demonstration of how social networking has connected the globe from the top of the political ladders to the structural floor of the common citizen.
Jeremy Pepper, also mentioned throughout Warren’s article, describes the importance of conversational marketing. This is speaking more personably to clientele. Further description of Pepper is found at LinkedIn, http://www.linkedin.com/in/jspepper. Pepper is a Public Relations professional who has been utilizing social media for years and has somewhat mastered the ability to communicate.
This is exactly why any good public relations professional fully recognizes the benefits of social media. After recognizing its benefits as a PR rep one must then learn how to properly use the channels in today’s society. From the 160-character Tweets to the viral videos and fbook chat, learning how to maneuver through the limitless communication routes is vital to a successful career.
Audio and visuals are often extremely effective in helping public relations practitioners. This is especially true when the reputations of major companies are altered after huge mishaps. For instance, Toyota and its numerous break issues lead to the release of this ad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VMBvXqI8Ak, describing Toyota’s return to “Commitment” and quality.
Audio and visual elements add a personal touch to statements given out. Whether one is showing off a new product or trying to manage a crisis audio and video may be essential to connecting an audience to a campaign. A consumer or fans’ experience is enhanced when hearing the sincerity in ones’ voice or seeing the dedicated look on ones’ face during an audio or visual demonstration.
However, when one does not come off properly, audio and visual aides can have the reverse effect on a public relations campaign. The Tiger Woods’ Scandal is a prime candidate for visuals not fully serving their intended purpose. Woods’ apology was taken by some to be insincere and rehearsed. You can make your own determination of his true intentions at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs8nseNP4s0.
While visuals are not always beneficial, professional illustrator and strategic communicator, Guy Downes, lists a number of ways in which visuals are utilized. If used correctly the visuals will aide in public relations issues. As seen at http://craigpearce.info/public-relations/where-visual-communication-can-help-public-relations-in-storytelling/, visuals are used in public relations whether it is integrated into presentations or used in business pitches.
One of the most random ways in which audio and visuals are helping public relations is through websites like Youtube.com. As most know, youtube is an absolute plethora of hit-and-miss videos. Surprisingly, one can find educational advice from public relations representatives across the board. For example, public relations genius, Glen Selig, of “The Publicity Agency” is on youtube giving great advice to beginning public relations practitioners. His youtube link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqyqzir6_UU&feature=related.
This link is a good look at how the president of a top public relations agency is getting his name out there through various audio and visual techniques. As mentioned on his website, http://www.thepublicityagency.com/, he uses twitter, facebook, youtube, his website, and a variety of other techniques to engage audiences to him and his company.
These are just some of the looks into the never-ending usage of visual and audio aides in public relations. Anyone may jump online and further enhance their knowledge of this topic. Video links are posted on every search engine page imaginable.
Pitching blogs is a key fundamental crucial to surviving in today’s news industry. As a future public relations practitioner pitching blogs is nothing short of intriguing. I again entered the Google realm and I stumbled upon an enjoyable article. From B.L. Ochman who was unknown to me until I researched the art of pitching blogs.
According to Bloomsberg Businessweek, B.L. Ochman is president of whatsnextonline.com and she has worked for a number of well-known companies such as Ford, IBM, Mcgraw-Hill, American Greetings and more. More news on her is found at http://www.businessweek.com/bios/B_L_Ochman.htm.
Ochman’s article was enjoyable because the main theme was based around being more personable with bloggers. This being such a simple, logical thought is often overlooked. Furthermore, Ochman’s article posted at http://www.globalprblogweek.com/archives/the_pr_lessons_of_a_.php details some tips to pitching blogs.
One that struck home for me was why write to bloggers in an uptight voice when blogging is centered on conversational writing and comfortable speech. Ochman hits the nail on the head here because, as she mentions, bloggers like to rag on public relations people so why make it easier for bloggers. Treating them like the humans they are instead of the mediums they can be is essential.
Another helpful article at http://www.dailyblogtips.com/9-tips-to-pitch-your-blog-successfully/ is written by blogger/journalist Brandon J. Mendelson. The reason Mendelson is included here is because he is a successful blogger and more importantly because at the end of his first paragraph in this article he emphasizes the importance of persistence. As a firm believer in hard work, I respect anyone who understands that hard work is fundamental to succeed in any aspect of life.
Another reason this article is beneficial is because Mendelson gives unique examples and precise tips. For example, everyone knows everyone receives a million emails a day so a catchy headliner and a brief message are beneficial to ensuring your pitch gets a good look.
Overall it is necessary and useful to be a good journalist while pitching blogs. By that I mean take a little time to research the blogger or bloggers you are targeting and make them feel like significant individuals when delivering the pitch.
As I embarked on my email blogging blog assignment, I did, as all hard working public relations students do, I “Googled it”. Upon Googling,
I was not surprised to find a wealth of knowledge on emailing. For a girl who has written thousands of emails in her lifetime I never fully understood or respected the amount of work that can and perhaps should go into forging a well-crafted email.
After skimming some of the 433 million Google results I decided to dip into some of the sites dedicated to beginners. Upon further examination I found the beginner sites like http://www.webfoot.com/advice/email.top.php to not quite fit the bill. As I continued my search I spotted a Forbes.com listing and found in the second paragraph the approach I was looking for.
In “How To Write An Effective E-Mail” by Susan Adams her cardinal rule for writing emails is to “assume that e-mail is public”. I completely agree with and want to emphasize that point made by Adams at http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/04/effective-email-etiquette-leadership-careers-basics.html
People in today’s fast paced society of zero privacy tend to forget that anything and everything sent online might be read. Adams summarizes from three different experts in etiquette fields and she captures the main points well. For instance, she notes what Will Schwalbe, Mark Hurst, and Peter Post all agree on.
These main points include quickly getting to the point of the email and keeping everything short and sharp. However, Adams also stressed that the experts disagree on a number of things including emoticon usage and formal greetings.
This got me to thinking about the importance of common courtesy and polite behavior and how these things should play a key role in writing an email. Emails should include some formal greeting and salutation if it is a formal or business email. Furthermore, emoticons should be used sparingly and wisely in e-mails since tones are not always received correctly across this medium.
For those of you lacking emoticon smiley knowledge a helpful website is blog based http://www.ehow.com/how_5691_smileys-e-mail.html because it details which keys to use to create which facial expression. However, smiley’s aside I found my favorite website to be http://www.theenglishweb.com/business-writing-skills/how-to-write-an-email.php.
This website highlights the importance of better business writing and has great tips for improving emails. Some of the finer points include writing in “simple direct English,” and check your email before you send it. These are important because one always wants to convey one’s ideas properly and this is best done with clear concise writing.
Overall it is essential to remember your manners while writing emails whether for public relations or personal business. Concise, clear, politely toned writing are the keys to successful writing.
For Future PR Practitioners
The use of social media in public relations has resulted in a number of drastic changes in the ways in which news is gathered and distributed. I’ll mainly focus on the fast paced Internet that has revolutionized social media into a tangled web of fact and fiction.
News has come along way since the days of snail mail and telegrams. While such mediums as snail mail and landlines are still used to communicate, quicker mediums are overtaking the world. Texting, Skyping, and Tweets are now making the news and carrying the never-ending flow of new information. As stated by ComputerWorld.com Twitter has 75 Million users with 10-15 Million of those Tweeters having active accounts, which means they constantly Tweet (http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9148878/Twitter_now_has_75M_users_most_asleep_at_the_mouse). Therefore, with millions of people tuning into this instantly updateable website on their computers or smart phones it is no wonder news travels fast.
Through the Internet and onslaught of advertising everywhere it is easy to see why PR practitioners have to be on the up and up about all sorts of topics. Some of these topics are how to promote news topics and what makes news. Websites such as Moneyinstructor.com, (http://www.moneyinstructor.com/art/mediastory.asp), and publicrelationsmatters.com, (http://publicrelationsmatters.com/2010/06/15/five-ways-to-keep-current-in-public-relations/), are great websites to help develop a better understanding of public relations and what it takes to get your story out there.
A firm grasp on how quickly news travels is essential in public relations. One small story good or bad can travel the world and back in the blink of an eye with Internet and texting capabilities. This is one of the hardest things to learn as a young public relations practitioner; words matter. Therefore gaining an understanding of how and what to write when and whom to send it to are fundamental.
Once a complete understanding for the fundamentals is gained one may fully utilize social media to find a job in public relations. Through such search engines as google.com and bing.com one may find job postings or websites detailing which public relations firms are ranked among the best. Websites such as http://www.aboutpublicrelations.net/agencies.htm list out firms and rankings.
This is a good place to start then such social media sites as Twitter.com allows one to track and follow various agencies to see their work and how people feel about them. Once one acquires a public relations career it then becomes ones’ time to continually update ones knowledge of the field and all it pertains to.