On Monday, I had the pleasure of hearing from social-media guru, Chris Brogan, at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) National Conference in Orlando, FL. Speaking to a room full of public relations professionals, Chris talked a lot about creating engaging content which leads to buzz. One piece of important advice he gave was nothing new, but still crucial to gaining any audience’s attention: Stories about people are the most successful. Very few products are amazing, but how they can make people feel is often times much more amazing. Before ending his presentation he gave the audience a “TO DO” list that really encapsulated the essence of his presentation:
1.) Shine your light: Once you master a skill or a task, move on and share that aptitude with a different account team or your co-workers. Everyone wins when you learn from each other.
2.) Connect with causes: This shows you care, and it’s not just about the money.
3.) Reconsider metrics: Look at what type of analytics you’re using, if any, and see if they are the best way measure what you’re interested in.
4.) Listen: Hear what consumers, employees and bloggers are saying about your company/product and incorporate that into your business plan. This also means responding to your online following (very important!) Public relations is still about customer service.
5.) Media training for everyone: With social media, everyone is able to speak on behalf of the company, whether it is the C-suite or a junior-level employee, so make sure they’re ready.
6.) Bring the legal department in early: Make sure that legal is involved with social media strategies from the beginning. That way, everyone is on the same page and can act proactively, instead of cleaning up after a crisis!
Chris emphasized that having a blog or a Twitter account is not just about exposure. It is about using these tools to leverage relationships with your audience and create influence.
Becky Loya is a senior at Boston University studying public relations. Follow her @BeckyLoya.