can't be in PR today and ignore the facts.
Fact one: hard copy
publications are online, or have moved exclusively online.
Fact two: media
companies are consolidating.
Fact three: new media
is here to stay and is quickly becoming a leading outlet for telling your
Everyone is blogging. Search
engine optimization (SEO) is common place in the corporate world and you
can't turn around without hearing something about YouTube or MySpace. A
strong social media strategy can really set your company apart from the
competition and extend your business' thought leadership outreach and
touch a broader audience. Public relations professionals can help their
companies or clients navigate these new waters.
First, let's address blogging. Technorati.com, one of the largest search
engines for blogs, is currently tracking 75 million blogs with 175,000 new
blogs being created daily. Blogging has become mainstream and it's here to
stay. Heck, there are blogs written by grandmothers to Godzilla fans, but
the question is, what does this mean to PR? The answer: everything!
Blogging is the great equalizer as more people are getting information
from these citizen journalists-the key as a PR executive is to cut through
the clutter and make sure you are reaching those legitimate blogs to bring
your client the added value that can come from these outlets.
Another role of your PR team
is to ensure that your corporate blog remains relevant, avoids hype,
addresses market trends (not your products), and is continually being
linked to other influential blogs in your online community. Lastly, and
most importantly, when creating a corporate blog-make sure you are doing
it for the right reasons; don't just jump on the bandwagon, think it out.
It will pay off in the long run.
A second step to a winning social media strategy is podcasting. According
to InfoWorld research, it is the "second favorite way" for
people (including decision makers) to receive information-next to print
Podcasting offers controlled
production and messaging. It's inexpensive and excellent for promoting a
problem and evangelizing the solution. And finally, it's measurable. You
can easily tell how many people are downloading your podcast. Your PR firm
should help you identify opportunities to partner with key outlets and
industry partners to develop a podcast as well as assist you in the
development of content.
In addition to blogging and podcasting, it is important to utilize other
social media outlets, including SEO, webinars, webcasts, RSS news feeds
and even YouTube and MySpace. Your PR team will work with you to
capitalize on these new media outlets to maximize their effectiveness for
At the end of the day, the key
to a strong social media strategy is to think it through, avoid hype, stay
honest, and never try to represent something you/your company is not.
Remember, you are dealing with a group of people that can see astroturf
from a mile away ... so stay REAL!
Kulesa is president of Kulesa Public Relations, a boutique high-technology
PR agency based in the heart of Silicon Valley.
In 2007 she and her team launched the PR Café,
www.publicrelationscafe.com, to share their
expertise in launching and promoting high-tech companies.
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