PR Strategy – Get Into the Conversation with Social Media

social-media.bmpBlogs, Wikis, social networking, online forums, podcasts – social media all. How do you make sense of these PR tools? A little confusing perhaps?  

Wikipedia describes Social Media as:“Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing, and voice over IP, to name a few. Examples of social media applications are Google Groups (reference, social networking), Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), Facebook (social networking), Youmeo (social network aggregation), (personal music), YouTube (social networking and video sharing), Avatars United (social networking), Second Life (virtual reality), Flickr (photo sharing), Twitter (social networking and microblogging) and other microblogs such as Jaiku and Pownce. Many of these social media services can be integrated via social network aggregation platforms like Mybloglog and Plaxo.” 

The secret to making good use of these is…drum roll please…getting started. We have to get past the “paralysis of the analysis” and get in the game. Large companies with big budgets are hiring full time staff to manage nothing but social media. Small companies, where executives wear many hats, are starting small and growing. Time and resources are the main barriers that scale down grand plans in these new Web 2.0 public relations media.  

Tip: Let’s take one element common across most social media – it is 2 way communications. We can join the conversation; we don’t have to start it. We can comment on other’s blogs, respond to online articles in daily newspapers, post listings on others online directories, post articles on other’s wikis. Put a link back to your website in the comment and you have just created another way for someone to find you on the Internet.  

When you know an article mentioning your company is about to go live online, make sure your fans (suppliers, channel partners, top customers) know about it and suggest they comment online to the writer. Most major publications now allow for such comments. In this way you can further assure that the article is caste in the most positive light possible. Encourage good comment content and suggest areas they may comment on without putting the words in their mouth. That’s good public relations and can have positive SEO benefits. 

Here’s a good article about social media recently published in Utah Business 

Let us know what you think.

About the Author:

As founder of PilmerPR, John Pilmer, APR serves as a PR and marketing communications advisor for both emerging and established companies. He offers customers more than 20 years of results-driven business PR and marketing experience. John and the firm have provided PR consultation and campaigns for clients such as Mozy, Novell, AdvancedMD, Certiport, NextPage, ElectraTherm, Altiris, Avamar, EmergeCore Networks, FSLogic, INVISUS, 10x Marketing, MWI, Project Insight, REIC, Seastone, US Synthetic and Funding Universe (now Lendio), among others.

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