Broadly speaking, there are two media types – traditional and new. PR, like most industries, is always changing. New ideas are developed, new training is needed and it’s all in a bid to stay ahead of the competition, proving to your clients and future prospects that you really are the bees knees.
PR has come a long way (I’m pleased to say) since faxing out requests for feature lists, scrolling through the pages of the hefty BRAD directories to find media contact details and having envelopes bulging with actual physical press cuttings arriving in the post bag each morning.
The way we (the general public) access media is constantly evolving too and the information available to us at the touch of a screen is immense. But is ‘new’ always best for every client?
Note, I am talking about b2b PR here. I’ve had conversations with a number of businesses recently who aren’t really using social media – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – at least not what I would call, properly. Some seem to be under the impression that they should be engaging in these forums, either through their own presumptions, or based on what others have advised. But when I scratch just slightly below the surface of each, I realise this isn’t because they don’t have the necessary strategy in place, it turns out it might not actually be right for them.
I suppose it’s the same as the bug bear I have with some people’s approach to PR, that sending out a press release is the the PR box ticked. Press releases are not the only tool in the kit, they are just one of a vast number of routes to getting a message out to a relevant audience. In fact – press releases should nearly always be supported by some other form of communications activity. And, in the same way, just because you might have heard of Twitter and Facebook, it doesn’t mean you have to use them.
For b2b clients I would recommend having an active (and properly planned) presence on LinkedIn. It promotes networking and discussion – both good for generating new business and for profile raising. Twitter is different. You are often engaging with organisations as a whole (or at least whoever is managing their Twitter feed) or with individuals who may not necessarily be using the outlet as a professional platform. Is that right for your business? Answer: It depends who you want to talk to.
Keeping web content fresh, especially posting relevant blog content on a regular basis – packed with key words for SEO, is a good thing to do, for any business. And PR has a strong role to play here, using a company’s own online space as another communications outlet integrated into an overall, targeted plan – and that’s the key really.
Social media is not the answer to everything and by not using it, you’re not necessarily missing out. It’s one of the channels available for PR and should be considered when planning activity, but don’t feel you should engage just because. Be sure it’s right fit for you and then make sure you’re using it properly.