In a recent post I talked about the difference between offline and online PR for small businesses. Just to take it a step further, I think of Social Media as Online PR because at the end of the day, social media is a means of establishing your brand and getting buzz for your business.
In creating a PR campaign, you need to determine your key messages and your key audiences, you need to prepare a way to communicate your message (writing a press release, media pitch or media kit), you need to pitch the media and then track what the media is saying about your company.
It’s the same with Social Media except you use ‘Online’ vehicles like blogs, social networks, podcasts, video, and so on to get your message out to your target audiences. Instead of journalists, you pitch bloggers. Instead of cutting out press clippings, you can use Google alerts as a free way for you to track what is being said about your company online so you can determine if your key messages are being picked up, respond promptly to any critical articles and manage your brand’s overall reputation.
In terms of getting publicity, Social Media is making it easier for us to communicate directly not just with potential customers but also media. For example, check out the database of Media on Twitter. Follow and engage with a few journalists who may be interested in your story. Isn’t that less intimidating than picking up the phone to pitch them a story?
Of course, to have an effective campaign using social media you’ll need to have a strategy in place, be able to communicate well and establish relationships with the right influencers – whether media, blogger or another key connector – who can help you build the buzz around your business.
Just like in PR.
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies.
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