Archive for the ‘Facebook’ category

Tips for Dealing with the Changing PR Landscape

January 22, 2010

Planning for PR programs in 2010 will be more difficult than in past years because of the dynamic and continually changing PR landscape.


Choose one: (a) strongly disagree, (b) disagree, (c) unsure, (d) agree, (e) strongly agree. Fifty percent of public relations professionals surveyed chose (e) agree, according to Frank Strong, public relations director for Vocus. Strong addressed PRSA-MD members Thursday morning at the University of Baltimore (left), where he discussed some of the factors that make PR planning increasingly difficult, and what you can do about it. Here are a few of my takeaways.

Maintain your media relationships. Last year 293 newspapers folded, 1,226 magazines disappeared, 10,000 radio employees were cut, and 100 TV stations were affected by Chapter 11. In short, massive job loss. Where are all these editors and reporters going? Some of them are getting into PR, but many are going to online publications. Wherever they move, they’ll land somewhere and may continue to be relevant contacts. So don’t let your relationships go. You never know where a sacked reporter might resurface.

Master SEO and other new media tools. Attention is the new deficit, and social media can help break the threshold. Increasingly, PR professionals are giving testimonials about how their blog or tweet or discussion board made a difference for their organization or a client. It’s not just about the message anymore. We need to think beyond text, giving more consideration to  posting videos, engaging readers in conversation, tagging and, above all, SEO. Figure out which social media tools are appropriate for your organization—and learn how to use them. (Note: SEO is a must for every professional communicator’s toolbox!)

Learn crisis communications. You’ll need it. Up until now, the prevailing wisdom has been that crisis communications should be left to specialists. While this may still hold true for major crises, it’s also true that social media leaves everyone exposed to previously nonexistent dangers. Know how to respond when a customer or employee launches a withering attack at your organization or its leadership. You may not be able to control it, but you need to know how to deal with it, or better yet—prevent it.

Integrate your communications. Social media’s rejection of commercialization makes PR central to an organization’s communications efforts. Users can sniff out marketing copy, but a good PR professional knows how to connect to people with authenticity—in other words, without selling. Okay, so does a good marketer, but relationships are the essence of PR. It’s not worth considering which of these two functions is more important. They’re both important for many organizations. A better question to ask is, How can PR and marketing work together?

For more information on this topic, check out Frank Strong’s whitepaper, Meeting Change: Public Relations Planning in 2010.

Support Your Local Breasts

September 29, 2009

The Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is part of the largest network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting breast cancer. But what most of us in Maryland don’t know is that they aren’t a big nonprofit. In fact the staff numbers just eight. Yet in 2008 Komen Maryland granted over $2 million to local breast health and breast cancer awareness projects across the State. Up to 75% of net proceeds generated by Komen Maryland remains in Maryland and 25% support national research and scientific programs around the world.

So how does a small staff with a big vision (to end breast cancer!) build success? Besides energizing thousands of volunteers and great pro-bono partners like PUNCH, Komen Maryland’s ad agency, they tap the new media along with the traditional. So they married an new edgy ad campaign, Support your Local Breasts, with Facebook to create excitement and success.  The focus of the ad campaign is to educate the community that they are the MARYLAND affiliate, separate from our national headquarters and we provide services here throughout Maryland. 

They began with a complete analysis of the race (next one is Sunday, Oct. 18) and discovered that 10% of our participants were raising 90% of our race revenue! To enhance and secure the success of our signature event, Race for the Cure, we identified our focus to communicate better the need that all participants do some fundraising.  We hired Adcieo, a local solutions management company to help with web-based efforts and overall electronic communications.

They dove into social networking especially with their Facebook page to promote the ad campaign, Race for the Cure and all the efforts of our affiliate.  There Komen Maryland is holding a Support Your Local Breasts photo contest on a special fan page. In the campaign, Komen asked Facebook “fans” to find a bus shelter poster around town featuring the new campaign, snap their picture with it and enter into a photo contact via Facebook for a chance to win Komen goodies.

The campaign was a success – will the race be? Well we won’t know until October 18, but on October 6th, we’ll hear from Komen reps more on the details of their campaign. On tap to present and answer questions will be: Lenore Koors, development director and Rebecca McCoy, MPH, grants & education program manager both with Komen Maryland and Dennis Chyba, president, Adcieo.

The session not to miss is Activating Grass Roots at 10:30. With Komen Maryland, you’ll hear the story of the End The Wait Now Campaign, a project of the Developmental Disabilities Coalition and The Arc of Maryland which is tapping the power of YouTube.

The power of social media is in giving voice — and action — to small nonprofits.

Follow Us on Twitter

September 8, 2009

PRSA MD launched its social media strategy last year with a LinkedIn group and has built on that adding a Facebook Group and now we’re on Twitter. It may seem like too much to follow or friend or connect to given all the things we have to do in the day. Here’s the hint – you don’t have to connect in all places! We’re in all places because we all have preferences and we want to be as available and open to members and the community as possible.

So pick your favorite place and follow us. Do more though … also talk to us and others, share ideas, ask questions and tell us what you think.

Not sure you’re in the right place or have questions about how to use all these new options? You’ll want to check out one of our two great hands-on sessions in the afternoon at the Chessie Conference:

Getting Started with Twitter – where Jeff Davis will give you a tour and more. Jeff will be showing you step-by-step how to create, optimize and use Twitter. His early morning session will provide a great overview.

Networking with the New Media – where Peggy Hoffman will take you on a tour of popular social networking sites and show you how to optimize your LinkedIn site in particular. You’ll look at Google Reader and the power of social bookmarking.

And, there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and check out options throughout the day.

See you on the 6th.