Last week Graffiti PR hosted a PR Summit Bootcamp in San Francisco – an action packed day of successful PR folks revealing their tips and tricks for navigating and leveraging media. Even social change needs good media coverage. The more I’ve dived into social entrepreneurship, the more I realize how crucial some of the things I used to perceive as “fluffy” or even just “nice to have” are: that includes branding, PR, messaging, social media, and overall marketing will make or brake any good idea. Here are some of the most meaningful morsels from the event:
- Let your brand have a personality. Make sure you’re not only talking about your product and selling your product with your communications on Facebook and Twitter. Give value. Have fun. Give your brand a persona. United Airlines on Twitter is a perfect example of what not to do.
- Don’t forget traditional platforms, like direct mail. Mix it up. Surprise people. People now expect that email newsletter, that Twitter account. Stir the pot with an unexpected medium.
- Shaking hands is underrated. Social media is amazing and all. But don’t forget to meet your audience in person. This particularly applies to campaigns for political office, but I think it applies beyond that. Companies that I’ve had face to face contact with are by far my favorites out there. I will almost never become an evangelist without meeting the CEO or someone else involved (maybe I’m odd that way?)
- Don’t push the same updates to all channels. Seeing hashtags on Facebook is like speaking English in Paris, one speaker suggested. It’s frowned upon. Consider who you are talking to and craft your message accordingly.
- Be consistent with your communications.
- Experiment with the tools used. People respond to different channels and you’ll need to experiment to find out your audience’s preferred tools and channels. Get feedback and modify over time.
- Reach new markets through an in-person event.
- Crowdsource your content. So if you work at a big company, allow all employees to blog and tweet on behalf of the company. If you work at a small company with eager customers, invite them to create content for you. Bring on guest bloggers with interesting angles on your product or industry.
- To make a good pitch, get your foot in the door and “slam the hammer down” or make your point quickly and emphatically. Make the ask and close the deal swiftly. Keep it short. And remember to treat your audience like fellow human beings.
- If pitching without a warm lead, a brief email or tweet is a good start. And make it easy and catchy – top 5 trends or something relevant to who you’re pitching.
- The press release is dead. This tip resonated with me. I get all sorts of press releases in my inbox and 99% of the time I will delete them. I am looking to get first hand information from news generators, i.e. a person at the company or organization where the news is happening and others in the industry. The only reason to do a press release is to memorialize events, or satisfy a client. It is not an effective tool for pitching a story
- Tips for powerful Facebook and Twitter updates:
- Be brief – say more with fewer words
- Be direct and authentic – avoid adjectives and marketing-speak
- Be casual – speak in simple, colloquial language
- Be personal – use 2nd person and avoid talking about your customers or community in cold terms like “users.” Address your community and individuals within it directly.
- Make a call to action – ask readers to do something or answer a question. Engagement creates stronger brand relationships than passive content consumption.
Do you agree with these tips? What would you add to this list?