10 thoughts on “Should your PR firm have a social platform?

  1. It’s an interesting question that I think has two sides, Julie. I’d be the first to agree and say that yes, a social media marketing/PR strategy is key to help expand a brand, product or service in a hugely effective way.

    Yet only if they’re ready for it.

    There are too many businesses (both from a professional and client side) that have jumped onboard social media without really knowing why. It’s almost like, “Well, everyone else is doing it so we better as well.”

    But say you target audience aren’t the type that would use social media anyway? You’d be wasting even more time going after someone that isn’t there.

    I’d definitely say get a strong social media platform abnd take the time and effort that you need to place in it to make it work. But do the research first (like any solid PR or marketing campaign) and make sure there are ears to hear your voice to begin with.

  2. Very good thoughts, Danny. Thanks for chiming in. And I agree. Don’t implement anything that you aren’t ready to carry through-and do it well. Infrastructure should always be in place to handle results of the marketing plan, as well. It’s better to be ready then look like a dweeb later on. -Julie

  3. Julie, I would agree with your points. A professional communications firm – whether they call themselves PR, marketing or something in between – has a responsibility to provide the best counsel to their clients. And to do so in 2009 means understanding all the tools available and how to use them strategically to meet the organization’s objectives.

    Even if social media marketing is not a good fit for a client right now, an agency or solo pro should be able to provide counsel as to why and what the client should consider before moving forward with such a strategy.

    I don’t think you can really understand how to do those things if you aren’t using the tools yourself (as a firm or as an individual). Social media is creating a fundamental shift in the way information is demanded and delivered. It’s not a fad, it’s not going away. Ignore it at your peril.

  4. I would say only do it if you can commit to it. Your clients will need to understand how important it is to engage and not just observe. You as the firm will need to understand where the conversations are and what communities matter most. This can change in a second so the firm must be on top of all the latest tools for tracking, monitoring and advising on social media tactics for their clients. In addition to having a platform though, PR pros should also understand the various methods for getting a message out for both traditional and social media. People aren’t just relying on the paper (yes that is a dead comparison) video and audio are on the rise. How can clients leverage these mediums to get their message heard and how do you support and or advise them on these new methods. Like you, I work with several agencies who are not completely ready to jump in the social media waters without a little support. Luckily I love it.

    Great post!

    Melissa Hourigan

  5. I agree as long as they understand their targets. Not only the target audience, but also the target platform (social bookmarking, micro-blogging, social network) and the target interactive tool (application, blog, group). They need to focus and make one step at the time.

  6. I completely agree that PR and marketing firms (or their employees and executives) should have a social media presence and that is why my employees are encouraged to nurture their online identities and audiences.

    I see a frightening number of firms that promote their social media skills and propose social media programs, yet aren’t using the most basic tools.

    An example – I recommended that one of my clients create a presence on Twitter and walked him through the process of how to engage people in conversation and what the tools were. I explained how it could increase awareness of his company and of himself. His one and only question? How have you used it to build business for your own firm. Fortunately I was able to provide solid examples of how it has elevated my business. We need to practice what we preach.

  7. Nice post. I agree that most firms probably should have a social media presence – as a marketing PR tactic, it appears to be here to stay, and we as PR pros have to be the ones who know how best to use these tools to reach and communicate with our stakeholders.

    That said, it might not make sense for all firms to build out a social media platform. For me, it all depends on their clientele (and how they communicate with their audiences) and their future plans. For example, there are plenty of agencies that specialize in investor relations or work b2b with financial services companies, law firms, etc. Of course social media can be helpful in these spaces, but it might not be a primary means of communication by industry pros, clients, etc. and isn’t expected to be long-term. As such, agencies are wise to invest the majority of their time learning other disciplines and maintaining relationships with other media. Also, in the unlikely and insane event that an agency doesn’t want to offer counsel on social media in the future, then they can choose not to invest in learning/developing it now.

    In the end…it depends. Doesn’t everything?

  8. Should your PR firm have a social platform? | Marketing Jewels

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