PR Summit Boot Camp, produced by Shaun Saunders of Graffiti PR and held in San Francisco, brought together experienced speakers in the PR world who provided great tips and insights into how the media and you should be embracing today’s changing landscape. The old and the new protocols of PR 2.0 are starting to blend and with it are new ways of going about doing the business of PR. At the end of the day, it was agreed by all that the key to successful PR is to create, foster and engage your personal and your businesses contacts along with those in your community to create your networks both online and offline.
There are a number of tools available at your fingertips to engage in social media. The burning question is, what social media tools are the most productive and which are the time wasters? The Social Media & New Media Protocols panel addressed this by asking the seasoned PR speakers how they go about their day in terms of social media. Myles Weissleder of Mylermedia still feels email is the best tool to focus on to do important communications. “Although its beneficial to check your Facebook and Twitter streams numerous times a day, doing so can take up all your time. And if your network is large, it can be like a fire-hose providing you too much useless information.” Daniel Lemin, formerly of PainePR and now the founder of Social-Studio digests his daily news through newsletters which he considers the most credible source of information. He then turns to his Twitter and Facebook streams but strictly for business, to seek out information about his own campaigns. His tools of choice include Hootsuite, TweetDeck, LinkedIn, Cadmus along with in-house proprietary tools. Preston Lewis of Bonfire Communications uses social media throughout the day to build awareness of events to come that night. “My personal and professional lives are blurred on Facebook while Twitter is strictly professional.” And Ryan Singel of Wired.com’s Threat Level views navigating websites as the best source of information and starts his day off by viewing numerous content aggregators through open tabs. He also finds Flipboard and the search engine Duck Duck Go most useful.
Facebook’s Manager of Corporate Communications, Matt Hicks, shared how to grow a company’s fan page. He used Facebook’s own Fan Page as an example of a successful Fan Page. It was launched after the Haiti Disaster and already has 14.8 million people who have Liked its fan page, 9 million monthly actives and 1 million daily actives. It has been promoted in organic ways such as through photos, videos, a link to its blog and is always creating fresh content. Each time you publish an update on your Fan Page with photos, videos or links it will automatically go out into the News Feeds of all your fans creating not only virality but enabling your content to be searched and found by others. In addition, sharing content on YouTube and Twitter and directing users back to your Facebook Fan page also keeps them engaged.
Akilah Bolden-Monifa, Director of Communications with CBS5 | The CW44 cable 12 and CBS Radio has had decades of experience in the media. Although she receives tons of pitches through Twitter, FB and email for news reports, the reality is that most of the news comes from the wire services. If you are going to do a pitch, she suggests to keep it simple and keep in mind the basic 5 W’s – Who, What, When, Where and Why. To her, the Press Release is dead and ineffective for getting press. She toots the horn for Twitter. Being brief and to the point might get her attention while long wordy press releases, especially with attachments, will most definitely not get her attention.
The Old Spice campaign was brought up numerous times throughout the day as a great example of how using Social Media has revived an old brand. We all associate it with the smell of our grandfather so how did it become the phenomena it has become? Thanks to the cunning creativity of the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy and the help of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, millions of people have viewed the campaign. Daniel Lemin summed the hit as a result of them taking risks and pushing boundaries. “They factored into their campaign that people want to be entertained, add that with the shock factor and you have a HIT.
Much more was discussed at the PR Summit Bootcamp and it was all captured on Justin TV. And check out Amie Vaccaro’s great summary of the confrerence in, “Graffiti PR’s 12 Tips for reaching Your Audience.”