Clearly intended to invite controversy, the title of Steve Farnsworth’s article Is Social Media Beyond A Public Relations Professional’s Skill Set is pretty effective at producing clickbait. And that’s its intention. Any article’s intention is to inform people of its angle, but more importantly to incite a reaction: igniting enquiry. I was no rebel for resistance when I saw this little gem early this morning.
Having actually read his article, and the article that incited him to write it, it transpires that I agree entirely with both articles’ premise, and wish now to contribute my own opinion on the relationship between being a PR professional and managing clients’ social media accounts.
Weaving together a raft of skills gained, from marketing to content creation, from social media to journalism and everything in between; it’s the job of a PR professional to create brand messages that are seen by the public. Be that in 140 characters via twitter or an extended blog post about the latest news, and company developments; everything counts as content, and everything creates a dialogue between your brand and the public.
By opting to choose a professional in modern PR, you should find someone who is able to strategise your social media usage, ensuring they:
- create targeted, insightful content to appeal to a wide audience of prospects
- educate and inspire both existing customers and prospects to engender trust and build a culture of respect for the brand’s authority
- generate targeted leads and new sources for lead generation through engaging relevant prospects
PR, like SEO, content creation and arguably sales and marketing in general, is a movable feast. Particularly in the digital area. It’s a long lasting relationship that incorporates all kinds of skills and knowledge, which change daily.
Like mighty oaks on a still night, the principles are unbending: you want to increase exposure, focusing on targeted prospects, present a positive public image of the company and build trust relationships. But where PR has changed is that it’s interlinked with content creation. And it’s essential now to offer value to prospects and existing clients. This often happens in the form of linking content marketing to social media. And to being available on social media channels to answer questions and develop dialogue.
For example, embedded into my work with Chocolarder and The Cornish Seaweed Company, is recipe creation to engage prospects. This is giving people who are interested in the product something for free. They don’t have to use Chocolarder chocolate or Cornish Seaweed to create the recipe. It’s personal choice. However, since many people have also read the copy in the About Us section, and interacted via social media, the majority have a vested interest in the ethos of the company and will choose their product.
The result is that by giving people a valuable product, albeit free recipes or advice, you strengthen your position as an authority on the subject, whilst also creating desire through subtle marketing. Gone are the days of the hard sell, with individuals preferring to invest in companies who create a feeling.
It stands to reason then, that the same person who is creating the tone of voice across all channels – blogs to brochures, and pins to tweets – ought to be responsible for managing PR campaigns. So in retort to Farnsworth’s question: A PR professional is more than qualified to manage social media. So long as they’re forward thinking, modern professionals who understand the evolutionary and fluid nature of all things digital. Preferably with an online portfolio demonstrating a varied toolkit to draw from.
I can offer content management and brand development across all channels, including PR campaigns or management.
Some of my clients choose to outsource my services, and for others I have an in-house role. How much or little involvement you wish me to have depends entirely on your business, your budget and your preference. If you want me to suggest ideas; I’m full of them. However, I’m also pretty well qualified at just converting words into stories.
To have a chat about any of this, please feel free to call 07729263818 or email me laura[at]palavermaven.co.uk.