PR :: Back to basics

Social media is (still) the shiny new object in the communications industry. Companies are flocking to Facebook, Twitter, G+ and YouTube to disseminate their message, using fun apps like Instagram and hiring social media managers to manage it all.

But are we forgetting that the basic premise behind these platforms is communication? And the ability to communicate well is a basic and extremely important skill for those in public relations and marketing.

According to a recent statistic, you have 2.6 seconds to get someone’s attention. Good writing is the key. Bad writing will defeat you. Lose the jargon and simplify your message.

A well thought out communications plan can work wonders for your public relations efforts. A plan encompassing both your paid advertising and your PR efforts is imperative to any successful campaign. The plan should include an editorial calendar for your email communication. Some companies even have a calendar for their social media posts.

While I think some social media planning is helpful, the majority of your social media posts cannot and should not be planned. After all, it’s communicating in real time, so who can determine what you will be discussing in two days, let alone two months?

Consistent messaging.
An important part of a public relations professional’s job is to ensure the brand they are representing is consistent in all areas. Do you use the same tone? Convey the same message? Use the same logo, fonts and colors? Does a printed piece reflect what your website looks like? All those pieces should fit together so anyone who sees and reads your information knows exactly where it came from.

A good photo or graphic can make or break your message. If using a photo, make sure it is in focus and clear. Does it tell a story? Is it compelling? Remember, a photo or video shared on social media sites can be shared and shared again…so make sure it represents your brand.

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