How to Use Twitter to Achieve Overall PR Goals, Part 1

This is Part 1 in a three-part series.

Twitter is a mixed bag. Some days it’s a political minefield, other days you spend half an hour trying to figure out why “30-50 feral hogs” is trending. Googling “Why Twitter is” will result in autofill options of “Why Twitter is good,” “Why Twitter is bad,” and “Why Twitter is important.” Everyone you ask will have an opinion along this spectrum, and I’m no exception. I’ve been on Twitter since 2008, and after a decade+ of its platform updates and my own life changes, I’m still a loyal contributor to the social media site, both for personal and professional use.

Whether you’re a Twitter devotee or you can’t remember how many characters are allowed in a tweet, having a presence on Twitter is worth it for all PR pros. Here’s how to develop your Twitter for your personal PR goals:

Make connections.
No matter how you use Twitter, the platform sees its roughly 321 million active users per month gravitate to certain areas of interest. Whether that’s memes, breaking news, or TV show finales, there’s place for everyone on Twitter. That’s equally true of PR and journalism.

Almost every reporter or editor I’ve worked with over the past few years has a Twitter account. While email addresses or LinkedIn profiles can be hard to find, a journalist’s Twitter profile is almost always linked in their author bio. If you’re looking for insights on what a journalist’s interests or beats are, always check out their Twitter – they’re not usually shy of sharing their work!

This is even more valuable when it comes to local journalists. I follow several IndyStar reporters I’ve worked with before and whose stories I like and have had interesting and informative conversations with them right there on Twitter. Even if I’m not pitching them for anything, I love seeing what local journalists are talking about, what’s important to the community, and what’s making headlines.

Brag about yourself.
#HumbleBrag is a hashtag for a reason. Don’t be afraid to show off the awesome work you’re doing – and the awesome coverage you’re receiving – for your clients or company overall. If you spent several weeks coordinating an interview for a client, share the link and spread the word!

If you have a Twitter account you use for both personal and professional reasons, you may want to add some context to sharing client coverage. If you usually tweet about superhero movies, a tweet about healthcare facilities management may feel out of place. A quote retweet tagging your client and your company, though, provides plenty of details as to why you’re talking about this subject.

Get inspired.
Somewhere in the 500 million tweets sent every day, you’re bound to find something inspiring. Most news channels have Twitter presences, and just about every author, comedian and actor does, too. What are news channels in your client’s HQ city tweeting about? What news is capturing the attention of a large audience? What client keywords are seeing a lot of activity as hashtags?

PR pros have many tools at their disposal to build press lists and measure media coverage impact, but few tools are as effective as good ol’ research. Twitter lets you get in-the-moment insights into what’s important to different audiences and thought leaders just by being present and following a few key individuals or organizations. Keep an eye on clients’ competitors, journalists you’ve worked with before, and the general news across the city, state and country. You never know where your next newsjacking or byline opportunity might come from.

Is Twitter for everyone? Maybe not. However, it should be a place all PR pros can go to make connections, tout their work, and get inspired for new story angles. As long as news breaks on Twitter, PR pros should be there to keep up.

Interested in how Twitter can play a role in your public relations strategy? Contact Lauryn Gray to learn more about our services and schedule a consultation.

Top Services Clients Seek from Dittoe PR

My husband works in manufacturing, and he’s often met with blank stares when he tells colleagues that I work in PR. He once shared with me that he told a coworker I “tweet for work.” Technically, he’s not wrong. But that is just one aspect of my day-to-day work for clients who seek social media services from Dittoe PR.

You know the difference between public relations and marketing and the services we provide, however, you may still be curious which services our clients turn to us for the most. No blank stares here – these are the top services our clients seek from Dittoe PR:

Media Relations
Media relations is our bread and butter. While many “full-service” agencies include media relations in their plethora of services with everything from logo design to social media strategy, this is the core of our work at Dittoe. Your story is important, and we want the world to know about it, which is why we spend a significant amount of time working with the media best equipped to share your story.

Media relations at Dittoe is much more than writing press releases and sending pitches. When we secure media coverage for our clients, our work isn’t done. We want to ensure you are well-equipped to convey your story through media, whether that’s on TV, in an article, or during a photoshoot. It’s also important to remember that you may not be the only person telling your story – and we want to help with that, too.

Recently, Kasie, Vanessa and our summer intern Ali traveled to Chicago for Media Training Day with the WGA’s Caddie Academy. The Caddie Academy provides summer caddie opportunities to under-resourced high school students who ultimately hope to pursue an Evans Scholarship. Sharing the impact the Caddie Academy has on its participants is the goal, and what better way to do so than by connecting the caddies with the media directly? During media training, the Dittoe PR team shared everything from the best way to respond to interview questions to the best color shirt to wear on camera. We don’t just secure media opportunities, we ensure everyone who is telling your organization’s story is as prepared as possible to share it.

Thought Leadership
The executives we work with are experts at what they do. Whether they built a tech startup or manage a hotel that was built from the ground up, they are uniquely keyed into the operations that make their businesses successful and the skills required to manage them. They want to share their expertise with the world. That’s where Dittoe comes in.

If you recall our PR Lingo 101 blog, you’ll know that bylines are a large part of thought leadership campaigns. Whether a CEO sits down to pen an article about the importance of fiber broadband in rural communities or we conduct an interview with a VP on her work revamping the company’s HR policies, our Dittoe word wizards work with the execs to craft a strong article for publication. Our job is to ensure these bylines are published in ideal outlets for the company. That could mean a trade publication aimed at our client’s customers or a magazine where C-suite execs can learn from each other. Dittoe constantly researches new publications and builds relationships with editors to ensure a smooth byline publication process for all clients.

Social Media
Here’s where I tweet for work. And post to Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. And draft monthly strategies for content, including boosted posts. And audit existing client channels to measure what is working well and what could be improved. And educate executives about the importance of social media for companies even as we all personally scoff at Facebook’s practices.

As any social media manager will tell you, managing social media is about far more than writing tweets and responding to Instagram comments. In fact, the actual work of posting is often the quickest. The strategy for a company’s social channels always comes first to guide not just what we want to post, but why. We also regularly monitor social media analytics to see what content is performing the best, or what the audience isn’t quite as interested in.

For example, Intelligent Fiber Network’s (IFN) social media presence spans Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. What our team posts every day on these channels is the last thing we plan. First, we look at the upcoming quarter and identify the main sales or marketing goals: Which trade shows are occurring this quarter? Where is IFN’s network expanding? What new projects are on the horizon to announce? Only then do we drill down to the office level and determine what else about IFN we want to highlight during the quarter, the month, and the week – this includes everything from monthly birthday and anniversary celebrations to new blog posts.

Executing media relations, thought leadership and social media campaigns take grit and persistence, but they’re only as successful as the planning, brainstorming and strategy behind them. This is why our clients come to Dittoe PR. Not only do they know we’ll execute our plans to the letter and secure amazing coverage, but we put in the legwork to ensure those plans are the best fit for the client and will always result in success.

Are you interested in any of the services listed above? Contact Lauryn Gray to schedule a meeting and learn more about what Dittoe PR could do for your business.

Signs a Career in PR Might Be for You

I wasn’t one of those kids who knew exactly what they wanted to do when they grew up. Some kids want to be doctors or veterinarians or teachers from the first time they’re asked that question until they graduate from college with a job lined up. What I wanted to be when I grew up had something to do with reading and writing and books – and to be a princess, of course.

Skip to college admissions time, and I just knew I wanted to be a music teacher… but you can’t be a music teacher if you aren’t accepted to the school of music. Then, I just knew I wanted to be an English teacher… until I realized I didn’t actually want to teach at all. One English literature degree, graduate certificate program, and internship later, I knew what my career was going to be: non-profit marketing.

As I write to you on a PR agency’s blog, it’s clear that non-profit marketing was indeed not my forever career. However, my education and experiences did lead me to public relations, and I can trace the breadcrumbs of my interests and skills that make PR the perfect career for me – and maybe for you, too. Here are four signs a career in PR might be for you:

1. You like to write.
Writing is a rewarding, if challenging, pastime. Ask any author on Twitter and they’ll let you know how much of a challenge it can be to get the right words on paper. When you get to tell a compelling true story, though, and it results in national media coverage, it’s hard not to be delighted to write every day. Whether it’s a press release for a client’s latest capital fund raise, a blog post for a product that’s changing kids’ lives, or even an award nomination so a client can receive deserved recognition for the amazing company culture they’ve built, the reward for touting all the amazing things our clients do far outweighs any challenges.

2. You are addicted to NPR, morning radio shows or evening news programs.
I used to have a 45-minute commute around Indy. On the fifth day in a row where I heard the same three songs and 10 commercials in a 20-minute window, I had to do something to stimulate my brain during rush hour. I found Indy’s local NPR station, WFYI, and I haven’t changed my radio since. I feel lost if I don’t know what’s going on in the world, in the US and here in Indiana.

In PR, this is a huge asset. “Newsjacking” is an opportunity we take advantage of often. If we hear an interesting story and one of our clients has a timely counterpoint to share, we can reach out to that reporter with our client’s unique viewpoint. And newsjacking doesn’t only apply to serious news. If a client has a fun event coming up and you know that your favorite morning DJ would love to attend, reach out! It could be a win-win for the client and the station – not to mention all the people who will want to check out the event when they hear about it during their own commute.

3. You’re bored by cyclical or repetitive projects.
Non-profits are ruled by the fundraising calendar cycle: Spring drive, summer event, fall drive, Giving Tuesday, holiday giving, repeat. Finding new ways to spruce up fundraisers can be a fun exercise, but once you’ve done it three, four, five times, the repetition can be draining. Hands down, my favorite thing about working at a PR agency is that no two projects look the same – even if you think they are on the surface. Creating a strategic social media plan for two clients may sound like the same project, but when one is for a hospitality client and the other is for a utilities company, those plans are going to look completely different. Having clients from multiple industries located in multiple states all with varying needs means every day at Dittoe is different, and so is every project.

4. You’re results-driven and tenacious.
I wouldn’t say I’m the most competitive person in the world – or in the Dittoe office, for that matter. But I do strive to exceed my clients’ expectations when executing projects. When a client hires Dittoe to secure coverage, I am driven to ensure they get the coverage they want, and then some. This can mean sending more emails in a day than I could have dreamed or spending time researching topics I don’t know much about. At the end of the day, though, when all that research and all those emails result in national coverage, stellar social media metrics, or a really great story, every minute is worth it.

These are by no means the only skills necessary to work in PR. If you’re entering the workforce for the first time, or looking at changing up your career, take stock of your interests in addition to your skills and education. You never know when having a favorite “All Things Considered” host or a penchant for local business newsletters might come in handy.