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.

Tips For Tackling Social Issues Using a Brand Purpose

According to a recent study, 69% of U.S. adults use at least one social media site. That’s a hefty portion of the population, making social media a powerful tool for marketing, sales, and advertising. It also makes it a powerful tool to advocate for social causes or bring attention to social issues. This can be tricky territory for a company profile, as brands often don’t want to offend or scare off consumers that may have different viewpoints. And this is a real risk. We’ve seen it often enough with calls to boycott Starbucks or boycott Nike that smaller companies may not be willing to exact that risk. However, with risk there is reward and today we’re going to dive into how exactly to approach integrating social issues into your social media marketing efforts.

Consumer Value Marketing
One point that we’ll keep coming back to today is the idea that the strongest connection you can make with an audience is over a shared value. When thinking about this in terms of your consumer, using social issues can be a way to build brand equity. By listening to your consumer, you can find out what causes they care about. This can be done through social listening, i.e., asking questions on your social media channels, hosting Q&As, creating focus groups, etc.

Once you know what your consumers are concerned about, ask yourself how you can emotionally connect with them. How can you align your brand with values that matter to your customer base? Once you’ve determined where to focus your attention, your consumers will follow along since they’re the ones that guided you on how to get there. By reaching your consumers where they already are, you’re making it one step easier for them to engage with your message and build a foundation of trust.

Company Value Marketing
The second method to issue-related marketing is one that is bolder and more aggressive. As previously mentioned, the strongest connection a company (or anyone) can make with their audience is over a shared value. Instead of asking your consumers for their input on what they value, companies can also decide for themselves what their values are and trust fans to meet them there.

The first step in this process is often to ask, “what do we, as a company, believe” and then go from there. This often looks like revisiting a mission statement or a company value list to see where internal beliefs reflect external issues. If your company is dedicated to accepting and embracing diversity in the workplace, then your company should speak out on issues related to diversity. But rather than arbitrarily speaking out, create campaigns and awareness around what types of changes you would like to see. Research bills or laws that are in development. Partner with organizations that also care about the same issues. By giving your audience action items they can take, it not only creates a bond over a shared value but also cultivates the chance for change.

Mitigating the Risk
In either of these approaches, brands run the risk of alienating consumers. It’s the name of the game and will often make higher-ups nervous. However, there are a couple ways that you can prep internally before speaking out to make sure that the roll out of these campaigns are successful and smooth.

  • No Response is a response.
    • Look, we all know what a troll looks like on social media. If community managers spent their days responding to every single person just looking to stir the pot, we’d never get any other work done. If you know that your platform is solid and the call to action is legitimate, there’s not always a need to respond. Letting your values speak for themselves allows you to continue to take the high road as opposed to responding to every unhappy Tweet.
  • Let your fans defend for you. 
    • In most cases, it’s not even necessary for you to defend yourself. If you are creating awareness around an issue that incites controversy, allow your audience that does stand with your core value to do the work for you. They’ll often times show up in better ways than you can.
  • If this, then this.
    • Plan ahead with your team. Create IFTTT statements from all those that might be needed (CEO, CFO, VP, etc.) ahead of time so that if a media outlet requests a comment you already have it ready to go. Set up internal communication plans for every possible situation. If there’s an overall positive reaction, go with Plan A. If there’s an overall negative reaction, go with Plan B. By thinking through all the possible outcomes before you launch, your team can rest easy knowing they’re ready to handle anything.


At the end of the day, getting involved with social issues on social media will not please everyone. However, a recent study shows that millennials are more receptive to cause marketing than previous generations and are more likely to buy items associated with a cause. They also expect companies to support the social issues and causes they care about and will reward them for doing so. And with millennials now eclipsing the size of the baby boomer generation and becoming the largest in America, they are not a demographic to ignore.

If you’re interested in assistance with social media strategy or management, contact Lauryn Gray to learn more about our services and schedule a consultation.

How to Build a Social Media Advertising Calendar

So, you’re ready to advertise on social media – congratulations! Now that you have a strong social strategy and content flowing regularly on your page, it’s time to increase the reach of your posts by putting ad dollars behind them.

Typically, at Dittoe PR, we build “ad cals” on a monthly basis for our clients, but you have the option to create a weekly, monthly, quarterly or even an annual advertising calendar.

From outlining your advertising goals to selecting content and setting a budget, below is a step-by-step guide to help you build a social media advertising calendar and further promote your business online.

Step 1: Set your budget
According to Web Strategies, businesses spend on average about 5-15% of their annual revenue on marketing efforts. Of that total marketing budget, 35-45% of funds should be allotted to digital marketing. From there, 15-25% of the digital marketing budget should be allocated towards social media advertisements.

For example, if your company reported a $100,000 revenue in 2018, your annual social media advertising budget should be around $1,500. Break that down on a monthly basis, and you should be spending about $125 per month.

At Dittoe PR, we recommend starting out with a budget of $250-500 per month in the first few months to allow for audience and content A/B testing.

Step 2: Create an audience
Understanding which platform(s) your target audience is active on will benefit you in the long run. The Pew Research Center conducts an annual survey to discover which platforms certain demographic groups gravitate toward.

If you’re trying to reach women between the ages of 30-49, Facebook is probably your best bet. But if you’re trying to reach men between the ages of 18-29, YouTube or Instagram might be the advertising platform for you.

Whoever your target audience is, the more specific you can be with demographics, the more likely you are to see a higher return on your investment. For example, let’s say you’re promoting an article published in an industry trade publication by your CEO on how to retain employees. You’ll probably want to promote the piece on LinkedIn and target users with similar work and education history and those working in overlapping industries since the content will be most relevant to them. It wouldn’t make sense to target 18-24-year-old users on Instagram, right?

Step 3: Outline your goals
After setting a budget and defining your niche audience, it’s time to align your overall business goals with your expectations for social ad performance. Are you interested in increasing foot traffic to one of your locations? Consider targeting people within a certain mile radius of your store. Are you interested in promoting a new product or service? Find common interests and overlapping demographics for your target audience and promote away!

Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow digital marketers to select an overall campaign goal when setting up new ads or selecting existing content to boost or sponsor. From brand awareness to consideration and conversions (a.k.a., website visits to engagement and lead gen), start with the objective that best aligns with your overall goals and go from there!

Step 4: Select the content
Now that you’ve set your budget, chosen your platform and outlined your goals and target audience, it’s time to select the content you want to promote! Personally, I like to look at the top performing content over the past few weeks and look ahead for any upcoming events or recurring promotions in the next month to help me get started.

You can also look at recently secured media coverage, top performing or under-performing landing pages on your website (shout-out to Google Analytics!) and upcoming holidays that align with your business objectives.

Are you trying to increase gift card sales before Mother’s Day? Did your media relations team recently secure a big national hit? Do you have an informational video getting a lot of views on your website? Is your business recruiting for new positions? The options are endless, especially if you’re willing to get creative!

Step 5: Build your calendar
Just like grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe, it doesn’t really matter what order you throw the ingredients into the bowl, as long as they’re all accounted for in the end! As long as you’ve checked all five boxes before launching your ad, you’re good to go!

Some digital marketers start by outlining which dates they want the ad to run first, then follow up with budget, audience, etc. This can be useful if you’re advertising a seasonal sale on a product line or promoting ticket sales for an upcoming event. Some start by dividing their budget equally between 4-5 ads and align the audience type with the content, which can be useful for businesses trying to build general brand awareness among target audiences.

At Dittoe PR, we use the following format for our ad cals, but feel free to make one of your own if you need more information!

AD DESCRIPTION: This is a brief description of the ad (i.e., Careers page or WaPo coverage)

  • Ad run: These are the start and end dates for your advertisement.
  • Medium: This helps to signify whether or not your team will be boosting existing content or creating a new advertisement, and on which platform the ad will run.
  • Creative: From a URL to a company branded graphic or video, the creative used can vary depending on the type of ad you’re running. Just be sure whoever is creating the ads understands what will catch the audiences’ eyes! (Hint: visuals > text)
  • Campaign budget: Here’s where you outline the total amount you want to spend on the advertisement over the lifetime of the ad. If you’re running for longer than a week, consider at least $1/day. Some platforms, like LinkedIn, require a $10/day minimum.
  • Audience: Use this section to break down the audience demographics including age, gender, employment status, job industry, interests, and much more.

Once you’ve got all the pieces to the puzzle, put them together in an easy-to-understand calendar format like the one below. This will help you reference the month (or year) at a glance and know when it’s time to launch a new set of ads. This format will also help ensure you’re not oversaturating the market with too many ads running at once.

If you’re still interested in assistance with managing your social media advertising efforts, contact Lauryn Gray to schedule a consultation or request a proposal. We’re happy to help!