Shifting Skillset for PR Pros: Social Media

The public relations industry has long been built on two core skills: writing flawless content and garnering influential media coverage on behalf of a client. If you embodied both skills, and could execute them well, you were bound to be a successful PR pro.

 

But, what about today? With the evolving skillset of PR professionals, it’s more important than ever to be armed with multiple proficiencies to develop and manage successful campaigns. In addition to the core competencies of a traditional PR professional, the following social media skills are key for any PR professional looking to grow within the industry.

 

Reporting social analytics.

Sure, writing a captivating Facebook post is great, but it doesn’t carry a lot of weight if  you can’t show its audience reach. Tracking analytics allows us to identify what’s working and what could use some changes. If an Instagram post gets 30 more likes than usual, we need to ask ourselves why, review and analyze the metrics, and carry key facets of that post into future social media content. Whether it’s through paid or free reporting services, professionals should be tracking impressions, engagements, reach and more to better understand social performance.

 

Social advertising.

Public relations often intersects with advertising, traditional and social. It’s common to facilitate or provide recommendations for advertising requests. According to the latest CMO survey, social media advertising budgets are predicted to increase by 32 percent in 2018 and almost double by 2023. Understanding basic terminology and vocabulary is easy with simple resources searches online, but to truly become well-versed in the space, you may consider taking an academic course on social advertising.

 

Basic graphic design.

Crafting social media messages is imperative, but so is creating the right image to go along with it! Graphics are a great asset to use text, photos and elements that can make your social post stand out. Although the most seasoned graphic designers use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, it’s not necessary for all public relations professionals. Canva, a free website with a “drag-and-drop” format, is an easy tool for beginners. Let your social images stand out, not blend in.

 

As the public relations industry continues to evolve, its professionals should too. Take time to gain a basic understanding of traditional and new-age PR tactics, and you (and your clients) will be in good hands.

 

Think your business could benefit from social media and reporting metrics? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com, or request a consultation today.

Three ways you should already be using LinkedIn

If you’re reading this, we assume you already have a LinkedIn profile and are familiar with the platform. (If not, what are you waiting for?) What you might not know, however, is that the social networking site is more than just a digital resume.

 

LinkedIn has enabled companies to share more information, recruit employees, gain valuable customer feedback, generate new ideas and more. Using the following platform tools strategically will help position you as an industry thought leader and lend additional credibility to your brand.

 

Take advantage of LinkedIn Groups.

LinkedIn Groups are virtual hubs on LinkedIn that provide a “place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.” In order to connect with people in your industry, LinkedIn provides users with a recommended list of groups based on the information in their profiles.

 

Connect with your peers in a more meaningful way by starting discussions on hot topics in the industry or learning more about a new vertical with the help of an expert. For more on how to get started with LinkedIn Groups, click here.

 

Show and tell in your profile.

The first impression is everything, especially in the professional world. LinkedIn ranks users’ profiles based on the amount of information included. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is at the “All-Star” level by including your industry, position, location, a profile summary and a minimum of 5 skills.

 

Take it a step further by breaking your job description into different roles and responsibilities. For example, at Dittoe PR, I’m not just an Account Executive. I oversee strategic communications, professional writing, media relations, event planning, social media, design, and reporting among many other responsibilities. By including additional information in your profile, future employers and industry peers will see the value you provide to the industry at a single glace.

 

Ask for endorsements and recommendations.

In addition to including skills in your profile, users can seek endorsements for those skills from their colleagues, former employers, industry peers and more. Each profile should feature a minimum of five industry-related skills to both achieve “All-Star” status and share an overview of what you bring to the table.

 

Set yourself apart by requesting recommendations or statements written by a LinkedIn member to recognize or commend a connection, such as a colleague, business partner or student. People who view your profile will often read the recommendations you’ve received from your connections to see what others have to say about your work.

 

Questions? Leave them in the comments below or send us a DM on social media (yes – even LinkedIn) and we’ll get back to you!

Why Setting a PR Strategy Makes all the Difference

Public relations has the power to build platforms of perception, influence, credibility and prominence. At its cornerstone is strategic planning, which provides a foundation for all actionable communication activities. It also establishes clear-cut goals and builds upon realistic expectations for each client to guarantee success while simultaneously increasing brand awareness.

 

At Dittoe PR, we firmly believe that a one-size-fits-all approach to strategic planning does not exist. They’re built on similar formats of interrelated components, but take different forms, serve specific needs and possess varied purposes. That’s why we work with each client closely to determine the best action plan to meets their business goals and objectives.

 

For those still skeptical on the importance of strategic planning, here are a couple of reasons why setting a PR plan makes all the difference.

 

Analyzes the situation.

Before assembling the plan, the team should complete an audit of the client’s needs to help craft the strategy’s foundation. This process incorporates research to understand the current marketplace landscape as well as the client’s previous PR and marketing efforts and results.

 

When drafting an insightful situation analysis, make sure the client’s position in the marketplace, marketing strategies and public perceptions to market conditions are clear and an analysis of stakeholder communities is included. This will help outline the various tactics when determining the best strategies to implement on behalf of the client.

 

Defines goals and objectives.

It’s impractical to begin activating on any PR ideas without formulating a clear strategy, so the next step is to outline SMART goals. These goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

 

After the goals are established, consider the actions plans, ideas and objectives to help work toward these goals. These strategies should include methods of communication, key messages and other activities related to reaching your goal. This also means outlining various tactics to secure media coverage, such as newsjacking, evergreen story ideas, thought leadership campaigns and more.

 

Helps understand audiences.

Knowing your target audience and determining which group to communicate with is important for an effective PR plan. For instance, if your client’s core group of customers are baby boomers, there is less productivity targeting them through channels like Instagram. It would be more effective to communicate to this audience through print newspapers or television segments.

 

In addition, it is helpful to discuss the audience with your client as it can critically affect campaign results. If the client has multiple types of audiences, you’ll need to ensure that messaging, tactics and channels are tailored for each group to ensure the plan is executed effectively.

 

Reaffirms scope of work.

Scope of work is extremely important as this allows clients to understand the roles and responsibilities of the PR team. Each tactic included in the plan should reaffirm how it will be executed and who will be responsible for accomplishing this goal. In addition, this also helps define success for your client and better protects the PR team from unrealistic expectations or out-of-scope demands.

 

Establishes measurement and KPIs.

Successful communicators do not wait until the end of campaign to evaluate. Therefore, an approach to measurement and reporting should be set during the planning process and taken into consideration regularly throughout a campaign in order to monitor and assess.

 

Reporting could include media relations analysis, event management metrics, social media engagement and so much more. PR professionals should also compare a client’s coverage to competitors regularly to determine growth in overall Share of Voice.

 

If possible, integrate business results such as sales, engagement results and website traffic to connect communications objectives with business objectives. This allows you to evaluate and adjust as needed to keep strategies driving toward goals.

 

Strategic PR plans executed by professional and results-driven PR teams make all the difference. If you think your business could benefit from PR, contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com or request a consultation today.