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5 Tactics to Boost Your Brand’s Social Media Presence

The thought of satisfying your core audience may seem simple. But doing so while continuing to offer trending and relevant content can be quite a challenge.

Here are five strategies that can help you achieve social media success:

  1. Social Strategy Teams

Social media changes every three to six months (if not more frequently), so adaptation is crucial. It’s such an accelerated evolution cycle for a social editor to grapple with and succeed in. Especially when they’re the ones doing the day-to-day posting, pushing content, and paying attention to everything that’s going on.

  1. The “Secret Sauce”

The “secret sauce” involves social editors spending their time using social media as a listening tool and as the backbone of their job.

On social media, it’s best to be speedy, creative, and authentic. It’s also important to pay attention and have an observational attitude with your followers. Don’t be afraid to ‘dig in’ because there’s always something new to uncover that your audience will be interested in.

  1. Embrace Native Content

Social media changes very rapidly. What worked last year, doesn’t necessarily work now. Videos, photos, and other types of assets put on social media have become larger than they previously were.

In previous years, if a video or photo was successful, it might have been more of a coincidence than anything else. Today, it’s more strategic.

If you’re a content creator, your goal is to make someone read your content. The advantage now is seeing social media platforms as a place for consumption rather than a place for ‘gaming the system.’

  1. Standing Out with Video

Video is another strategy that can pay off if it’s done well. To achieve an increase in your audience members, diversify your sources and adjust your thinking.

There’s a real temptation for PR pros to structure videos exactly the way we would structure stories. Try to think about videos as telling their own story in their own way.

Another benefit of using videos on social media is that it can be a good way to experiment and test new topics.

  1. Battle of the Brands

A common challenge among companies is how to differentiate between brands for their audiences. For example, it’s especially tricky with women’s brands, whose audiences are interested in the same topics.

It’s important to understand what the audience is interested in and how to talk about it, so that readers can connect emotionally.

Saint Patrick’s Day and Public Relations

After the eventful and exciting festivities from this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, everyone will be reminiscing on the green beer and corned beef cabbage in the office on Monday. This holiday has continued to gain popularity throughout the years, partly because almost 35 million people living in the United States consider themselves to have Irish heritage. However, everyone is Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day. Through the progression and expansion of the holiday, there have been several valuable Public Relations opportunities available. Although our leprechaun outfits and Irish cooking recipes may have already returned to the storage, the holiday and Public Relations have many similarities that can still be taken advantage of.

The Pot of Gold

Every PR professional hopes to find the treasure at the end of the rainbow, but it can be difficult to manage when each client represents a different treasure. Keeping the firm organized to create strategies for clients clears up confusion between both parties. By meeting the needs and expectations of every client, the firm must create a strategic plan that is specific to each client. When results are positive, whether it be a direct sales increase or strong client relationships are created, the more opportunities present themselves to deliver the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Luck of the Irish

Relying on a four-leaf clover will not guarantee success when finding the treasure at the end of the rainbow (only on St. Patrick’s Day). Although luck can be found in a four-leaf clover, it is smarter and more trustworthy to rely on a developed strategic plan with a skilled team executing each component of the plan. Leadership, time management, and attention to detail throughout a team will produce the same characteristics into the final project. A tailored message to a targeted audience will reveal successful outcomes if the plan is carried out properly. Rely on the plan, not the four-leaf clover.

Why Stop Now?

Who said the festivities had to end on St. Patrick’s Day? A creative PR team should keep a calendar of holidays, so opportunities don’t go unnoticed. This weekend was also National Corn Dog Day, and in less than two weeks it will be April Fools. It may be time to ditch the green leprechaun outfit, but do not hesitate on the next project because it can broaden the audience and create client relationships.

 

What Beauty and the Beast Teaches Us About PR

The “tale as old as time” is getting a fresh take. Disney is rebooting Beauty and the Beast as a live-action film that’s hitting theaters. The excitement is inevitable with the first trailer earning 127 million views in the first 24 hours of being posted.

As PR experts, what can we take away from one of our favorite fairy tales? Here are a few takeaways from the film’s PR campaign:

  1. Play to people’s emotions.

From the casting announcements, to the final trailer, Disney has shared with moviegoers, people have been sharing their excitement on social media.

For PR pros, the content marketing tips from Disney’s latest live action film campaign are plentiful. Use captivating visuals, get your employees to tell your brand’s stories, and encourage social interaction with questions and contests.

The underlying theme in Disney’s content produced for this film is simple: play to people’s emotions. Decent stories may be interesting, but excellent stories evoke emotions. Tug at heartstrings or make people laugh. If you can dive into the emotions of your audience, you’re golden.

  1. Anticipate issues, but know that you can’t make everyone happy.

Though the project is a remake of a classic Disney film, there’s a big difference in the live-action version: LeFou is portrayed as homosexual.

LeFou serves as the sidekick to the film’s primary antagonist, Gaston. LeFou is set to feature in a small subplot of his own when it comes to his sexuality.

With change comes opinion. Many fans have reacted positively to this change while others reacted negatively

Disney remains firm on its decision to add themes of diversity to its film.

Anticipate crises before you launch your PR or marketing campaign—especially if it contains a risqué or controversial element. It’s also important to realize that you can’t make everyone happy. Stick to your beliefs and your supporters will come to your organization’s defense.

  1. Invite audiences to an experience.

Though the excitement for Beauty and the Beast is huge, Disney is predicted to earn more than $100 million on opening weekend. Whether viewers will say the project was a success or a bust, they’ll be coming to theaters to experience the characters’ revivals. It’s important to note that this is not the only way fans can put themselves in the characters’ shoes.

PR pros don’t have to go all out with sweepstakes and prizes to invite consumers to experience their brand. As visuals and mobile-friendly content becomes crucial for PR pros looking to be heard above the noise online, you can jump on the opportunities available to brand managers.

The ‘Final Four’ Lessons for your Public Relations Campaign

March provides some of the most awaited events of the year. While the weather begins to warm, St. Patrick’s Day looms in the distance, and spring cleaning calls our attention, most Public Relation firms will be sitting on the edge of their seat.

Why is that?

It is the overwhelming excitement of March Madness and the nationwide hoop fever that is instigated the day the brackets are announced. Bracketology is broken down on the minutest scale to predict who will make a run for the NCAA Championship. As we follow teams on their journey to the ‘Final Four’ (cough cough…UCLA) they can provide amazing lessons on the day-to-day operations a Public Relations firm experience.

  1. Make a game plan

Every team that is selected for the tournament comes in with a game plan; similar to how Public Relations firms create communication strategies that need to be arranged and verbalized to the whole team. All of the players on the team must understand the basis of the organization and their motives to pursue a championship title. While researching these objectives, like when a team watches their opponent’s game film, it is pertinent to identify the message intended for all audiences available. Planning ahead of time can be the difference between a Public Relations success and a catastrophe.

  1. Time is of the essence

Basketball is a fast-paced game and any mental lapse or loss of focus can be detrimental to the team. In Public Relations, time has a high value and when opportunities are presented, they must be taken advantage of. An example would be accurately representing and reaching your target audience through a certain type of social media. The message will create a profound effect if it can reach its audience with efficiency and action.

  1. Don’t forget about the secret weapon

Every game throughout the tournament has ebbs and flows of momentum that swing to each team. The element of surprise allows a key shifting point and transition of momentum in the game. Although consistency and a well-managed schedule are necessary to success, a new and spontaneous campaign can produce similar results. Creativity regenerates a Public Relations campaign and with enough energy, it can also be a viable alternative hidden up your sleeve.

  1. It’s okay to celebrate

Whether it is a windmill dunk between two players or a half court buzzer-beater, the audience remembers the most memorable and flashy plays. Sharing achievements amongst your peers, customers, clients and employees provokes that positive coverage. A “highlight reel” could be sent out on the firm’s email list as an update for clients on the status of the firm. The leverage to promote success should be used when possible, with a respectable sportsmanship that limits the arrogance of the tone.

Many teams that are considered the most talented in the tournament do not win the championship. Just like Public Relations, this is a daily mission to improve, adapt, and plan for future challenges. If this year’s championship game is anything like Villanova’s incredible buzzer-beater win over North Carolina, then we are in for a treat. Go UCLA!

 

PR Pros Dish on the Worst Advice They’ve Received

Giving and receiving advice is a common want among us all. If you tell someone you work in PR, they can’t wait to tell you their secret tactic for PR success. Fellow pros were asked about the worst PR advice they’ve ever received. Here’s what they said:

 

“There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

Many organizations have taken this to heart, but that viewpoint makes some PR pros crazy. Perhaps there once truth behind it—before the advent of the internet.

Today, a brand’s missteps are easily collected through a Google search. Bad customer experiences live forever on ratings and review sites. Even deleted social media posts can live on if they are captured in screen shots and published online.

 

“Send at least one press release per month.”

Press releases are not a strategic objective; they’re busy work. You must have legitimate news for anyone to care about your release. Your latest revision to your product or rebranding of a model does not merit a press release.

There are so many other things you can do to amplify your product launch. Post releases on your blog, create a related series of contributed content, or collaborate with influencers on a virtual launch event. Don’t send out a release and expect to see it get picked up if it offers no substantive value.

 

“To increase sales, send a press release.”

PR isn’t an immediate boost to your company’s bottom line. It’s not direct marketing, and you shouldn’t measure it by a goal of immediate sales.

If you are asked to send a release to boost your company’s sales, push back. Explain that if they are looking for a direct sales tactic, you can help them with a drip email campaign, but putting out a release isn’t going to accomplish that goal.

Similarly, a press release isn’t going to bolster your stock price. It is your job, as a communications professional, to push back when you are given unrealistic goals for your PR tactics.

 

“Just say ‘no comment’”

It can be tempting to dodge a complex media request or a question about a looming crisis, but a response of “no comment” could do lasting damage.

By taking the time to talk with reporters and help them understand a complex industry issue, you can build a relationship that has an ongoing benefit and help improve the accuracy of the reporting on your industry.

The Keys to Extraordinary Client Relationships

Creating a successful client relationship is like making a cake for a friend. With the right combination of ingredients, proper delegation of duties, and someone to initiate the process, the cake will slowly begin to rise and bake.

This fluid approach to making a cake has several key components. If one step isn’t met, the cake will never rise. A wrong ingredient, or miscommunication on timing will produce unwanted results. Even when all seems to be running smoothly, there is a distinctive portion of the process that often goes missing. Similar to client relationships, a distinctive portion that is often missing is nuance.

The Determining Factor

Nuance can be described as subtle distinction, variation, or quality. These definitions prove to be insightful when pertaining to client relationship.

  • Understand Them

A successful relationship boils down to truly understanding the customer beyond the surface level descriptions of their role in the company. By diving into their personal motivations, who they are, and what they do and don’t like outside of their work environment, we can see them beyond the company. By discovering the nuances of their persona, it is easier to connect and have a mutual understanding of one another.

  • Observing the Unseen

With a better understanding of our client beyond their buyer persona, the grey areas that were previously unclear begin to emerge. The cooperation between a client can often times create certain hesitations when discussing the project. When should you lighten up? When do you push them on a subject? What sensitive topics should I hold up on discussing? Without nuance, this process becomes automatic, mechanical, and dry. Nuance is the key ingredient to generating a relationship.

Client Service

The hallmark of every good business is the proper and adequate service they provide for their clients. In turn, this generates the profit and backing necessary for any company to thrive. When analyzing what can be done for the clients, we must first ask:

  • What is the task we need to accomplish?
  • What should the majority of the time be spent on?

Project managers are often substituted for client service. Rather than substitute project management for client service, it should be used to channel the means of activating a profound relationship with that client, not detracting from the relationship.

Nuance Skills for Client Service

By strengthening and developing interpersonal communication skills, the subtleties that nuance presents become clearer. While the process is continuously adapting, here are four skills that can be referenced to improve the nuance of a client relationship:

  • Listen Carefully

By making a conscious effort to pay attention to the tone, pauses, interaction, and intent behind the words spoken, one can better understand what was and was not said.

  • Ask, Ask, Ask

If you can sit back, listen, and learn to what the person has to say, a mutual understanding can be created. It is by revealing the answers to these questions, we reduce our uncertainties of the relationship.

  • Context is Key

Although the relational context of communication is necessary to a successful client relationship, the context of the situation must be determined as well. We can better understand our relationships when we observe relational, situational, and environmental context.

  • Open-mindedness

Nuance will never be achieved if one can’t accept others. By broadening your perspective, one becomes more accepting, which is a skill we must often apprehend to in the workplace.