One of the more relevant questions I hear from clients is: How do Social Ads integrate with PR? The truth is, if your advertising isn’t putting the greater mission of your marketing strategy and isn’t aligned with your pr outreach, you’re missing out a great case study.
I believe in the power of social media for public relations, even if I’m not hands-on client’s social media campaigns. I’ve seen much animosity from across the table or during a conference call between the social and p.r. teams and frankly, it’s got to stop.When social media and public relations band together, incredible results happen. When they are left as separate entities, it’s messaging and outreach that are hurt most.
Inc. Magazine came out with a great piece just over a year ago, asking if certain activities or ideologies were social functions, or PR functions. It’s one of my most-forwarded resources to clients who ask how to integrate my team’s PR strategies with an already-established outside social media team.
It really comes down to what you are looking to accomplish in social in the first place. The best way to decide is to look at the goals you use to define success. Are share of conversation, buzz generated or customer care metrics the ideal measures of success? If so, your efforts may be more PR oriented. But if you look ahead and see social playing a greater role in generating response, sales and other metrics that you would typically associate with advertising, then you’re thinking of social as advertising and should be developing plans, metrics and messages as part of your overall marketing communications efforts. (INC. Magazine, 2013.)
If you ask any Public Relations professional, most of us wear different hats from any given day, but there’s one similar fact about what we do: We tell your story and share your brand’s key messages with a targeted audience to convert sales, leads or awareness. (Sound familiar, social teams?) Social media and public relations both elevate a campaign or brand for wider reach and conversion. In fact, nowhere is communication cross-departmentally more important than between social media and public relations.
I recommend that every one of my clients works with their internal team or an external team to run ads, when a release is sent out, mainly to elevate the client’s news and offer other value-added insights. Meaning: Within 72 hours of a release hitting the wire, ads should be backing up the release and offer other strategic insight to the worthiness of the news piece. (White papers work wonders.) I specifically recommend targeting journalists, pundits and bloggers who post and share similar content.
Most PR professionals already work with or have partners with social media agencies or individuals. Those I’ve seen struggle, are those that don’t understand the importance of meeting, respecting and otherwise engaging with the social media strategy, content and ideas. PR would be a lot less of a mythical creature, if teams worked together. And, companies would have better results if they allowed both to come to the table, equally and showcase their value and goals.