Mention the words ‘public relations’ and most people immediately think media releases. It’s true that media releases are still a thing and can be effective at generating positive coverage for your organisation. But if that’s where you stop thinking about your PR efforts, you’re probably not reaching your PR potential.
Social media is ubiquitous and omnipresent among your audience, which is why it can be crucial factor in getting your work or organisation covered in the media. It ties into the broader trend of ‘media’ being redefined beyond the traditional television and newspaper networks to include a myriad of bloggers, podcasters and social media influencers.
According to research by Sprout Social, people are 57.5% more likely to buy from a brand that they follow on social media. So we know that your audience pays attention to what you post. If you can keep them engaged, you have a better chance of spreading awareness about your organisation and reaching your conversion goals.
Of course, there’s a fine balance between not utilising social and overdoing it to the point of actively losing followers. So here are a few methods and tips to help you integrate social into your PR strategy.
Gain new exposure by being a guest contributor
An easy way to boost awareness of your organisation and gain authority as an expert in your field is offering to write guest posts for well-known media and blogs. If you can add value and offer something to an outlet’s audience, they’ll often be happy to gain great content in exchange for you gaining exposure to an audience you’re hoping to target. It also is an excellent way to gain a valuable backlink to your site, which helps boost your authority with search engines and can improve your page rank.
Have your leaders post blogs on LinkedIn
We’ve talked before about why your organisation can’t afford to ignore LinkedIn as a social network. Another good reason to get active there is the revamped LinkedIn Publishing, making publishing content for B2B audiences easier than ever. Having your CEO or company experts publish content through LinkedIn once again allows you to access a different audience with quality content, and LinkedIn’s sophisticated targeting options allow you to precisely define who that audience will be.
Interact with journalists
Journalists are obviously still front and centre when it comes to your PR strategy. But that doesn’t mean you should only think about them when it’s time to get a media release out. With social media at the forefront of most media organisations these days, most journalists have public profiles online as well, particularly on Twitter. Rather than cold-pitching a journalist, you can build a rapport and create a soft open to your organisation by interacting with them. Getting to know their interests and audiences will help you identify potential options when you do have a story you want covered. It also doesn’t hurt to share their stories, including with their name or handles, when they write something of interest to your audience.
Create a social media strategy for media releases
When you create your media release, be sure that it’s also social media friendly. If you post your releases on your website, make sure that readers can easily find social sharing buttons so they can easily spread the news to their followers. Make sure you’re optimising posting times on your social channels rather than dumping them all at once. If you have the time, you can extend the life of your release by including infographics with your post, which can give a significant boost to shares and retweets.
As the media continues to evolve in the digital age, public relations strategies will have to evolve too. Getting creative and thinking of ways to incorporate social media into your public relations strategy is a must if you need to get your news in front of the right audience.
For further digital & social media advice, please contact Campaign Capital.
CGM Communications influences and inspires action through connection and the sharing of stories. We support strategic communication with the community, government and media.