Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Social Media Corner: Conference Takeaways

This year more than ever, the FPRA Annual Conference talked about and involved social media. Here are a few takeaways from the stellar speakers on what to focus on in social media for business and some tools to get the job done efficiently.

By Samantha Scott, APR

Social media was a large part of conference this year. From speakers to the blog team and attendees, it seemed to penetrate every part of the four days attendees enjoyed in St. Augustine. Obviously interested and active in social media myself, I took this opportunity to explore what others were doing/seeing in the marketplace and get a few takeaway pieces of treasure. Here are just a few.

In the words of Mickey Nall, APR and PRSA fellow (, Managing Director for Ogilvy PR, “we’re not talking about making up stories, it’s truth-telling.” Every company or brand has a story  – where they came from, why they were created, how they’ve evolved and where they are going. How do you communicate that or are you at all? Remember, people connect with people, not brands. If you can share the story of your company and put it people terms, give your audience something to connect to, then they are more likely to engage and remain connected. This applies to social media. Use online communication channels to tell a story and engage in two-way communication. Don't just blast out company news, sales info, etc. Use it to share stories and connect with your consumers.

We've covered this before in the social media corner, but it's still a key point. Patrick O’Donnell, Senior Project Manager at Ketchum Global Research & Analytics (, presented an info-packed talk on the basics of research and how that initial step plays a big role in the evaluation and measurement. I was surprised how few people in the room are using social media, but aren’t measuring it. Nonetheless, it was made clear that all things PR can be measured and there are better ways than the old-school AVE process ( Patrick was kind enough to share his presentation, which I'd be glad to email to anyone interested in reviewing it. 

Socialize your Newsroom:
Most of you reading this will be familiar with an online newsroom. It's the area of your company/organization website where you probably post news releases, old newsletters, maybe a digital version of your media kit and contact info for press. Those are all good elements, but you can do SO much more with it! Per presenter Steve Momorella of TekGroup (, here are a few suggestions:

  • Reconsider your content - it should be searchable, include the staples of "old school PR" and multimedia items such as videos, photos, etc.
  • Remember to provide tools - the newsrooms should be a resource for media, so be sure to provide PR contacts, Help FAQ and a downloadable media kit
  • Analyze it - be sure there are analytics in place, track downloads, consider password protected/registration required areas for downloads, etc.

Resources / Links:
  • The FPRA Blog - review a post from EVERY presenter and/or event from Annual Conference:
  • Prezi - an alternative to PowerPoint that has more features, recommended by Mickey Nall, APR, PRSA Fellow:
  • Infographics - present data visually, easy way to communicate complex concepts: (just one site that has infographics you can share and the ability to help you create them)

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