What lies ahead for us in the evolution/revolution of social media revolution? Who the hell knows. All I can tell you is that many of the PR tools that used to work are either obsolete or have changed so much that they are hardly recognizable.
Here are three ways for all of us to retool in order to succeed in the digital landscape of PR:
Diversify your platforms: We are entrenched in real-time communication that can meet the needs of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. Have you considered how your contacts and people receive content? You can customize your pitches with video, include online newsrooms that are not only on your website, but on YouTube, and use Camtasia and Audacity to record slideshows. What about u-Stream to have a two-way communication via a TV channel with clients, online classes, reporters, and bloggers? You have access to people like never before. Not everyone reads an e-mail, responds to a text, or enjoys a vlog. Mix it up so you cover everyone’s style of learning and communicating.
Due Diligence: This may sound like a legal phrase from a contract, but it’s also a requirement in the changing field of PR, news, and social media. In the PSM (pre-social media) days, PR pros had to know their pitch in order to have any hope their story would get some hint of interest from a reporter. Now, there is no excuse for not doing your homework, or due diligence. The abundance of information available to us is almost incomprehensible. It’s all at our fingertips. It’s also at the fingertips of the reporter or blogger on the other side of your pitch. They’ll likely try to poke holes in your pitch or story to “prove” you didn’t do outstanding research. These days, outstanding is required. It’s not optional.
Alignment and control: Knowing who is visiting your site, reading your blog, and watching you on LinkedIn is critical to how you craft and control your message. It doesn’t matter if it’s a quote from a CEO, a pitch to a blogger at The Wall Street Journal, or your clients and prospects. Relevance is paramount. Is your information congruent across the board? Are you using their language and buzzwords? Are you meeting their needs? What do they want from your site, online newsroom, press release, video, article, or post? Why did they come to you and what are you doing to compel them to stay?
This isn’t really all that new. Back in the old days, diversify your platforms was called engaging people. In the old days, due diligence was called do your homework (and cover your ass). In the old days, alignment and control were called marketing and focus groups.
Above all, the clincher to succeeding in our new PR and social media landscape is this: Can you control your message if something negative hits the social channels?