Not long ago, the most successful public relations campaigns, the ones that told the “best” story, were the campaigns that gained the most media hits. But in today’s world, a brand or organization can make a lot of noise without being heard and tell the truth without being believed, even if they’re spending a lot money on advertising. The indicators of success are shifting: now, the best campaigns are the ones that get the most engagement and interactions from influencers and the ultimate audience, customers. PR success means becoming part of someone else’s story.

On June 10, Social Driver’s Chief Strategy Officer Anthony Shop shown above on left, led a panel at Capitol Communicator’s PR Summit DC called “Beyond Interruption: How Social Media is Defining the New Era of PR” to discuss this exact shift in PR. The group of panelists included Jason Townsend, deputy social media manager, NASA;  Briana Washington, public affairs specialist, Honda: and, Julie Weber, director, corporate communications, Scoop New Group.

They shared their tips for creating winning public relations efforts with social media at the center. Check out some of the key take-aways:

It’s all about people, not product.

It’s easy to focus on the details of a product or service when trying to share your message and communicate with media pros. The most successful PR teams know, however, that it’s all about what people care about. The best thing to do is to keep it simple and focused on your audience’s needs. Social media can help you find out what people care about, what they most react to and how you can join the conversation. Having genuine conversations on social is one of the best ways to change people’s perception and enhance positive sentiments.

PR and Social Media need to work together.

In the digital age, it’s critical to sync your PR and digital efforts. They need to compliment and inform one another and be in a constant feedback loop. Whether this means building internal team structures to support communications or combining efforts some way, it’s important to institutionalize these combined efforts. If you see that there is something happening on Twitter that can impact a news story or a general perception of a company, that can become intel for your next communications campaign.

Learn from the best: your peers!

You are not alone in your PR and communications efforts. If you’re stuck, try asking for advice from people that are doing similar things at other companies! The attendees of PR Summit found this panel valuable, so get out there, attend a professional event, and prepare to feel inspired.




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