Tag Archives: communications strategy

PR in a ‘DIY’ age

With the advent of social media, we are living in a “DIY” age when it comes to corporate communications. With dozens of platforms, instant access and suites of tools to automate previously complex communications tasks, everybody and their kid are “doing” PR these days.

Which is great in some ways, but not so good in others.

So many platforms, so little time

With so many platforms and so many tools at their disposal, the average business owner is likely to be overwhelmed. Worse, they may be spending hours each week in ad hoc posting across a number of social media sites, without any formal plan to make the most of their activities or leverage the time they are investing.

During the past five years in particular, we have seen the ascension of Twitter, Facebook, and most recently Instagram. Even the old-fashioned [relatively speaking] LinkedIn has become “Facebook-ified”, with ‘inspirational’ messages transposed over landscape photos supplanting what would previously have been a bit of news about one’s business.

People are turning to social media as their first point of reference for news of all kinds. This includes your clients and customers, as well as your teams.

And the volume of materials posted is growing exponentially. It’s literally impossible to keep up.

Set priorities and hand-off

So what is a business owner to do? Unless you have a great interest in social media and plenty of time, my advice would be to outsource your social media to a firm that can manage it as one component of your overall communications programme.

I say “communications programme” advisedly. Because while social media has become paramount to many, it remains just one branch of something bigger. That something is a coordinated communications strategy encompassing public relations and marketing.

Working with a team to set goals for your communications, develop campaigns, and plan tactics is a great way to ensure that you manage your social media — and all your other media — rather than it managing you.

And that is a great starting point for any business to succeed. Even in a DIY age.

Are you ‘driving around aimlessly’? 3 tips to focus your social media

taget practise“Public relations without research is like shooting an arrow, then requisitioning a target to install in the field.” — Anthony J. Fulginiti, APR — communication briefings

Last week I made a presentation to the Highland Business Women’s Club. I was invited to talk about my business, but I decided instead to focus on the importance of having clear objectives for your company, before you head off on a PR or social media initiative.

It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But it’s the hardest part of the process. So many companies I speak to want to start doing social media, or a blog, or making announcements, but they have not spent time thinking about where it is they want to go as an organisation.

I used a metaphor in my talk, and listening to the guests afterwards, I think it made an impression. “Social media,” I said, “is like the car. Public relations is the map. But your goals — that is the destination.” And I suggested that nobody in the audience should waste their time driving around aimlessly. They needed PR for the map it provides, but without a destination, they could spend hours on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and end up no nearer achieving their objectives.

Sound familiar?

Here are my three tips to ensure you don’t waste time in your social media activities.

  1. Spend time thinking about your business objectives. Get together with your key people. Don’t be afraid to include juniors in the discussion. They often have fresh ideas and a different perspective.
  2. Visualise the outcome you desire. Then write it down. What does it look like, in that place that means “success” for your company. Is it a second office? More staff? More lucrative clients? Be precise, so you will know when you get there. And think big.
  3. Assign the work. Choose someone talented to develop a plan to achieve these goals. If your company is too small to have a staff member devoted to communications, then out-source it to an experienced contractor. Not only will you get just what you need, if you choose well, you will also access a great reservoir of business experience.

If you think you could use some assistance developing your company’s goals, and then crafting a plan to make them happen, get in touch with us. We love this kind of work. We specialise in ideas, and PR is just one way we make things happen for our clients.