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6 Tactics to Improve Your Social Public Relations

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Compared with public relations, social media is the new, cool kid on the block, and since the early 2000s has become a significant means of communication between brands and their audience.

These days, PR departments, regardless of the brand or organization, go to social media first to spread the latest information about services and products and gain the broadest coverage.

By aligning social media and PR, brands can boost engagement and keep customers aware of the latest developments.

In this article, you’ll see six tactics to help improve your social media public relations. We’ll also see examples of brands that have used some of these tactics.

How has Social Media Changed Public Relations?

Social media has completely changed the PR landscape. Press release has ceded the throne to the much younger, much more persuasive heir: social media.

Communication

Brands can now use different channels to communicate with consumers through social media. Whether through engaging posts on Facebook, Reels on Instagram, or Tweets on Twitter, brands can develop a personality that resonates with consumers and form a personal connection with their audience.

Unlike traditional PR methods, for example, press releases, social media allows consumers to interact with their favorite brands. This two-way communication street can be a massive advantage for brands that know how to use it.

Influencing

Social media has allowed ordinary people to become influencers who can help brands promote products and services to specific audiences.

Brands can now work with bloggers, vloggers, experts, and more to create impactful PR campaigns.

Instead of creating the content by itself, a brand can leverage the creative powers of these influencers. Influencers with a large following are highly sought-after for obvious reasons. However, it’s vital to look past the follower count to see whether the influencer is suitable for the brand.

24/7 Cycle

The internet never sleeps, which allows PR professionals to deliver news at any time, safe in the assurance that the message will reach consumers.

However, while the ability to reach consumers at any time is excellent, it also has its drawbacks in that PR messages have a shorter lifespan in the consumer’s memory.

Consumers are in an endless mill of information, which challenges PR professionals to keep up. Bad reviews and news travel very quickly, so PR agents have to be proactive and nip such problems in the bud before it escalates.

How to Use Social Media for PR

How much does the typical PR campaign cost? $10000? $100000? $1000? You can get a PR campaign for these prices and even less — it only really matters how effective the campaign is.

So, how can you use social media for PR regardless of how much you’re spending? Here are some valuable tips to help you.

1. Add social share buttons to your message.

A super-easy way to use social media for PR is to add social sharing buttons to your message. For example, if you have a press release, you can add social sharing buttons to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

Adding these buttons allows consumers to share your press releases and do some of the legwork for you.

Additionally, you can embed social media links within the press release. It drives traffic and increases engagement.

2. Work with influencers.

One of the best ways to create PR for your brand is to partner with an influencer.

When choosing an influencer to become a brand ambassador, look for more than follower counts. You should want authentic coverage that hits on a personal note with actual people.

An influencer or ambassador must share, or even create, relatable, emotional, and personal content. The right influencer for your brand is just as concerned about delivering the content right for their audience as they are about doing good work for you (and getting the check).

Furthermore, when you cultivate an audience of people who genuinely love what you’re doing, you’re building a pool of loyal, engaged brand ambassadors who’ll stick with you not just because you’re paying them but because they truly feel connected to your product and are honored to be ambassadors with the brand.

3. Be consistent.

To get the best from using social media for PR, you need to be consistent. This consistency includes showing up with regular posts and interacting with consumers as soon as possible.

It also involves being consistent with your brand voice and tone. By being relatable, helpful, and valuable, you can build a social media presence that boosts your reputation.

4. Be proactive.

Adulation from social media is fickle, and those that praise you today can quickly turn on you and ‘cancel’ your brand.

Therefore, you must have a proactive crisis management system to handle the flames when they come. PR teams should take advantage of the ability to reply instantly and tackle crises as soon as they arise.

4. Create good relationships with the media.

PR professionals have always realized how meaningful a good relationship with media outlets and journalists can be. So, cultivate a good relationship with these essential parts of the industry. Having a good relationship with them will increase the chances of getting positive press with the right outlets.

You can kick off the relationship by sharing necessary, practical, and valuable information to extend conversations.

A note of warning: Spamming media houses, journalists, and even influencers with pitches and press releases can come off as annoying and disrespectful. Be professional and have some self-respect.

5. Take advantage of hashtags.

Hashtags are used on almost all social media channels, and you can use this tool to boost your PR campaign.

Hashtags offer the following advantages:

  • Let you monitor the consumer conversation
  • Engage your audience
  • Direct the audience to the right content

Social Media Public Relations Campaign Examples

1. LEGO

Hashtags can transform your PR campaign on social media, and LEGO is an excellent example of a brand that has used and still uses it.

The #RebuildTheWorld hashtag has been used for many years now to relate enjoyable, uplifting, and exciting stories about the brand.

Social Media Public Relations Campaign Example: Lego

2. Axis Bank

Social media is a powerful means brands and companies use to release the latest information. Incorporating social media into press releases is an excellent way to run a PR campaign.

Axis Bank used this method to good effect recently.

Social Media Public Relations Campaign Example: Axis Bank

3. Foundation

Today, many brands use social media to spread the word about their products and services. The brand feels more human and personal by getting C-level employees and other lower-level employees to talk about a brands’ products and services.

Foundation is a popular marketing agency with C-level employees who tweet and often write about its services.

Social Media Public Relations Campaign Example: Foundation

Bridge The Gap Between Your Social Media and Public Relations

Gone are the days when dropping a press release and sending emails were all the PR department had to do to inform customers. Now, customers expect more from organizations and brands.

Using social media and your PR campaigns can improve customer engagement and build the positive press.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

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Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

How long has it been since your marketing team got restructured? 

Wearing our magic mind-reading hat, we’d guess it was within the last two years. 

Impressed by the guess? Don’t be.  

Research from Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds that almost half of marketing teams restructured in the last 12 months. (And the other half probably did it the previous year.) 

Why do marketing teams restructure so often? Is this a new thing? Is it just something that comes with marketing? What does it all mean for now and the future? 

CMI chief strategy advisor Robert Rose offers his take in this video and the summary below. 

Marketing means frequent change 

Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds 46.5% of marketing teams restructured in the last year — a 5-percentage point increase over 2023 when 41.4% of teams changed their structure. 

But that’s markedly less than the 56.5% of marketing teams that restructured in 2022, which most likely reflected the impact of remote work, the fallout of the pandemic, and other digital marketing trends. 

Maybe the real story isn’t, “Holy smokes, 46% of businesses restructured their marketing last year.” The real story may be, “Holy smokes, only 46% of businesses restructured their marketing.” 

Put simply, marketing teams are now in the business of changing frequently. 

It raises two questions.  

First, why does marketing experience this change? You don’t see this happening in other parts of the business. Accounting teams rarely get restructured (usually only if something dramatic happens in the organization). The same goes for legal or operations. Does marketing change too frequently? Or do other functions in business not change enough? 

Second, you may ask, “Wait a minute, we haven’t reorganized our marketing teams in some time. Are we behind? Are we missing out? What are they organizing into? Or you may fall at the other end of the spectrum and ask, “Are we changing too fast? Do companies that don’t change so often do better? 

OK, that’s more than one question, but the second question boils down to this: Should you restructure your marketing organization? 

Reorganizing marketing 

Centralization emerged as the theme coming out of the pandemic. Gartner reports (registration required) a distinct move to a fully centralized model for marketing over the last few years: “(R)esponsibilities across the marketing organization have shifted. Marketing’s sole responsibilities for marketing operations, marketing strategy, and marketing-led innovation have increased.”  

According to a Gartner study, marketing assuming sole responsibility for marketing operations, marketing innovation, brand management, and digital rose by double-digit percentage points in 2022 compared to the previous year.  

What does all that mean for today in plainer language? 

Because teams are siloed, it’s increasingly tougher to create a collaborative environment. And marketing and content creation processes are complex (there are lots of people doing more small parts to creative, content, channel management, and measurement). So it’s a lot harder these days to get stuff done if you’re not working as one big, joined-up team. 

Honestly, it comes down to this question: How do you better communicate and coordinate your content? That’s innovation in modern marketing — an idea and content factory operating in a coordinated, consistent, and collaborative way. 

Let me give you an example. All 25 companies we worked with last year experienced restructuring fatigue. They were not eager creative, operations, analytics, media, and digital tech teams champing at the bit for more new roles, responsibilities, and operational changes. They were still trying to settle into the last restructuring.  

What worked was fine-tuning a mostly centralized model into a fully centralized operational model. It wasn’t a full restructuring, just a nudge to keep going. 

In most of those situations, the Gartner data rang true. Marketing has shifted to get a tighter and closer set of disparate teams working together to collaborate, produce, and measure more efficiently and effectively.  

As Gartner said in true Gartner-speak fashion: “Marginal losses of sole responsibility (in favor of shared and collaborative) were also reported across capabilities essential for digitally oriented growth, including digital media, digital commerce, and CX.” 

Companies gave up the idea of marketing owning one part of the customer experience, content type, or channel. Instead, they moved into more collaborative sharing of the customer experience, content type, or channel.  

Rethinking the marketing reorg 

This evolution can be productive. 

Almost 10 years ago, Carla Johnson and I wrote about this in our book Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing. We talked about the idea of building to change: 

“Tomorrow’s marketing and communications teams succeed by learning to adapt — and by deploying systems of engagement that facilitate adaptation. By constantly building to change, the marketing department builds to succeed.” 

We surmised the marketing team of the future wouldn’t be asking what it was changing into but why it was changing. Marketing today is at the tipping point of that. 

The fact that half of all marketing teams restructure and change every two years might not be a reaction to shifting markets. It may just be how you should think of marketingas something fluid that you build and change into whatever it needs to be tomorrow, not something you must tear down and restructure every few years.  

The strength in that view comes not in knowing you need to change or what you will change into. The strength comes from the ability and capacity to do whatever marketing should. 

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:  

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

2. Understand topical authority: Keywords vs. entities

Google has been talking about topical authority for a long time, and in Discover, it is completely relevant. Traditional SEO includes the use of keywords to position your web pages for a specific search, but the content strategy in Discover should be based on entities, i.e., concepts, characters, places, topics… everything that a Knowledge Panel can have. It is necessary to know in which topics Google considers we have more authority and relevance in order to talk about them.

3. Avoid clickbait in titles

“Use page titles that capture the essence of the content, but in a non-clickbait fashion.” This is the opening sentence that describes how headlines should be in Google’s documentation. I always say that it is not about using clickbait but a bit of creativity from the journalist. Generating a good H1 is also part of the job of content creation.

Google also adds:

“Avoid tactics to artificially inflate engagement by using misleading or exaggerated details in preview content (title, snippets, or images) to increase appeal, or by withholding crucial information required to understand what the content is about.”

“Avoid tactics that manipulate appeal by catering to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage.

Provide content that’s timely for current interests, tells a story well, or provides unique insights.”

Do you think this information fits with what you see every day on Google Discover? I would reckon there were many sites that did not comply with this and received a lot of traffic from Discover.

With the last core updates in 2023, Google was extremely hard on news sites and some niches with content focused on Discover, directly affecting E-E-A-T. The impact was so severe that many publishers shared drastic drops in Search Console with expert Lily Ray, who wrote an article with data from more than 150 publishers.

4. Images are important

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you look at your Discover feed, you’ll see most of the images catch your attention. They are detailed shots of delicious food, close-ups of a person’s face showing emotions, or even images where the character in question does not appear, such as “the new manicure that will be a trend in 2024,” persuading you to click.

Google’s documentation recommends adding “high-quality images in your content, especially large images that are more likely to generate visits from Discover” and notes important technical requirements such as images needing to be “at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting.” You may also have found that media outlets create their own collages in order to have images that stand out from competitors.

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

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