Submitted by Sandra Arnette, APR
Building any relationship takes time and commitment. And the rules are much the same whether you’re on Twitter or face-to-face. Here are seven helpful tips to get you started:
- Don’t overthink it. Just be yourself. Show genuine interest in the person you wish to engage.
- Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and perhaps share why you’re following this person. (Perhaps you found a recent post to be interesting and insightful, or there are other things you have in common.)
- Always be respectful, polite and considerate. If the person you wish to engage doesn’t respond to your tweets, don’t whine and complain, especially online, or bombard the person with more tweets.
- If your tweets are retweeted or favorited, send a note to say thanks and reciprocate.
- Engage the person you’re building a relationship with. Respond to questions. Comment on his or her posts and include how the information impacted you. Don’t make it all about you.
- Always make a positive first impression. Post a good bio with a link to your website, if you have one. Ensure that your spelling and grammar are correct. Avoid retweeting information that does not position you or your business in a favorable light.
- It’s a courtesy to follow someone who’s following you and comment on what that person has posted. Remember, this person could be a major player in your field down the road.
The 2013 Best In Maryland Committee and the 2013 PRSA-MD Board of Directors are proud to announce the 2013 Educator of the Year recipient: Lester R. Potter.
Accredited Business Communicator Lester R. Potter, an MBA, is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies at Towson University, Maryland. He is “ABD” (all but dissertation) for a doctorate in Instructional Technology at Towson. At Towson, Potter teaches Public Relations Writing, Organizational Communication, Strategic Public Relations Planning and Management, and Public Relations for Nonprofit Organizations. He has served as Faculty Advisor to the PRSSA chapter for ten years.
Prior to beginning his academic career, Potter was President of Les Potter Incorporated, an international consultancy he founded in 1998. His firm helped organizations worldwide use communication as a strategic management tool to boost organizational effectiveness. For over 30 years, Les Potter has improved business operation with innovative, results-oriented interventions. To solve clients’ problems, Potter draws on successful experience in organizational communication, strategic and marketing planning, and human resources and project management gained from work with a wide variety of organizations and industries.
Les Potter’s background includes many different and enriching business situations that prepared him for successful client service. Potter was Chairman of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) during 1991-92. He was named an IABC Fellow in 1997, IABC’s highest honor. He served on IABC’s executive board, accreditation board, and as a trustee of the IABC Research Foundation. He earned IABC accreditation (the ABC designation) in 1978.
Les is also a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the invitation-only professional association for educators, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
Les will be honored at the Best In Maryland Awards Gala on December 5 at the Hotel Monaco Baltimore. We will also honor the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award, reveal the New PR Professional of The Year, and present awards for excellence in public relations campaigns in 24 categories. The evening will include a keynote address from Gerry Sandusky, voice of the Baltimore Ravens and sports director of WBAL TV. Former FOX morning anchor Jennifer Gladstone will emcee the event.
Please join us in honoring Les Potter. Follow @LesPotter on Twitter and on his blog More With Les.
For more information on the Gala including nominees and ticket information, click here.
PRSA-MD June 2012 Event – Meet the Media
PRSA-MD’s Meet the Media Event was a success thanks to our moderator Bill Atkinson from Weber Shandwick, and panelists (shown from left to right: David London (What Weekly –
@WhatWeekly), Katherine Gorman (WYPR – @kgorman), Danny Jacobs (The Daily Record – @TDRDanny), Laura Smitherman (The Baltimore Sun – @lsmitherman), and Chris Daley (Maroon PR – @ChrisDaley43).
There was lively discussion all around as panelists shared their insights on how to best leverage traditional media in the Social Media Age. For the most part, all said they use social media to engage readers, encourage sharing, and drive traffic. Some of the takeaways on how to formulate and build relationships with journalists are:
(1) Personalize Communications: Instead of just pitching via e-mail blasts, phone them (or leave a quick voicemail) to draw their attention to a story idea; make sure your story idea is the best possible fit with the beat/subject areas they are covering. Don’t use the generic words “PRESS RELEASE” in the subject line — it’ll get ignored instantly!
(2) Treat journalists like real people. If you’ve met or worked together before, remind them in the message so they’ll have a point of reference for who you are. This goes a long way — especially if you’ve previously helped them out in a pinch.
(3) Take it to the next level! PR pros that get the best results have deep relationships with the journalists they assist. There are many ways to raise your profile. One suggestion made was to take reporters out to lunch. Keep in touch by sending them a “how are you” message every once in awhile (e.g. holiday card).
The biggest lesson here is to focus on personalized, “high touch” communication and phase out or minimize the mass communication approach. The more, the better!
This post was written by Laura Crovo, SVP, Public Relations Director of MGH
Earlier this year, a survey from German consultancy Gartner Communications found that while nearly 85% of companies worldwide have general crisis plans in place, only 20.7% have social media crisis plans set. Moreover, a staggering 78.6% of in-house communicators said they were pretty unprepared or so-so when it comes to social media crises.
What this shows is that more and more brands are embracing the importance of social media marketing, without adequately preparing for the risks. This isn’t to say that brands shouldn’t be jumping headfirst into Facebook, Twitter and the like – they just need to treat them as they would any other communications avenue by making sure they are ready to tackle any challenges.
Several major brands have been dinged via social media recently – whether it was due to a product deficiency, customer service problem or employee transgression. But, what’s added insult to injury in many of these crisis situations are slow, inadequate and insincere responses to the calamities at hand – probably due in large part to a lack of social media crisis preparedness.
So, what should brands do?
- Stop looking at “general crisis communications” and “social media crisis communications” as two different things. When planning for catastrophes, you need to think about all possible implications – including media coverage, internal dissent, social media furor and upset stakeholders. Whether it’s sending an email to your staff, responding to a reporter’s questions or posting to your Facebook page, all of these tactics need to be treated as equally vital in the communications process.
- Be prepared before hitting the launch button for the Facebook page. This is a critical part of the social media process. Brainstorm all of the possible critiques or problems, and develop potential responses or messaging so you don’t waste precious time that could escalate a social media snafu. For instance, if your business is a restaurant, be prepared to deal with claims that your food stinks, your servers are rude, your prices are outrageous, and your daily special gave someone food poisoning.
- Pay attention – all of the time – to what people are saying about your company and where they are saying it. Even if you don’t have a Facebook page, brands need to understand that there’s always a chance that people will talk about you online. Each comment needs to be evaluated individually to determine whether, how and when you should respond. There are no hard and fast rules, but generally speaking, you should be transparent, gracious and accountable (as appropriate).
- Respond in a prompt manner. The world of social media moves much faster than traditional communications, and any lag can just serve to fuel the fire. Similar to how you would respond to a media query in traditional PR, it’s important to quickly address issues on the web, even if only to let you your consumers know that you are taking the issue seriously and looking into resolving it.
PR and social media are not mutually exclusive – and this could not be more evident than when it comes to crisis communications. Companies must take the time now to develop plans to handle situations whether in traditional or social media platforms, or else they could be found on the wrong side of a really angry and vocal Facebook contingent.
If you haven’t registered to attend the 33rd Annual PRSA-Maryland Annual Chesapeake Conference, now is the time. This event boasts a dazzling array of speakers who will bestow many gems of wisdom you can use to sharpen your skills as a professional communicator. Here’s a taste of what’s to come:
Writing for the web and social media
Marci DeVries, owner of MDV Interactive, and David Harrison, owner of Harrison Communications, will lead an interactive session on writing for new media. Writing for new media is different than writing for traditional media. Learn the secrets to writing compelling content for Twitter, Facebook, blogs, pitches, and more. Discover how and why messages spread virally on social media platforms and gain an overview of how people are consuming news and information via the web. This information-packed session will give you ready-to-use tips to help raise your message above the information clutter.
Visit Marci DeVries’ website at www.mdvinteractive.com.
Visit David Harrison’s website at www.harrisoncommunications.net.
Register here to see David Harrison & Marci Devries speak
Social media law 101: A legal perspective for communicators
Bradley S. Shear, ESQ., managing partner and founder of the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC has the perfect combination of expertise to make sure it is smooth sailing when communicating in the digital world. Get clear insight into the basics of what is or isn’t legal when crafting messages for use on social media platforms. In his 50-minute primer, you will learn what communicators need to know to avoid legal issues unique to social media.
To learn more about Bradley Shear’s practice you can fan him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or visit his firm’s Web site.
Register here to see Bradley S. Shear, ESQ speak
Time management strategies for social media activities
Steve Radick, associate for Booz Allen Hamilton, social media and government 2.0 practice
As social media continues to grow, so do the concerns about time management and measurement of tactics related to this new platform. Booz Allen Hamilton’s own social media strategist, Steve Radick, will focus on the people and processes of social media and how they truly determine the success of strategy. With a push to understand what this new technology enables, Steve will delve into his expertise on running a team of social media experts and how he best meets the needs of clients in an efficient and effective manner. Steve was recently named one of PRNews’ 15 to Watch in 2009. He was also recently named one of the expert bloggers for AIIM’s Enterprise 2.0 Community.
You can learn more about Steve and his approach to PR and social media by visiting his blog at www.steveradick.com.
Register here to see Steve Radick speak
Find out more about our Hardship Package, Smile and Save Professional Photography special and read all about our Morning Keynote, and First Breakout Sessions.
ONLY 8 Days to go until our Annual PRSA-MD Chesapeake Conference. Register today