Blog / Social Media
Saturday, 5 January 2013 at 13:22
In the last five years, PR is different - and radically. No longer is the discipline only a matter of calling your favourite editors and placing stories strategically for the clients (although we still do that) or writing the earth's pithiest press release (we still do this too), content-rich copy is increasingly valuable.
PR today - while still harnessing media connections and calling on creative writing skills - is all about understanding how, where and when your client's demographic is sourcing its communications, and odds are, a great some of it is happening online. Taking advantage of digital space to talk about, and indeed make your news, breathes life into your logo and can leverage phenomenal PR opportunities for the first time. The Ford Fiesta Movement campaign supplies a perfect just to illustrate.
Ford was keen to call focus on its small car market with its new offering in the States, the Fiesta. Rather than relying solely on traditional ad campaigns. Ford checked out social networking to create an undercurrent. Instead of appealing to the classic early adopters (those who behave as influencers throughout us), they set their sights on the very specific group - consumers they knew would be enthusiastic about the merchandise.
To charge the campaign with 'glamour, excitement and oddity,' Ford sought out and gave (for 6 months) a Fiesta to 100 twenty-something YouTubers, who have been inspired to craft a real narrative video by highlighting everyday situations. These 'brand ambassadors used their new cars to provide Meals on Wheels, take treats towards the National Guard, wrestle alligators, elope, and generally live their interesting lives - even while posting on social media sites, such as YouTube, Flickr, Twitter and facebook.
The campaign would be a huge success, with Fiesta receiving 6.5 million YouTube views and 50,000 requests for details about the vehicle - virtually none from people who already were built with a Ford within the driveway. Most significantly, Ford sold 10,000 units within the first six days of sales, all for a fraction of what it might have cost to run a national TV campaign. Concluded Jim Farley Jr, Ford VP of worldwide Marketing: "I want customers to tell our story. That is what digital indicates us - how you can earn cred among consumers."
Thanks for visiting the current face of PR - spreading your message as far so that as wide as possible, while still influencing your core demographic with a 'call to action' or a changed perception about your client. Without doubt, modern PR tactics still insist that you have a deep understanding of the media, strong writing talent, excellent communication skills, the opportunity to think critically along with a strategic allegiance to a brand's marketing goals and objectives.
But today's PR professionals also need to harness the social digital arena using the ability, flexibility and agility to broaden the scope of influence and increase sales because of its clients.
This should not only include the most popular social networking channels, for example Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogging, but also the emerging channels, such as Pinterest, Flickr, Google+ and whatever else comes along. So whether recommending and managing one social networking platform or seven, it needs to be completed with purpose, strategically aligning using the logo and its business plans and goals.
In a nutshell, it's not only establishing a Facebook page for any client just to say they've one, but determining where the brand's audiences spend time; words, which kind of content will engage them in conversation, how to use and integrate the channels, how you can manage the activities and who is empowered to create decisions. And while measure of success means numbers of followers, shares and video views, this is not enough. Metrics will include awareness, click-through rates, sentiment, calls to action, enquiries, comments and resultant bookings and purchasers.