As a newcomer to the public relations industry, I have quickly learned that social media tools are not only being used to stay connected with friends, but also to communicate with clients, customers, and journalists. Imagine my surprise when I realized the social media programs I used every day to chat with my friends would actually be helping me do my job.
Today in the PR industry, there are social media tools that keep us constantly connected to our clients, our audience, and fellow PR professionals. The evolution of the internet and the growth of social media have provided such tools that enable us to do what do we better. With that said, the following are my top five PR tools that I am thankful to have access to.
1. Twitter: Tweets, Re-tweets, and hash tags—just another way our clients are mentioned and their coverage syndicated. Media scanning now includes monitoring these client mentions and re-tweets. Also, twitter can be used as a way to make a connection with the journalist you are pitching. I use twitter to keep track of what messages my media contact is tweeting to her audience. It creates a personal, connected relationship resulting in a long lasting relationship.
2. Facebook: Facebook provides the platform to develop our clients brand and to interactively and directly connect with their target audience. Drawing people to your clients’ Facebook page is an integral part of social media campaigns to create brand loyalty. My clients have held contests, sweepstakes, and weekly polls, to attract loyal, active fans. All have been successful and resulted in an increase in Facebook fans.
3. Blogs: Bloggers are a close-knit community who has become an excellent source for reviews. I’ve been fortunate enough to develop a relationship with a few successful bloggers. They are quick to let their readers know about my client’s news and products.
4. Smart phones: I am thankful that my smart phone allows me to get updates, receive emails, and use Twitter & Facebook while on the go. Although it may seem like an annoyance to some, smart phones allow PR professionals to have continuous access with their clients and their work.
5. ProfNets/HAROs: These daily queries are one of the best things that happened to the PR industry. Having a direct line to journalists on a deadline and determining if your client fits their query, not only saves time but can create a perfect coverage opportunity you may have otherwise missed.
Today, as we think about all the things we’re thankful for while celebrating with our family and friends, we shouldn’t forget the tools that help us work in the evolving industry of public relations.