The Most Important Rule in Social Media PR

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Want to know the best part of utilizing social media as part of your public relations campaigns? There are no rules.

PR people are constantly being reminded of rules. We have to follow the AP Stylebook, news releases have to be written a certain way and executed at certain times.

Social media is an opportunity for your company to break the mold and create unique content that actually matters to your public. The key word is content. Content is the silver bullet. If you can create interesting and fresh content, then you will be one step closer to meeting your goals and objectives.

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You already know what I’m talking about. Have you ever decided to search for a company’s website or Facebook page only to find that it doesn’t exist? Or that is hasn’t been updated since March 2008? Those companies fall off your radar, and lose your trust and respect.

Creating new and interesting content not only draws people to your sites, but it also entices them to return. The key to finding the right content is simple: find out what your visitors want, and keep doing it. It does not matter what platform. Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, Foursquare, or a blog…develop content for your targeted user and keep it coming.

Social media strategy is powerful, but also fun for PR people because we are able to try different things and evaluate the results almost in real time. From there we can modify our campaign to meet the demands of our public. In order to be successful online you cannot be afraid try something new. If your customers want photos of your business then give them photos. If they want to see news from in and around your industry, then give it to them.

Public relations is not changing. It has changed. It is up to you as a PR professional to understand the power and possibilities of social media, and then develop a strategy to utilize all of the tools at hand. These tools are new and it is just as important to learn from your successes, as you would with your failures.


  1. 1

    Nice post Ryan. What about on the agency side of things though? A lot of clients we work with @Vocenation don’t want to spend $$$ trying new things. They want to spend $$$ on recommendations that come from experience and that will be validated with marketing leads. Some age old debates(and by age old I mean the past 6 years) in here but this just what I was thinking the entire time I read your post.


  2. 2

    Colin, I see this a lot. What I really try to drive home with these prospects is whether or not the strategy is working. If it is, then fine… the safe route with limited growth may be an avenue to take. However, I like to show data and analysis of online growth, search, social participation, etc. that proves that behaviors are changing.

    Sometimes prospects still don’t believe things have changed… and I’m outta there. However, the reasonable ones see the change and I assure them that my role is to help them in the transition.

  3. 3

    I get this from a lot of clients, “Can you show us a strategy that’s proven, and works?”

    The answer is ‘of course’, but it’s not always that simple. Every company, every personality needs a different kind of voice. Therefore, the same strategy isn’t always going to work.

    Create a plan, but deviate from the plan when something awesome comes up. Organized creativity leads to the best marketing, online or otherwise. That’s just my opinion!

  4. 4

    As a former corporate communications VP, I appreciate your perspective on rules. But I also understand there need to be guidelines that protect the company and content creator. And I also think it is critical that when PR creates content, it should mindful ot its impact on PR, marketing, brand, customer support and sales. It makes me think about only eating dessert for dinner. I am an adult. I can eat what I want, whenever I want. That doesn’t mean I will. 🙂

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