I recently ran my first Bigger Bubbles webinar series and took a fantastic group of participants through an introduction to media & PR. I enjoyed working with them on the nuts and bolts of their key messages, target media, outreach planning etc, but what generated some of the most interesting conversations was our webinar about social media which I ran with Kerry Sauriol of SAHMedia in week 4.
How do you use Social Media?
What do you first think of when somebody mentions social media? How do you use social media yourself? Do you even consider it a part of your media & PR strategy? You should!
Are you SOCIAL media or social MEDIA?
For many people though who start venturing into social media from a, well, social standpoint, that is what it becomes to them SOCIAL media! It’s about connecting with friends, events are family get-togethers, sharing is usually the latest photo of their kids and often LIKES are driven by their personal interests – films, sports, restaurants, shopping, celebrities etc.
My sister, a pharmacist working in the UK, is all about SOCIAL media, but then she doesn’t have a reason to use social MEDIA too much in her line of work, so that makes sense.
The problem is that when you have become familiar with using SOCIAL media, but then start or become involved in a business that could benefit from social MEDIA, you have to make a bit of a paradigm shift.
The Benefits of social MEDIA and media & public RELATIONS
The fact is that social MEDIA should a key component of your media and PR plan because it can help you achieve both – and very efficiently! You have at your disposal now, thanks to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIN (I could go on!!) etc, a free platform with which to speak to people right across the world and to engage others in helping to spread your word for you, to converse about all and anything related to your business. Assuming you already have a computer and internet access, the only true cost is the time you need to put into it! And at the same time, you now have access to countless media outlets, writers, publishers, senior editors, bloggers (again I could go on, but hopefully you’re getting the idea!) that you can talk to, engage with and importantly start cultivating relationships. Remember it’s not just social MEDIA, it’s media & public RELATIONS too!