Anton Perreau explains how PR agencies can integrate social media into their campaigns.
All too often B2B PR agencies use social media as if it’s a consumer channel. This doesn’t work for a client’s audience and therefore you’ll have a hard time getting them to believe in it. The good news is that B2B social media can work. Social media is here to stay and it might just be the saviour to some long-standing issues within traditional public relations.
Many agencies have adopted a B2B digital strategy, but many have struggled initially. It seems all too often the intricate strategy they’ve planned is wonderfully strategic, but lacks any integration. Social media is an another channel with an equal desire for investment and attention.
At Champion Communications we’ve worked on perfecting simplicity in social media integration – filling in a series of gaps to establish overall digital strategy without neglecting overall business objectives of clients. We always begin with three simple questions:
1. What do our target communities use social media for?
2. What do we use social media for?
3. What could we be providing additionally?
We became aware that social media really is all about people and like Freek Janssen recently wrote: “Social media does not only expand our own horizon, it can actually help PR to solve most of its reputation and accountability challenges”. Integrated digital campaigns enable PR to have a seat at the top-table, and it’s about time too. But how can integration really work? We believe there are three steps to success:
1. Communicate: A set of influencers already exist both internally and externally to your client’s organisation. Once these communities are united and not divided by the brand, the online conversation becomes intellectually stimulating and engaging.
2. Curate: Social media provides the public relations specialist with the opportunity to co-curate their content landscape, share, involve and cut a cross section of their brand. As creation and curation work together in real-time, sharing news in a LinkedIn post or posting a job in a tweet. It’s not silly, it’s sensible.
3. Consolidate: Until now, different departments within a client’s business may have perceived social media as a public relations function. If HR, finance, R&D and sales all work together on a unified plan to perform all business functions through an online channel, integrating this with traditional public relations tactics allows transparency to become a well-earned priority.
These functions all speak for a unified, integrated social frontier; a digital strategy that works alongside traditional public relations to realise the objectives and aspirations of a brand. Social is speaking to your communities more than ever, so isn’t it time you had something good to say?
Anton Perreau (@antonperreau) is the Social Media Manager at Champion Communications. Anton studied his BA at the San Diego State University School of Journalism and BCU. Champion Communications (@ChampionComms) is a PR agency based in London, championing digital, media and technology challenger brands