Beyond PR

Nov 15, 2010

Twitter, Social Media and PR: Stats & Tactics

Lisa Buyer, Sean Jackson, Sarah Evans, Victoria Harres PR Newswire social media pubcon

The PubCon PR panel: (l-r) Lisa Buyer, Sean Jackson, Sarah Evans, Victoria Harres

Last week I was on a panel at PubCon Las Vegas 2010, “Twitter and Social Media from the PR Experts,” with some top-of-their-game folks: Sean Jackson of CopyBlogger Media, Lisa Buyer of the Buyer Group, and Sarah Evans of Sevans Strategy. None of us had connected before-hand on what we were each presenting and only the night before asked, but as it turned out (thanks to sheer luck) our presentations complimented each other so well that we’ve sworn we’re going to do a world tour with this panel. Stay tuned.  My passport is ready.

Here are some key stats and tactics from each presentation:

Sarah discussed how to identify story opportunities via social media and what to do with them. She told us how some quick and clever thinking when she was awakened by an earthquake in Chicago led to having her name and business mentioned in the New York Times. And it all started with some tweets. Sarah said, “We are all news producers now.” Her presentation told the story in images.

Sean gave us tons of statistics illustrating that the more successful Twitter accounts, like @Mashable, tweet mostly original content and very little @replies and retweets. He said that “Content matters. A steady stream of Twitter content is more important than follower interaction via @ replies.”

Mashable has about 3% @replies and 1% RTs. Interestingly, Chris Brogan’s hugely successful Twitter account does the opposite, he posts more than 60% @replies.

Lisa spoke of Twitter being your PR feed. She said to take your press release and “break it up:  quotes, stats, top news line, and link it back to the full press release on your site.”  Your tweets need to be part of your content strategy, she continued, and optimized with strategic keywords that can be picked up by Google and Bing.

As for me, I spoke about media relations and team tweeting for a brand. A key fact gathered by the PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey 2010: 58% of journalists have Twitter accounts, and they are using it to do research. Think of this as an opportunity to put your best foot forward and build relationships.

Find journalists and bloggers who write on topics you are interested in and follow their Twitter feeds, read the content they are talking about (especially articles they themselves wrote) and get a good understanding of their interests. Comment on their work. Offer tips when you can, but it certainly ‘should not’ always benefit you. When something you are promoting does fit their needs, you won’t be a stranger, you’ll be a trusted source.

Which brings us to team tweeting. At some point, most brands will have to address this as their Twitter accounts grow in following and function. Choose the right people who bring different perspectives and talents together and make sure everyone understands their role and the strategy clearly.

Think of your Twitter account as a publication. Each team member is an editor and someone should certainly be designated as publisher. The publisher makes sure that everyone stays on target with the overall strategy and can make critical decisions on handling potentially sensitive situations.

Each editor should have their own beat as it concerns content. @PRNewswire is a magazine to us. We provide content that we know our audience is interested in and we don’t veer into content that isn’t part of our editorial strategy. Each team member is clear on what their contribution to the overall content is.

For us, @PRNewswire is an opportunity to share valuable content and information, do media relations, interact with our clients and build community.

Authored by Victoria Harres, director of audience development for PR Newswire.

4 Comments on Blog Post Title

Navah Kirstein 12:35 EST on Nov 15, 2010

I think the world tour would be perfect! I would attend.

Victoria Harres 13:22 EST on Nov 15, 2010

Navah – Alright, we now have one attendee for our world tour 😉 Can you bring some friends? Seriously though, that panel was one of the best conversations about PR and social media I’ve been part of. My super smart cohorts get most of the credit. I do hope we get to work together again…and hope you’ll be there!

Sean Jackson 14:45 EST on Nov 15, 2010

Vicky, great job on the recap. It was great seeing you in Vegas and I think our panel did a fantastic job of covering the bases. Thank you for putting your presentation online. It was absolutely fantastic and a must see for all involved. It was great hearing from an industry leader in PR and Twitter and you are right …we should take the show on the road:)

Great job once again and thank you for posting your presentation – worth the read.

Victoria Harres 15:12 EST on Nov 15, 2010

Sean – Can you see me blushing 😉 Your presentation was super full of great stats. I think you’re right on target with the key to Twitter success is really great content. As a matter of fact, great content is the key to any kind of marketing or PR. @CopyBlogger is a great example. You guys provide great content and hence have achieved great success. PS. my passport is really ready, and my bags are packed. Just let me know when and where.

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