The rise of new media is both a blessing and a curse to the corporate communicator.
A blessing in providing a direct channel, unfiltered by cynical (or even antagonistic) journalists; a curse in the proliferation of so many diffuse channels to the market.
Media relations is a relationship business. Successful PR people know the handful of journalists most important to their companies and industries. They know what the key journalists' interests are, what their pet peeves are and they have forged at least some level of rapport with them. It's relatively easy to identify your VIP media, those with the biggest circulation numbers among your target audiences plus those who have an out-sized influence on the thinking of other media.
Bloggers, those using Twitter or Facebook, etc. will likely have much, much smaller numbers. But scoring a hit among an influential inside a social media conversation that's spot on to your product or service can be more important than a positive mention in a large-circulation newspaper. It's not just how many people you reach, it's who you reach and in what context.
It also depends if you are trying to create awareness for a new brand (go for the highest number of potential customers) or are trying to advance favorable consideration or address a concern about your company or product (look to help shape the most in-depth conversations relevant to your objective).
So how do you find your most important social media influentials? And how do you cultivate a relationship with them?
More on my next post.
- Jon Harmon