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Social Media,

How did that tweet get there? It’s not magic and unicorns.

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As an intern or young professional, you may assume that because you know how to use Twitter that you are ready to step into doing so on behalf of an organization. However, strategic social media is a lot more complicated than personal social media and there’s no magic social media unicorn… 

This side of social is not necessarily intuitive and the learning the process is an important part of doing a good job for clients. We’re ramping up some social media work for a client right now and that has me thinking about the process I use and how to convey that to my team.

All-Time Favorites, Social Media,

Why I Don’t Link My Social Media Profiles

It seems like a good idea. When you update Twitter, why not update Facebook automatically… and while you’re at it, how about LinkedIn?

To me, each of these tools serves a different purpose and therefore needs different content. Certainly there is overlap in many instances, but it’s important to think about how each fits into your overall personal social media use – or how, as an organization, each helps you reach your objectives.

I know that the social media time suck is a big deal and we’re all looking for ways to make the most our time in front the screen – but if you’re going to “do” social media, do it right. And be prepared for how much time it takes.

Twitter: Short updates, more “real-time,” drive traffic to Web or blog, personal appeal. Tweets often don’t make sense out of context and when you add hashtags, RT’s and @’s it can be confusing, particularly for those on Facebook who aren’t familiar with how Twitter works. And yes, there are still plenty of people for whom that’s true.

Facebook Fan Page: More room to wiggle (no character limit), ability to add links with thumbnails for visual appeal. If you update from Facebook, the syncing to Twitter is technically easy, but can look awkward when it goes over the character limit. When Facebook-to-Twitter updates cut off, the result can be just more noise in the Twitter stream. Example:

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LinkedIn: Suit & tie network, business-oriented. I see too many status updates that not only have nothing to do with your business-self, but could be less than helpful if a potential employer, investor or business partner happened to visit your profile at just that moment.

That’s not to say that you can’t use the same subject and update each platform appropriately. I do that all the time. I just don’t often update simultaneously. Maybe it’s a control thing. But I want to know that each group of fans/friends/followers is getting the best content for them, at the right “pace” and the most relevant.

When it makes sense for overlap, I prefer to send updates from Twitter. By using “Selective Twitter” on Facebook (where you add #fb to do simultaneous updates) and adding Twitter to your LinkedIn profile (use #in for simultaneous updates), you can be smart about your updates.

My personal rules of thumb are pretty basic. I use my personal Facebook page largely for personal use, so I only sync my Twitter and personal Facebook when I tweet things that are (potentially) interesting for friends & family. But what if you’re helping to manage fan pages and Twitter accounts?

Twitter –> Facebook Fan Page: Updates that translate easily to a Facebook audience. That means knowing what the people connected to the company on each platform want and expect. And, without exception, the expectations are different. For one company in particular, Facebook fans are only interested in updates from the company and I get very little interaction around other information. Twitter friends, on the other hand, like a variety of information and often retweet or reply to non-company-related tweets. When I sync the two, it’s only when the two groups’ interests overlap.

Twitter –> LinkedIn: Updates that are related to my business and add something to my virtual resume. These updates also need to be more “timeless.” That is, I don’t update LinkedIn as often as the other networks, so the updates should add value and not get stale too quickly.

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I know full well that people will disagree with me and have a different approach to this conundrum. I’d love to hear what you think!

All-Time Favorites, Media Relations,

How to Write a Basic Media Relations Strategy

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The ability to work with the media is our “value added” in public relations (and one of the key reasons PR is in the journalism school at the UofO)… So when you want to add a media relations strategy to a client plan or proposal, how do you do it?

“Get [my organization] on morning talk shows” is not a media relations strategy.

First, think about your target audience. You need to have a solid understanding of who your target audience is. Have you painted a picture that makes it clear what media they use and respond to. If not, do more research.

Once you’re comfortable with your understanding on the audience, you’re ready to move forward with recommended strategy. Your strategy needs to include your key messages and the tone of the media materials that you will create.

For example, say you’re working with a local humane society on recruiting more adopters and your target audience is senior citizens. Your objective might be: To raise awareness of [the humane society] among senior citizens so to encourage more adoptions.

You’ve determined through your research that your target audience reads the local newspaper daily. Your strategy might read something like this:

To accomplish this objective, we recommend a media relations strategy that focuses on the health benefits of owning an animal. According to, health benefits include lower blood pressure, longer life and lower stress levels. The Humane Society should identify key spokespeople from this target audience to dispel possible myths about behavior or social problems of shelter animals and discuss the benefits of adopting from the Humane Society.

The specific tactics would follow-on in a priority list and would include the steps to take to execute the strategy and meet the objective.

What else goes into a media relations strategy? Check out these articles:
Ten Steps for Successful Media Relations (on
Website Pressroom – A Key Promotional Tool

Other tips? What key elements must be considered for an effective media relations campaign?

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