Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Beyond Web 2.0 for PR Professionals

How we communicate as individuals and business leaders changes daily on the whim of whatever new social networking trend is garnering the most popularity among consumers. Communication occurs today at the speed of light or faster. This gains momentum and crosses national borders and language barriers. The ramifications of not keeping an ever present eye on the ever present waves of citizen journalists and consumer driven opinion posts would be, for a business, at the least problematic and at the worst disastrous.

Control of the Uncontrollable
Never before has the practice of Public Relations both internally and externally been of greater importance. Today's consumer has found their voice and it is online speaking through tweets and blogs talking to networks regarding how they feel about your business or service.

Keeping that in mind these tips may be ways a business leader and communication staff can stay ahead of the incoming tides of Web 2.0.
1. Now is the time to use the employees as your best brand ambassadors

2. Offer alternating department’s opportunities to blog or tweet innovations and services improvements

3. Allowing the employees ownership creates a better environment for consumers and employees to handle any issues as they arise

4. Begin pitching to independent and industry bloggers as if they are conventional media (avoid the mistake of assuming they don't drive consumer choice)

5. Go viral with your networks. By knowing your base consumers allow them to spread your message through viral communication efforts in video, audio, or other creative avenues

6. Criticism is part of the social networking risk. Engage the criticism in a real and conversational way. Don't clog the social networks with corporate lingo that will get you nowhere

7. You are in their world now so follow their codes of conduct. Don't falsely manipulate perception. Engage the users where they congregate. Use real time response or encouraging reviews of those followers

Tips for 2.0 takeaways

- Global impact
- Target your audiences where they are
- Use employee ambassadorship to boost morale and customer support
-Treat citizen journalists as you would any conventional journalist
-Know the rules and code of conduct in the sphere you are using
-engage consumer base and go viral

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