Category Archives: Social Media

Is Your Brand Ready for A Social Media Crisis Based On Today’s Politics

Social media drives narratives.  That cannot be said enough.  Social media can also create a crisis where none existed.  Many brands are finding this out firsthand in the current politically charged and polarized environment.

Today’s consumers expect brands to tell a story and share their values including their political values.  Many brands have for years avoided taking stands on political issues and politicians as they knew such a stand would antagonize some consumers and cost them sales.  Yet more and more brands are finding that they can’t sidestep political issues.  Consumers are taking to social media demanding to know where a brand stands on an issue or political personality.  We have seen this just recently with consumers taking to social media to demand of brands where do they stand on FOX News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly and stories of sexual harassment.  This social media outrage has led numerous advertisers to pull their advertising from his show.

Very often brands are caught unprepared for the social media outrage that creates a crisis for them.  They need to be proactive, especially in this socially media driven world where a tweet on Twitter can be more powerful than the best devised public relations campaign and lead to numerous negative media stories.

What should companies do?

  1. Identify potential issues that consumers care about and might demand to know where the brand stands on the issue.
  2. Identify potential activists, antagonists, supporters, and media that would be involved in such a media crisis.
  3. Practice stimulations of a potential social media crisis driven by the brand’s stand on a particular issue.
  4. Respond at once when the crisis erupts.
  5. Engage on social media. Remember brands are all about engaging consumers on social media about various positive news items.  But too often, they fail to do that when a crisis hits.  That is a mistake.

A crisis can happen at any time.  In today’s polarized world social media often both creates and defines a crisis.  To survive such a crisis, a brand must be ready.

 

The Two Key Components of Successful PR For A Startup

Startups are emerging everyday.  A lasting impact of the Great Recession is the number of people starting companies on their own.  One of the key things that these new companies need is publicity.

Why?

  1. It gets the company’s name out to the public, creating brand awareness.
  2. It allows the company a chance to attract investors.

Yet despite knowing this many startups struggle over what they need to do to achieve publicity.  Sometimes they launch a publicity campaign before they are ready for prime time or other times they try to incorporate a variety of components in their publicity campaigns instead of concentrating on the two most important pieces of startup publicity – media relations and the company blog.

Media relations and the company’s blog are without a doubt, the most essential public relations pieces for any startup.  Without those two pieces nothing else matters, in terms of publicity.

Media relations is quite simply news stories featuring the startup and its founder.  It informs the world of the new company and the wonders that it can do.  Beyond that, a successful media relations campaign should position the founder of the company as the expert in the field the company specializes in.  The founder should be in all news stories dealing with his or her field and offering solutions to the problems that the media is discussing.  This implies a third party endorsement by the media.  Media relations must be ongoing to create a sense of awareness and repetition.  Media relations is the most efficient way to create public brand awareness and draw the attention of investors.

The company blog is the other critical public relations component for a startup.  Why?  First every blog post attracts traffic to the company’s website and also helps in search engine results.  Beyond that, just as with media relations, it sets the company up as an industry expert that helps in the long-term branding of the company.  Finally, it converts leads into customers.

Public relations is critical to the success of startups.  But knowing what to put the emphasis on in a publicity campaign can determine if the startup succeeds or fails.  Every start-up when executing its public relations campaign needs to emphasize media relations and the company blog.

What Businesses Can Learn From This Year’s Political Conventions – Social Media Is King

The 2016 political conventions are upon us. Unlike political conventions of the past, the suspense is gone on who will be the nominee and no intense battles over party platforms are fought out at the conventions. The political convention in this day and age is in many ways an infomercial for the presidential nominee and their political party. Yet millions of Americans still tune into the convention. Yet the way they tune in to obtain coverage is one studied intensely by businesses so that they can copy the methods to reach the consumer.

Political communications leads businesses in new ways to reach consumers and position their brands. In 1920 and 1924, radio came of age covering the Republican and Democratic conventions. Businesses paid note of that and the increasing number of Americans who owned a radio. The result was that businesses began reaching out to Americans via radio – sponsored shows like Little Orphan Annie(the forerunner of product placements) and direct advertisements. In 1952, as Dwight Eisenhower and Robert A. Taft battled it out for control of the Republican Party, millions were glued to the convention proceedings on television that was just reaching its potential. Again businesses took note that a new way to reach consumers had emerged.

So what can businesses learn from this year’s political conventions?

Social media is king. The television networks have all cut back on their coverage of the conventions (a trend that has been going on for a while now with all of the suspense gone). Americans are paying attention to the conventions not with traditional sources of media (radio, television, or print) but via social media – Twitter and Facebook. This confirms something we have seen over the past several years – social media sets narratives. In fact a tweet or Facebook post often reaches more people than a television broadcast of the proceedings. Beyond that, people react to what they are seeing on social media. The takeaway from this convention season for businesses – social media is only growing stronger as are the ways to use it. A shrewd business leaders will copy what they are seeing at the conventions and use the methods.

Business always follows politics in terms of how to reach consumers. It has been this way since politics became the competitive and partisan profession it is today. Each election cycle offers business leaders lessons on new ways to reach the consumer and make their brand standout. The next two weeks will provide many examples of this – just stay tuned.