PR 2.0 Checklist

PR 2.0

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I’ve mentioned before that I’m a huge fan of National Public Radio (NPR). I listen to “The Takeaway” and “Morning Edition” every day driving to work.  NPR keeps me company as I sit in traffic for over an hour driving up the Garden State Parkway.  I heard a great segment the other morning.  A surgeon being interviewed discussed how a simple checklist in the ER and in the Operating Room could save a life.  He told a story about a man who came into the hospital with what looked like a small stab wound about an inch long.  Because the proper questions were not asked in the ER, the man simply stated that he was stabbed at a Halloween party.  Within 10 minutes the surgeon said that the man “crashed.”  Apparently, the doctors in the hospital were not informed that the stab wound was so deep it punctured his aorta. He was stabbed with a bayonet (it was a costume party).

The radio interview continued with the discussion of how the checklist of questions, or things that you need to do, can prevent emergency situations.  I’m a big checklist person and I’ve been building checklists for years.  Of course there’s a big difference between what I do and the surgeon who saves lives, but nonetheless it’s important to prevent any emergency or damaging situation from occurring in any industry.   That’s where my PR 2.0 checklist comes into play before you begin your program.  There are some simple questions that you can ask yourself, your team or your client (if you’re on the agency side) so that half way into the program, someone doesn’t say, “Did we ever do that?”  or, “Maybe we should have written our social media policy first!”

This PR 2.0 checklist is a working document and will grow over time.

  • Ask the question, “Why social media and what are we expecting to get out of engaging in the social sphere.”
  • Develop a social media policy
  • Which executives will participate in the program and determine the their time commitment
  • Share the policy with members of your organizations (build internal brand champions by establishing a participatory culture)
  • Set up monitoring and tracking of your brand, products and any trends that relate to your market (via free tools and paid software)
  • Listen to conversations in various social networks to see if your customers or other stakeholders are active in those communities and to pinpoint conversations relevant to your brand
  • Continue to observe communities for culture and interaction between community members
  • Identify who are the important influencers you would like to reach (from A-list bloggers to trendsetters and the magic middle) and what issues concern them
  • Decide who in the organization is going to manage information and direct continuous conversations and relationships (a community manager or social media manager)
  • Dissect information gathered in communities and share with other members/departments in your organization
  • Process the information within your organization and use it to provide insight and feedback in communities (and to also develop your communication strategy and content to share) or to place back into your product development cycle to enhance your offering for customers.
  • Determine a measurement strategy for engagement (participation could include leads/sales, conversations, registration, membership, education, authority, etc.)
  • Think about your budget and resources before you start your social media program.

Hopefully, this checklist will help you prior to the start of your PR 2.0 initiative. If there’s something that I’m missing, feel free to share the items on your list 🙂

51 Responses to " PR 2.0 Checklist "

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by elliotschimel: good post – RT @dbreakenridge: PR 2.0 Checklist

  2. Great list, Deirdre, one step that’s often overlooked by practitioners in their enthusiasm to get clients aboard the social media express.

    Just one question: Why in the world do you spend all that time on the Parkway in this highly connected and remote teleworking age?

  3. Deirdre says:

    Hi Steve! Thanks for comments on my post. I often ask myself the same question. I try to work from home a couple of days during the week to cut back on drive time 🙂 Hope you are well and 2010 is off to a great start!

  4. Deirdre,

    Love this approach. It’s a great “starter kit” for anyone getting started in social media. The only thing I’d add relates to timing. I’m noticing clients that aren’t accounting for the ramp up time required in social media — from adding interactive/community elements to a website … to building a strong list of bloggers/influencers to approach — all of that requires time. If a company wants to integrate social media into part of a product launch, the social media implementation needs to begin more than the day before the product goes on sale. 🙂

    Great list!

  5. Rich Brooks says:


    Great working document. One other thing–and maybe you’ve said it just using other language–is how social media is going to be integrated with other online and offline marketing.

    Often I talk to people who have bought into the hype of social media, but their Web site isn’t ready for any increase in traffic, of they’ve never invested any time in search engine optimization, or they have no way to capture leads coming to the site (assuming this is a goal.)

    Social media is the current shiny object that’s very attractive to businesses and non-profits, but it’s not an island.

    There should also be some specific, measurable goals set up, especially for small businesses who may have limited resources to put into social media, and need to determine what the right ROI looks like.

  6. Kat says:

    Fantastic list Deirdre! It is great to have a checklist when thinking of any PR 2.0 project and this one is just excellent.

    BTW I read your book – PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools and found it spot on!

  7. Chuck H says:

    Deirdre, not to be an idiot, but is there an email address I can use to contact you directly? I can’t find one on your site (but that may be because I’m still PR 1.0…). Thanks!

  8. Frances Squire says:

    Thanks for your checklist. Social media is consuming my time these days and it helps to have a guidebook.

  9. Deirdre says:

    Hi Frances,

    Yes, social media is definitely a commitment. Although I am finding that the more I put into it…the more I get out of it! Thanks for commenting and I’m glad the checklist is helpful.

  10. Deirdre says:

    Hi Kat,

    Thanks so much! It’s great to hear the feedback on the PR 2.0 checklist and my book. I really appreciate it 🙂

  11. Deirdre says:

    Hi Rich, you make an excellent point. Social media does appear to be a shiny object and no matter the size of the company or the social media program, it is critical to to set up the measurement component. It’s especially important to nail down measurable objectives to determine what the ROI looks like and to set up the proper expectations for your initiative. Thanks for commenting and for sharing your insight!

  12. Deirdre says:

    Hi Heather, you are so right! Timing is key and yes, the last minute implementation just doesn’t work! It definitely takes time to to listen and observe communities (the socialogy behind social media) before you engage and to build relationships with influencers, before you reach out to them. Great insight! Thanks for commenting.

  13. Matt says:

    Hi Dierdre. Great article with a lot of good general tips for becoming effect at social media marketing.

    I was wondering what you thought of Brian Halligan’s article where he said he wished the word “campaign” would go away:

    1. The word “campaign” goes away. My blood curdles every time I hear someone talk about doing a “social media campaign” or “blog campaign.” Blogs and social media behave like compound interest, so if you treat them like “campaigns,” you lose all the benefits. Marketers should be permanently creating, optimizing, promoting, converting, & analyzing.

  14. Deirdre says:

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for commenting on my post. That’s a great topic of discussion! The word campaign does imply “marketing speak” and we all know that when we are participating in conversations in the social sphere, that’s not the way we want to come across. Rather, we should be listening, creating, optimizing, converting, measuring, etc. However, I think that actions speak a lot louder than words. Even if we never used the word campaign again, perhaps we said, program, initiative or effort, if our actions showed that we were purely marketing and not trying to listen and help people, it wouldn’t matter. I just read Social Media Marketing for Dummies by Shiv Singh and Chapter 4 discusses launching the SIM campaign. Although the author uses the word, the book is still very focused on listening and teaching brands how to be a good resource through meaningful interactions with influencers. For me, just like the word “audience” which implies mass communication and demographics (rather than targeted one on one communication and psychographics/behavior) a lot of people didn’t want to hear that word in the blogosphere. The word “audience” is still around, it’s just we know that we have to be more targeted with our communication. So, we may still say marketing, campaign, audience, message, but ultimately our actions will show that we understand the right way to use social media communications to enhance a relationship and bring value to our brands. Thanks!!

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    Thanks for this list, it will come in handy for my next client meeting.


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  43. Deirdre says:

    Hi Victoria! Thanks for commenting on my post. I’m really happy that the PR 2.0 Checklist is helpful and that you can integrate it into your PR program, whether it’s a company or product launch. I hope your social media class is going well and keep in touch! Best of luck this semester 🙂

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