On February 9, 2012, I delivered my keynote to the participants of The Social Conference in Amsterdam. Part of my presentation focused on PR professionals who are excelling in PR 2.0. They are becoming champions in their organizations and/or helping their clients to move to the next level of strategic social media communications. I highlighted professionals I know who are currently participating in different roles. These folks are helping to spearhead a movement and educating others on new responsibilities that have formed, as a result of the convergence of social media and public relations.
For example, I mentioned Diane Gomez, PR manager at PRSA who is a PR Policymaker and directly involved in developing the social media policy for her organization. Diane was instrumental in building a social media core team to help with the effort, and educating employees, leaders, volunteers and members. I also mentioned Michael Brito, VP at Edelman Digital, who is an Internal Collaboration Generator. Michael uses collaborative technology for project management to keep his team on the same page and also real-time tools such as Yammer to rally around various topics of interest. Michael knows good communication begins on the inside of the organization and collaboration is a key to innovation.
My new book, “Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional,” discusses the next wave of communications professionals and the roles and responsibilities they undertaking. As I gear up to launch the book in April 2012, I’m turning to my community asking for assistance. I’m interested in hearing how you or any of your colleagues are participating in new social media responsibilities, which may fall under any of the following practices:
PR Practice #1: The PR Policymaker
The PR Policymaker is a professional who quickly learns that a crucial part of the communications strategy and planning process includes the development of social media policies, training and governance. Not only developing social media policies, but also maintaining them falls within this new PR practice.
PR Practice #2: The Internal Collaboration Generator
The Internal Collaboration Generator is the communications professional who appreciates how social media collaboration starts on the inside of the organization. Because social media moves across the company, it’s imperative you work with specific departments (PR, Advertising, Marketing, HR, IT, Legal, Sales, etc.). You are breaking down the silos to increase sharing, collaboration and innovation, for better internal and external communication.
PR Practice #3: The PR Technology Tester
Being a PR Technology Tester means you are using technology strategically for greater peer-to-peer communications. At the start of social media, PR was criticized for not being up to speed on the knowledge and use of social media channels, tools and technology resources. As a PR Technology Tester you are not only knowledgeable, but also testing the latest technology for better interactions with the public.
PR Practice #4: The Communications (COMMS) Organizer
The COMMS Organizer is the PR professional who has to educate and redirect their organization to implement a new communications process. No longer can companies solely rely on the push or broadcast method to distribute their messages. Now, it’s your responsibility to make sure your company’s stakeholders are pulling information from the organization. You’re creating new types of stories by developing, coordinating, and curating content through different channels.
PR Practice #5: The Pre-Crisis Doctor
The Pre-Crisis Doctor is the PR professional who realizes every company today can face a crisis. As a Pre-Crisis Doctor you will proactively build crisis prevention plans with comment response charts and helpful tools to identify and illustrate levels of crisis escalation through all media, including new media. Your new practice requires you to catch the negative sentiment and ease a potentially explosive situation, before it escalates to crisis proportions.
PR Practice #6: The Relationship Analyzer
The Relationship Analyzer is the PR Professional who turns into the communications sociologist with the help of technology. It’s so important to observe and analyze how audiences connect, not only with their favorite brands, but also with their peers in web communities. You’re new skills include visualizing and mapping the connections for better strategic engagement and higher-level interactions.
PR Practice #7: The Reputation Task Force Member
The Reputation Task Force Member is the PR professional who practices reputation management on steroids. Because social media can change a company’s reputation drastically, in a short amount of time, PR professionals have to teach about core values and brand voice. They must turn on their tracking/monitoring to high speed, in order to respond with immediacy, constant accuracy and transparency.
PR Practice #8: The Master of the Metrics
The Master of the Metrics is the PR professional who moves from just accepting metrics (no more Advertising Value Equivalents) to forging ahead with measurable objectives and metrics tied to higher-level organizational goals. These professionals learn to differentiate between social media business outcomes vs. the outtakes and outputs. Measurement has always been a challenging area, and your level of accountability is even higher with respect to social media communications.
I want to tell your story and/or the story of your friends, as I present to different organizations and groups about the Eight New Practices. You can comment on this post, DM me on Twitter or send me a Facebook or LinkedIn message. If you or people you know people who are working hard to integrate strategic social media into their public relations practices, then I’d like to share these stories to illustrate how PR has expanded, with many resulting opportunities for communications professionals to embrace.