Q&A from Vocus Webinar: PR Planning Considerations for 2010 – Part II

public-relations-planning-whitepaperHere’s Part II of my blog post: Q&A from the Vocus Webinar: PR Planning Considerations for 2010.  These are the last of the questions that I wasn’t able to address, due to time constraints.   Once again, I wanted to share my responses on my blog:

Q: You and I met when I was a magazine editor, but now I work for a “boutique” PR agency serving high-tech agencies. How much emphasis should our agency be placing on developing podcasting or webcasting products for our clients?

A: There are a few factors to consider before building social media tools/resources for your clients.  First you should take a look at your customers, their respective markets and their external footprints.  Are webcasting and podcasting effective tools to use and if you create this type of content for your customers’, will their target public(s) use and share these resources? When you develop a content strategy it’s important to consider the type of content that is preferred by the people you want to reach, and always align your content strategy to the company’s business objectives.  You should always ask: What are we trying to accomplish by developing these specific types of social media tools?

After considering the external factors, then you should conduct an internal audit of the organization to see what resources internally can be relied upon to create podcasts or webcasts.  Will the company be able use its own resources or will it have to use an external service provider and what are the costs to hire an outside service?  It’s also really important to consider the time commitment of the executives/experts involved in creating the webcasts and podcasts. Will the executives or experts participating in an audio or video streaming series be available for live streaming or to record the sessions, and how much time will they commit to the program.  The external and internal considerations are key to determining the type of content strategy and what will be the most effective social media tools to use moving forward.

Q: I am alone in my PR efforts. We recently purchased Vocus/PR Web services. I just released my first release. I created the RSS availability but have not set up a Twitter page yet however, my question is; Is there a tool to sync all of the business/personal social sites to display a released blog?

A: If I understand the question correctly, it sounds as if you are looking for a tool that will allow you to sync or update all of your community sites simultaneously.  So for example, if you write a blog post and you want to share it on all of your networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., then you can use a tool called Ping.fm.  Ping.fm is a resource that updates all of your communities, at the same time, saving you the time, energy and effort of posting separately in your networks.

Q: Our company has been using a few different types of social media for several months now but we have seen almost no ROI (limited sales from promo codes, limited site visits etc). How long should a company be experimenting before giving up?

A:  I don’t think that you should give up on social media outreach; you may have to adjust your listening/monitoring strategy.  Are you in the communities that have the people that you want to reach? Are you finding in-depth conversations on topics that relate directly to your brand?  After you listen, observe and identify the right community and understand the dynamics of the culture, then you can engage with the members.  When you begin your outreach, you may also want to position yourself as a helpful resource by engaging in conversations and then sharing information about promotions and other offers available.

It’s really important to make sure that you are in the right community at the onset and that the community members find value in the content that you are sharing. You may also want to identify certain new influencers/bloggers who would be interested in sharing your content because it has relevance to their community members.  I would go back to the Conversation Prism listening exercise that I mentioned during the Vocus webinar to see if you can find relevant conversations and people in specific networks through key word searches.  After you listen and observe, then you can move toward participation once again.

Also, make sure that you have the proper measurement in place to capture people who are interested in your offers either by directing them over to landing page to capture information or to a specific area of your website where it’s easy to take advantage of a promotion or similar offer.

If you have questions or answers to share on any of the topics posted above, it would be great to hear your feedback. Thanks!