PR 2.0 Applied to the Agency

As a marketing and PR agency professional, I definitely discuss with my clients the importance of transparency and showing their human side.  I know that I write a lot about brands and how they must develop a voice and talk directly to customers and social media is a great way to do that.  So, I asked myself, “What has my agency done lately?  How have we been transparent, shared meaningful information and how have I, personally, furthered this quest to have conversations to build better relationships.

One really great way is to give back.  My agency is being more transparent, showing its voice and sharing through a service we call “Quick Clinic,” which is located on our website.  It may sound impractical.  Peers have asked me “Why would give information and advice away for free.”  My answer, “Because that is the nature and the benefits of social media communications.  When you give, you also at some point will be on the receiving end.  It really works.”

I thought of the ideas after a quick visit to CVS.   I noticed that there was a new service at our local store called “Quick Clinic.”  I thought to myself that it would be great to apply the same principle to marketing and PR and help people quickly with good pieces of information that they could use in their marketing programs.  My business partner, Jason Miletsky, had serendipitously set up a Meebo chat on our website.  We put the two together and formed our Quick Clinic, which occurs every other Thursday from 2 to 4:00 p.m.

Quick Clinic is not to sell anything, rather it follows the rules of social media and online communities…you are just there to help and give good advice or information so the party who has a question or concern can make a decision.  Our first few Quick Clinics were so successful, that now we have to limit conversations per quest to 10 minutes each.  We have marketers, PR people, entrepreneurs and business executives who visit with us and ask general questions regarding social media all the way to detailed questions about a situation they encountered and what would we have done if we were handling the situation.

Sharing information and helping people is the best way to build strong relationships and have people trust you. With all of the ways that we are educating our clients to better understand social media, my question is, “what have you done lately?”