Real World PR- Social Media’s Place in Public Relations

The first session that I attended was “Social Media’s Place in Public Relations”.  The panel of speakers included Ashley Payne from the Georgia Aquarium, Stephen Brown from MS&L Worldwide, and Nick Ayres from The Home Depot.  This session allowed for all questions to be answered.  

How has your company handling social media a year ago?

Ashley explained that the Georgia Aquarium used to use all traditional public relations and now use Facebook, Twitter, and E-Marketing.  They’ve researched how people use social media.  Now, they give away free tickets and announce exciting events that are occurring at the aquarium.  Nick said that last year, Home Depot was involved with social media, but now they have a specific team that is specific for just social media.  Stephen explained that MS&L has realized what blogger relations is and is working on connecting with the correct audiences.  For example, they set up a Coca-Cola Free-Style and Osh Kosh Biggosh Facebook pages.

How do you use Twitter and Facebook for business?

Ashley said to make everything personal account private, look at what’s being said about your company, and if your company isn’t using social media, tell them why they should. 

How to balance friends and business on Twitter?

Nick said that just using it for talking to friends is not business-like.  If you add something special about yourself, it adds personality.  He also reminded us not to just re-tweet because you’re not really using your own thoughts.

What types of things do you tweet about?

Ashley said to tweet about very cool things (a celebrity comes to the aquarium) or new news (a new animal joins the aquarium).  

When employers look at possible new employees, do they follow the candidates or just take a glance at their Twitter page?

Ashley- glance at your page for personality.  Nick- Glance, but Googles the candidates first.

How do you pull in older audiences to social media?

Stephen said that it may or may not be helpful.  For example if one of your clients is a senior living facility, they will not be on Facebook right now.  Nick explained that PRos have to know traditional PR as well.

How do you monitor social media?

Stephen mentioned Radian 6 and said that you can measure it by the brand sentiment over time.  Nick said that he keeps a report of what people care about and what’s hot.  He counts the positive and negative tweets.  He uses YouTube views, Facebook Fans, Twitter Followers and pictures in blog posts and tweets in his social media reports.

How is social media organized in your company?

Ashley said that the Georgia Aquarium has integrated social media into all aspects of the company.  She explained that employees are the best advocates because they stick of for their organization without being told to do so.

Session three post next: “Seal the Deal: What You Need to Know to Land the Job”.