Like many who have been in the middle of social media since its inception, many of us know that Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and more lead the way when it comes to increasing brand exposure and reaching out directly to present and future consumers, but let’s look at how social media can be used as a support to your public relations and events efforts as well.
Public Relations Success Via Social Media
Because I do both public relations and social media at Creative Concepts, I often (but not always) have the luxury of working with these two communication tools simultaneously. I literally have hundreds of examples of how I have used social media to further the reach of the more traditional public relations efforts but let’s turn to a ‘green’ cleaning client as a great case study of how social media can build and then support public relations:
An international eco cleaning company wanted to reach beyond the present ‘super green’ customer and appeal to a broader range of people with a focus on women specifically who weren’t necessarily zeroed in on sustainability in order to increase sales in the U.S.
I proposed a social media and public relations strategy that involved educating the consumer continually (vs. doing a one time “campaign”) about conscious living via an approach I called “Green Closet” which appealed to a demographic of a wealthier educated woman. The idea was to suggest that one could and should create a “green” closet by choosing high end fashion manufactured sustainably, staying away from fast fashion and reusing old clothes already in the closet, and of course washing all clothes with sustainable cleaning products made by my client. Instead of doing the more common one-way brand messaging, I instead built a ‘Green Team’ of two very well respected eco designers, a world renown author and expert on Fast Fashion, an eco-stylist and more to act as spokespeople for “Green Closet” where one or all of the team lead with their passion for a more sustainable approach to fashion but they always included my client in the online and press conversations about living eco-fashionably 360°.
This was a public relations homerun supported by social media. The Green Team contributed content to my client’s blog and social sites which helped to build online and offline buzz where I was then able to catch the attention of top media as the topic of a “Green Closet” told by our Green Team was both timely and impressive where the approach was educational vs. promotional. Between sophisticated imagery and high level informative and interesting online content showcased on the brands’ and the Green Team’s social sites, the press bit at the story. This is a great example of how social media (along with a timely and unique message) can be used to catch and then urge the press to take the story further.
Events Using Social Media (and PR) To Fill The House
Social media can be a huge tool when planning and promoting events, attending events or sharing brand messaging post event as seen with this client case study:
A client was opening a new franchise and needed to fill the grand opening event with potential customers. And for anyone who couldn’t make the event, the client wanted to make future customers aware and excited about their services so potential new members would sign up sooner rather than later.
I proposed and then used a combination of Facebook (knowing their potential members were there), strategic partnerships with local mom bloggers (the client’s business was focused on families), and public relations to fill the house and get the word out about the new business.
With a three month lead time using the power of social media and then closer to the event alerting the press, we garnered over 20 press mentions locally, had 500 attendees in three hours, and got 200 families registered for memberships and/or classes. Social media not only helped to inspire the press to cover the event but it helped to get the word out through multiple trusted channels which drove so many to attend and then sign up.
In closing, everyone who knows me lives with my passion for and belief in the power of social media. The way I look at it, you just can’t go wrong whether you are leading with social media or supporting a public relations campaign or running an event!
-Valorie Luther, Founder Creative Concepts, follow me @CreativeConsult