By Debbie Friez, BurrellsLuce and Capitol Communicator
The only way to succeed in social media is to experiment a LOT! One out of 10 tries will be successful and two or three will be somewhat successful, said Garrett Graff, editor-in-chief of Washingtonian. A panel presented by the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on Sept. 18, which included Graff, confirmed his statement.
Amy McKeever, editor of EaterDC, said she stays in-touch with many smaller restaurants through Facebook and Twitter, and finds Twitter to be a good way to gather news. She also doesn’t post news to social media until it is posted to Eater, because her goal is to drive traffic to her site.
Carlisle Campbell, vice president, Ketchum, speaking about the Thoth Award-winning Double Tree by Hilton Cookie CAREavan Across America campaign, said they focused on three key ways to connect to the public: a cookie confessional (video of consumers discussing cookie or Double Tree experiences), swarm car (a Twitter contest for an office cookie party) and an online sweepstakes. The swarm car originally left executive nervous, but eventually showed it provided additional opportunities, like when the Atlanta AP office won and tweeted their happiness.
With the implementation of the Facebook timeline, Vanessa French, co-founder of Pivot Point Communications, advocates using a lot of pictures. She also said Facebook users do not like shortened links, unless they are coming from an established media company. She advocated outreach to local bloggers about events, which she finds often can lead to their blogs being testimonials. But, as with all campaigns, the key is to knowing what platforms your audience is using.
Campbell commented on the debate over creating a website versus a Facebook page. He said many of his younger colleagues advocate for the Facebook page. French said if you do choose a website, be sure to advocate for a blog, which will help with SEO.
The panel agreed that Pinterest is the new bright shiny tool, and brands need to evaluate it for usefulness for their campaigns. Graff said it is especially useful if you are targeting young women looking to get married, even if the wedding is not imminent. French commented on several non-profits, like the World Wildlife Foundation, using it successfully. She also said many men are on Pinterst talking about technology.
Pictured above are the PRSA-NCC panel on Communicating the Experience: Heather Freeman, Heather Freeman Media and Public Relations, moderator; Garrett Graff, editor-in-chief, Washingtonian; Amy McKeever, editor, Eater; Vanessa French, co-founder, Pivot Point Communications; and Carlisle Campbell, vice president, Ketchum.