Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge in their book “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations” talk about PR in the era of socialized media and that PR needs a fusion with Internet marketing, web market intelligence and engaging in conversations without speaking in messages.
I agree with their views about PR and also agree with views that social media is a channel and not a strategy.
So how do you fuse online marketing with PR?
Using CPRS’ RACE (research, analysis, communications and evaluation) formula here’s a framework to embed PR2.0 into strategies and tactics.
Research helps identify the action/ reaction required for a situation. For primary research think of using online tools such as surveymonkey.com or a combination of online surveys with focus groups or omnibus surveys. There are many web sources to conduct secondary research such as Goolge search, scribd, docstoc and creative commons.
Analysis is to make sense of the information collected in the research phase and helps form clear objectives and strategies. Templates can be a great way to frame your thinking and the Internet is full of free ones. Here’s one that has the SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) framework http://www.businessballs.com/swotanalysisfreetemplate.htm and another for audience analysis http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_07.htm.
As CPRS defines in its Accreditation Handbook “Communications is the action step of the public relations process … a two-way transmission”. Now with online channels there are more ways to communicate and it becomes a very effective platform for two-way. When thinking about communication channels and tactics don’t forget about blogs, forums, webinars, Linkedin discussion, Twitter, and Facebook; add these to in-person meetings, telephone calls, and email communications.
Evaluation is to measure the success of the program and to find the gaps. If you have a blog or forum, simply set up Google Analytics to track visitors, traffic sources, and keywords. This gives you both quantitative and qualitative. With social media you can use Radian 6 (paid) or socialmention.com (free) for measuring before, during and after programs.
At the end of the day our PR goals are about changing behaviour, attitudes, awareness or reputation. I believe adding PR2.0 into your mix gives you effective strategies and tactics.
To find out more about PR2.0, sign up to Brian Solis’ blog at http://www.briansolis.com/.
For more information about CPRS’ RACE formula, go to www.cprs.ca/accreditation and download the handbook.
What do you think about online marketing and PR?