Social media took publicists by surprise, providing immense opportunities and significant challenges for many PR Pros, who are still trying to figure out how to measure success. About 150 PR Pros packed into ICG Union Local 600 auditorium, Hollywood, CA. this month (10-21-11) to sort it all out.
The seven member panelist included Dawn Wilcox, A&P, Tracy St. Pierre, NBC, Beth Braen, NATPE, Andrew Stachler, Warner Bros., Jenny Connelly and Laurel Whitcomb both of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. It was moderated by Rosalind Jarrett, the Screen Actors Guild Awards®.
One of the big concerns in social media is that business has only a small view of their social media marketing campaigns, and often have no clue of how something such as the rate of posting on Facebook might influence the amount money spent by first-time visitors. Or how retweets by an influential blogger might boost membership or awareness of a brand. Wilcox told the crowd unlike a year ago, social media has brought more accountability.
“It’s more challenging now, but it also now gives us the opportunity to be more strategic,” she said.
One hot button issue is how to respond to negative posts or comments on Facebook, Twitter, company websites or articles Online in the comment section. Most panelists agreed you can not ignore them, and Beth Braen, senior vice president marketing for NATPE said her nonprofit organization is committed to being a catalyst for the content revolution. Braen says NATPE engages visitors and encourages them to participate on its site.
Todd Beck, president of Beck Media & Marketing, LA agrees. He says don’t ignore the negative comments, but be careful responding until you’ve had a chance to analyze the motive or the reason for the posts.
Beck also noted that sometimes by taking the agitated visitor offline or sending a direct email or twitter message you can diffuse the situation.
Vice President Andrew Stachler of Interactive Marketing, Warner Bros. says at WB, despite cutbacks, the motion picture studio is careful what it posts, and recently “WB put one person in charge of social media,” he said.
“Think of Facebook to be used for marketing, and Twitter as a mini news releases,” NBC’s Tracy St. Pierre told the EPPS crowd.
NBC’s Tracy St. Pierre has worked on everything from daytime, primetime and late night to specials and made for TV movies. She continues to oversee campaigns for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Whitney” and the midseason drama “Awake.” Additionally, she works with her PR, marketing and digital teams at NBC to create and implement social media events for the network.
Panelist Dawn Wilcox, GM, A&P noted that the Social Media has changed the demands for new hires at her firm and she has seen noticeable progress in a technology difference just over the last year.
The growth of social media community is important from likes and comments on Facebook to retweets and direct messages on Twitter or Google+, a large amount of user activity on your company website shows not only you can engage your audience offline, but it also coverts those users on a path you have total control over – your website.
Once you bring in customers you also need to be consistent, aligning everything with your main goal- revenue.
The EPPS media workshops are usually the third Thursday of the month. For more visit: http://www.eppsonline.org.
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