“New Dog, Same Tricks” unveiled at an EPPS Social Media workshop in Hollywood

photo of the panel

(L-R) Andy Weisser, Brian O'Neal, Dawn Wilcox and Henri Bolinger at EPPS ICG Union Local 600 sponsored social media workshop in Hollywood.

By Zooey Gold

Although the new social and digital media landscape is expanding at an overwhelming rate, successful publicity campaigns still rely on classic PR principles. That was the message at an Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS) and ICG Union Local 600 sponsored media workshop on social media.

Panelists included Moderator Sue Procko, Sue Procko Public Relations, Henri Bollinger, Henri Bollinger & Associates and EPPS president, Brian O’Neal, Brian O’Neal Public Relations, Andy Weisser, Communications and Public Relations Consultant and Dawn Wilcox, Allison+Partners. The panel talked about creating newsworthy content, distributing it to targeted media and adding value to the client’s business.

Each panelist discussed and illustrated their traditional and classic PR case studies from successful portfolios.

“The advent of social and digital media has not altered the purpose of PR,” explained Bollinger, Henry Bollinger Associates. “It simply provides new avenues to disseminate a clients’ message.”

Bollinger also noted that with so much clutter in this environment, it’s crucial to use professional tools more wisely.

Content is king

When it comes to content Brian O’Neal, of Brian O’Neal Public Relations said he, “specifically tailors content and makes it available to media outlets that might pick up on his story.” O’ Neal pointed out that this “allows him to retain control over the message that will be broadcast.” While working on Lindsay Buckingham’s solo project, for example, he created video content for Guitar World Online and similar websites so that bloggers and fans would not be directed to outdated videos found somewhere on the web.

Communications and Public Relations Consultant Andy Weisser emphasized the importance of crafting a strong message. “Beige” or watered down messages will reduce effectiveness by chasing away consumers already bombarded with information he told attendees.

“Don’t merely engage consumers – to add value you must meaningfully engage consumers,” said Weisser. “Hits on YouTube might reflect an impressive number, but an embedded video on your client’s website has the potential to lead to further transactions with your audience. Likewise, take additional steps to translate the number of Twitter followers you can gather into increased sales and revenue,” he advised.

Quality vs. Quantity

All panelists agreed with Dawn Wilcox, Allison + Partners in regards to finding key influencers, the PR pros recommended focusing on “quality over quantity.” When Wilcox had “10 days to recruit 100,000 volunteers for a Hasbro Toy drive,” she “targeted a narrow sub-sect of key influencers – celebrity moms – who would be able to raise awareness for such a project,” she said. Ultimately, she also exceeded her clients’ goals.

How to budget Social Media time

In final thoughts panelists end with the message that, “There will never be enough time in the day to consider all new media. Instead, prioritize your goals and narrow your efforts,” they said. For more about how to join EPPS visit: http://eppsonline.org. Please subscribe and share this article.

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