AHA

I had the opportunity recently to co-facilitate a three-day planning session with Della Smith (who I am proud to call my colleague, mentor and friend). The participants for this session were a diverse group of smart professionals who sit on council as well as the organization’s senior staff.

One of the components of the session was a short overview on social media that Della and I presented to the group. It was very interesting. This is a field that hasn’t really embraced social media as much as some others and I have to admit I had some concerns about whether or not they would find it of interest.

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There is a good piece on Mashable.com on How To: Use Social Media In Your PR Pitch Plan. In your organization, whether you are the communications person or not – we are in a time of change. The challenge is that we’re not all at the same spot yet. There are many people who have embraced social media, many who are looking at it but not quite sure yet, and others who are either fearful or in complete denial. Some of those in denial have decided they are going to completely ignore the conversations happening online and others have decided to use the technology and tools, but are still going about it in a traditional way. And, that just doesn’t work.

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We have regular production meetings at AHA and during today’s briefing, it hit me that public relations is a different profession today than it was even a year ago. Technology, specifically online technology, has changed how we do our job.

At AHA, we have always approached the publicity and media relations component of what we do much as a media outlet would. We have regular story meetings, we hold our ideas up to scrutiny and we review each pitch through the eyes of the specific journalist and media outlet that we are approaching. We have a focus on acting (as much as possible) like a newsroom would when it comes to clearly identifying the news value and the heart of the story before we take it to media.

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The Idea Grove, a Dallas-based PR agency has released an assessment quiz designed to help corporate communicators determine whether their PR agency is doing a good job for them. It’s worth a read – for both clients and those of us in agencies.

We circulated the link here at AHA and I think I might frame it and put it up over my desk. This quiz has great questions that anyone working with an agency should ask themselves and that agencies should review to make sure that they are excelling.

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At AHA, we’re often asked what the value is of social media and what the ROI will be for the organization. It’s a valid question and one that should be answered before any organization jumps into social media. We say it time and time again, while we believe that everyone should know what is being said online about their organization, their competitors, their field, their industry – not every organization should necessarily be participating. For some, there may not be any ROI.

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