Vancouver PR Agency

We’re big fans of Chris Brogan. He has a down-to-earth approach to marketing and he isn’t afraid to say what he thinks, even if it isn’t the most popular opinion. He has an interesting blog post on location-based social media applications. This created a bit of discussion in our Vancouver PR agency.

AHA Take

Overall, consensus is that we can’t quite find the business use for these location-based social media applications yet. At this point, I can’t think of any of our clients that would benefit. We don’t have any retail clients at the moment and will look much closer at these tools when we do.

On Friday afternoons (especially in the summer), we like to slow down and engage in discussion on how we can provide additional value for clients through new approaches. We don’t bill this time to our clients, it’s just us taking something like Foursquare and having a brainstorm on how it might be used for a client. It lets us get our creative juices flowing and it lets us think out of the box – sometimes way out of the box!

There are times when this brainstorming leads to something that benefits a client and there are times when we just keep hitting dead ends. I think hitting the dead ends is valuable. Knowing what doesn’t work is as important as knowing what works, in my opinion.

What’s your take? Are location-based social media applications something you would use – either personally or professionally?

Read more

AHA - Vancouver PR Agency

AHA Take

We had the opportunity recently to speak with Glen Korstrom of Business in Vancouver about the impact that social media has had on the world of public relations. In fact, we’re quoted in his article this week. (You need a subscription to read the piece online.) We were thrilled that we were quoted as a thriving Vancouver PR agency that has embraced social media as a part of our offering.

[caption id="attachment_2517" align="alignright" width="240" caption="AHA - We're not afraid to get our feet wet!"]AHA - Vancouver PR Agency[/caption]

I wanted to share a little more of what we discussed. As mentioned in the article, while there are many who do think that the business model for PR is broken, I’m not one of them. I think that it has evolved and that it had to change for many reasons, including social media, but it’s not broken. And let’s keep in mind that we’re talking about the business model here, not the actual work that PR people or communicators undertake on behalf of their clients. How we, as PR agencies, run our businesses and make a profit has had to shift. And for our part, we began shifting years ago and it’s been a positive move for us. We saw the evolution of the business of PR as an opportunity for AHA.

As for the work that we do as communicators, in my opinion, social media has provided us with additional tools and opportunities. But at the core of it all – and I know you’ve heard me say this before – it is strategy. In fact, social media has provided the opportunity to authentically connect with stakeholders in a way that even five years ago, we never dreamed would be possible. Social media is only one component of a communicator’s toolkit and I think it’s important to keep that in mind.

[caption id="attachment_2518" align="alignright" width="240" caption="AHA - Making a splash!"]AHA - Vancouver PR Agency[/caption]

I don’t think that it’s just social media that has changed the business model. I also think the recent recession had many organizations reviewing how they could get the most value out of their PR or communications budget. Smaller agencies like AHA provide clients with excellent service, we’re really good at what we do, we’re proactive and we’re incredibly responsive to client needs. AND at AHA, a partner works on every account. You don’t meet the senior team at the initial meeting and then get passed off to a more junior person. At the end of the day – in the middle and at the start of it – it’s Paul and I that are connected to the client. Don’t get me wrong; it’s definitely a team effort here. Depending on the project, different members of our crew are actively involved, but accountability and responsibility rest on my shoulders and on Paul’s. We are hearing more and more that this is important to clients and they like that they get top level skill sets with the client service that can only come from a small agency.

I know that we’re not for everyone. And that’s ok with us. The fact is, we choose our clients as carefully as they choose us. When we started AHA, we outlined who we want to be and how we want to spend our time at work. One of the biggest factors for us is that we wanted to find great clients – people who want to create a real partnership, see us as a valuable part of their team, and provide us with the same respect and consideration that we give them. And let me tell you, we have great clients!

Social media and technology have created the need for change in the business model of PR. And I have to say, given our record of success at this new model; we’re pretty excited about it!

What do you think, how has social media changed the business model for PR?

Read more

There is a great blog post on the Webbiquity blog that focuses on the questions to ask when you are developing a social media strategy. It says to “think like a reporter” and that’s good advice.

As a former reporter, I would like to add one more question: How? Once you go through the 5 Ws, then you have to ask yourself how you are going to achieve this. Defining a strategy and a plan is crucial, but you have to develop one that works for your organization. You need to make sure that you have the resources and the support necessary to execute, otherwise it’s just a really great plan that sits on a shelf or in a drawer.

How are you defining your social media strategy? Can you clearly answer the 5Ws and the H?

Read more
%d bloggers like this: