Tag Archives: reputation

Why do I need public relations?

image-82

“Why does my company need PR?”

It’s a question I’ve seen more often than I’d like to admit. As an aspiring PR professional, it’s a love-hate relationship when it comes to answering this question. On one hand, my passion for the field makes me cringe at the thought of a company considering no form of public relations. On the other, I love answering this question because I can inform people on the impact PR strategies have on their bottom line goals.

This question may come from current business owners, to new entrepreneurs, as well as
students creating their own personal brand. The answers as to why may vary slightly, but the
overall intentions behind implementing PR strategies remain the same. Some may argue that you need to start the business before considering public relations. I’d make the argument that it’s never too soon to start protecting and building relationships with your stakeholders. After all, if you make the investment, why wouldn’t you want to do whatever it takes to maintain its reputation?

Here are a few of the main reasons why you need PR:

  • Reputation Management. This should be somewhat of a given. A large portion of hiring an in-house PR strategist or an outside agency is to help you manage your
    reputation as a business. Your business is only as good as the reputation it has among your most important stakeholders.
  • Crisis Communication. If/when negative comments arise around your company, the first person that will (hopefully) notice will be your PR manager. We’re trained to stay on top of the company’s performance and perception among the audiences. This includes dealing with a negative situation quickly and effectively if it arises.
  • Branding – one company, one voice. Public relations is also necessary for filling gaps caused by miscommunication. Whether it’s communication materials, or social media channels, public relations practitioners can assist in creating one unique voice for your brand. If your materials each convey a different message, you lose coherency as a brand, as well as your audiences’ understanding of your business. It’s important to keep your messaging consistent to ensure that everyone understands what it is you are offering.
  • Exposure and business development. The goal of public relations is to help you, or your company gain exposure among your audience. This includes building relationships with your stakeholders, as well as building the business in general. PR seeks to help you gain earned media that will contribute to meeting your overall objectives and build your
    company as a whole.

Why else do you think a company needs PR? Tweet me with your ideas @Sam__Dickson!

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 8.48.27 PM

Think Before You Schedule: when tweeting ahead sets you behind.

image-49

   “Twitter is not a technology. It’s a conversation. And it’s
happening with or without you.” – @charleneli Co-author, Groundswell

Remember in school when all your teachers use to say, “Always make sure you plan ahead!” or my personal favorite, “Don’t forget to write this in your agenda!” Well, I want you take that advice and put it on the shelf for a second. Forget all the times when you were told that scheduling or planning things in advance is always a good idea.

Enter the scheduled tweet. There are numerous debates surrounding the issue of scheduled tweets. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the Twitter world, corporations, bloggers, and other social media addicts have the ability to use a third-party platform to schedule specific times for releasing a tweet. Why would they, you ask? Excellent question.

For the communications person on the other end of that twitter page, daily life in the office might be a bit chaotic. When it comes time for releasing a blog post, or sending out a reminder regarding the launch of a new product, sometimes a company will try to save time by scheduling a tweet. Supporters of the scheduled tweet believe that it’s time effective, and they can hit peak hours to drive traffic to their website.

Of course, this is quite a debated topic. In an effort to not remain on the fence for this issue, here is why I think scheduling tweets is never a good idea:

  • You lose personal contact. Twitter was created as a method for communicating in real-time. The inherent structure of the platform is set up as a “live-feed” through which individuals can interact with other users. Scheduling tweets removes the personal from the platform.
  • It’s not a secret, and you will be caught. More often than not, an avid twitter user can spot a scheduled tweet in an instant. If you’re looking to drive conversation between your target audience and your products/services, scheduling tweets will only make your company seem robotic.
  • The awkwardly placed tweet amidst a crisis. On multiple occasions, corporations have been caught in the middle of a crisis with an oddly placed tweet. Note: if you’ve schedule tweets, be aware of what’s going on in the news and remember when you have a tweet set for release.
  • It can, and will tarnish your reputation. Many companies have been caught amidst a crisis with poor timing and language. The insensitivity towards current events due to a scheduled tweet will not be a legitimate excuse for your public audience.

I decided to cover this topic mainly because it was prevalent in the news this past week. Also, it will remain a hotly debated topic for as long as Twitter exists. In order to avoid insensitive remarks due to untimely tweets, I urge you to use Twitter like an ongoing conversation.

What are your thoughts on scheduling tweets? Join in on the debate by sounding off below, or join in on the conversation via Twitter @Sam__Dickson

- S.