The world of public relations has come a long way. I grew up around PR. My parents are in the business. When I first started in the entertainment marketing business PR consisted of press releases, face-to-face story pitches, and PR events or stunts. Today, with the technology PR can and should be one of your most valuable assets.
If you handle PR for a show, event, or venue you should be busy every single day. You have so many options at your disposal that you should never just sit at your desk and play solitaire. Instead use that time to play in the social network world. You should always have your social network sites up on your screen where you are always deep in the trenches of your customer base.
I have become a recent fan of Twitter. This social site is perfect for all PR people. You can tweet all day in your social space about your brand. I search Twitter everyday looking for other Twitter members to follow (you can follow me too, I go by eventpromoter). I am always looking for people, shows, events, and venues from our world. To my surprise, I am still not finding that many. What is up with that? Twitter is the perfect PR tool. For example, I follow Starbucks. Why, not quite sure but I thought a big brand like them might be a good social experiment. I am not the only one following Starbucks. They have almost 30,000 followers. Think about this. You can send out any number of PR messages you want for free and your potential customer will see it. They want to see it. That is why they follow you. I also use Twitter to get to know a brand. For example, I am working on a wine cruise featuring wine guru Gary Vaynerchuk (by the way, he also has 30,000 Twitter followers). What goes with wine, but cheese of course. So, I am following Cabot Cheese. Everyday, I get messages from them. Each one tells me something new about them that I did not know before. That is good PR, don’t you think? Many brands conduct contests for their followers. What a perfect place to give away a few tickets.
I have discussed several times the use of Facebook. They already own the high school and college crowd. Now their fastest growing segment is the 30+ age group. Check out these stats: http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics. As a PR person, you should always be able to find your niche group to spin your story. If you are a sports team you have all kinds of groups for that team. If for some reason you don’t, then start one. The same goes for concerts, family shows, etc…
If you do your homework you will find all kinds and types of social sites. Many cater directly to your target demographic. If you are trying to reach moms then go to momslikeme http://www.momslikeme.com/. You can actually pick the state and city that you are trying to connect with. Want to reach the African American community? Join http://www.blackplanet.com/. They have over 15 million members! Want to reach the business community then you need to be part of LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com. Even if you are not trying to promote to the business world you need to join LinkedIn just to network for yourself.
Look at the world of blogs. More people are reading them everyday. You are reading one now. There are blogs for almost everything. Anyone can start a blog. If you handle PR for a venue, show, sports team, etc.. you should have a blog. What a perfect place to put all your press releases. You will be very surprised who and how many people will read it.
Next time your boss sees you just staring at your computer, tell him you are just playing the game of PR.