Spring 2009     News, tidbits and thoughts on improving electronic communications www.pwrnewmedia.com
10 Tips for Plugging Yourself into the Conversation

networkingThe new media world can simply be viewed as a world where conversations are enabled—conversations between new people, across any distance, at any time, with thought-leaders new and old, between and within multiple interest groups, and through new and innovative technologies that engage our minds, ears, eyes (and who knows, next it could be noses!). The conversation is happening all around you and whether you’re a marketing guru, a PR pro, or small business owner there are multiple ways to plug yourself in!

Check out our list of 10 things we would suggest you consider in order to plug yourself, your organization and your clients into the conversation:

  1. Add digital content to your releases. With the shift to a more digital news format, journalists and bloggers are looking for web content so include web friendly elements—video with embed codes, Sprout Builders, and a selection of images for example.

  2. ptaAdd your social media footprint to everything you do. If your brand has a social media identity on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Linked-In, for example, create a graphic footprint with links to your pages and add it to your releases, your newsletters, and your newsroom so your recipients, journalists, bloggers and others can easily follow you. (See sample that National PTA uses on the right.)

  3. Digitize your newsroom. Make sure your newsroom has easy to find, grab and use digital content—downloadable images, video with embed codes, podcasts and contact links are a few must-haves in the digital age.

  4. Use your e-newsletter to cross-pollinate your efforts.  Ask your recipients to become your friends, invite your followers to join your list, highlight the best of your blog in your newsletter and incorporate interactive elements so your readers can share their thoughts.

  5. Use blogs. Creating your own blog is a great idea, but also consider creating and incorporating topic specific blogs to include in evites, releases or anywhere else you want to enable immediate interactive communications.

  6. Add social media bookmarks to your digital collateral. Make it handy for your recipients to archive and share your info by dropping bookmarks (and forward to friend links) onto all your digital collateral.

  7. Spread the conversation. Experiment with sharing information by joining communities such as SlideBoom and Viddler or try incorporating hash-tags to better enable your information to spread.

  8. Monitor the conversation. Find out what others are saying about your brand by listening via sources such as Google Alert and Twitter Search.

  9. Build relationships! Follow, engage, listen and respond. The idea behind social sites, best email practices, blogs and other growing communications tools is to create and grow networks and share information. If you are involved in social media, for example, it is important to follow people back, respond to specific questions or queries and engage with your audience. A brand with hundreds of Twitter followers that isn’t following anyone back, for example, conveys the idea they don’t want to listen. So be sure you understand the etiquette of any new community you join.

  10. Don’t forget that content is still king. These fun-filled and innovative bells and whistles are, above all else, new tools to better enable a skill as old as time itself—communication. But no graphic or clever technology can take the place of great content so be sure you’re creating and sharing information your recipients are genuinely interested in.

Those are a few tips we’ve seen clients use successfully. Have some you want to brag about? Share with us and we’ll pass it on…