Week 5: A Conversation with Guest Speakers Siobhan O’Neil and Jeremy Pepper

Amanda Morgan

Amanda Morgan

By UCLA X425 Student Amanda Morgan

Top 10 Social Media Tips for PR Professionals

Siobhan O’Neil, @angelcityblues, and Jeremy Pepper, @jspepper, came to visit our class recently to discuss their professional experiences blogging and working with bloggers.

Siobhan O’Neil

Siobhan O’Neil

Siobhan began the conversation by taking a class “roomie” and introducing herself. She specializes in working with digital and food-related clients at Edelman, bridging the gap between traditional and digital PR. Jeremy uses his 17 years of PR experience to consult with social and traditional media companies.

Roomie:

instagram pic

Jeremy Pepper

Jeremy Pepper

Jeremy and Siobhan had much to impart, but below are the “Top 10” best PR and marketing tips they shared with the class:

  1. Best Practice Do not send anything privately that you wouldn’t want on the front page of the New York Times.
  2. Social Media Disclosure Bloggers must disclose when they are writing a sponsored post, and it’s best to post sponsored tweets using the hashtag #ad. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may impose a fine on bloggers for non-disclosure.
  3. Don’t “Spray and Pray” Some PR agencies send story pitches to thousands of bloggers at once. A better approach is to start with a top 100 list and perform some research. Read each blog and review its social media footprint to understand each bloggers editorial focus and style before pitching.
  4. Be a Blogger Outreach Pro GroupHigh is a blogger outreach and marketing software platform that can be used to identify individual bloggers in a particular niche. It also provides their social media statistics (read more about GroupHigh).
  5. Secure the Right Coverage Working with bloggers can be a collaborative process. It’s best to approach bloggers who have a style that speaks to your target audience. Always try to personalize your pitch and work to establish a relationship.
  6. Build a Rapport Respect bloggers and understand their motivations. Don’t try to apply undue influence on how they cover your story.
  7. Play Nice In the age of social media, excellent customer service can be the best PR you’ll ever have. Engage with your social media following, and be responsive.
  8. Wait it Out Negative comments and opinions are bound to pop up online. It is sometimes best to wait it out before making a public response. Other rational people online, including fans of your brand, may put the negative commenter in line for you.
  9. Take it Offline There will always be a “haters club” on social media platforms. When the issue is complicated, suggest an appropriate action and be pragmatic. Encourage the negative or questioning commenter to call you, visit your website, follow you so you can DM him/her, etc. Bottom line: redirect the issue offline.
  10. Take the Time to Read PR is all about research. Don’t be lazy.

 

 

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