Using Twitter in PR work, PSAs in the election, more

It is a good idea to occasionally pass on information in a straightforward way about major client announcements, or client coverage that you think your Twitter followers will find appealing, says Margaret Clark, account executive at Shift Communications.

Twitter
How much should I incorporate Twitter into my PR work?
It is a good idea to occasionally pass on information in a straightforward way about major client announcements, or client coverage that you think your Twitter followers will find appealing, says Margaret Clark, account executive at Shift Communications.

"However, shy away from only updating your Twitter account when your clients have new announcements," she says.

Twitter is extremely transparent, so people who only use it to update their followers on client-related news, or touch base with media solely when they have a pitch or press release, will be quickly dismissed, Clark adds.

"Twitter can be a great tool when used effectively to help humanize you and contradict negative association of PR people," she says. "So use it to position yourself as a reliable resource, and don't be afraid to use it as a fun social tool as well."

PSAs
Will PSA usage be affected by the upcoming elections?

"PSAs air in unsold ad space, so it makes sense that a glut of election ads might diminish inventory, leaving less time for PSAs," says Annette Minkalis, SVP at WestGlen Communications. "But it's not a complete washout."

In an April WestGlen survey of TV stations, 74% said the elections would impact PSA avails, but there are other factors to consider.

"When giant advertisers, like GM, announce major ad spending cuts, it opens up more inventory," she says.

In our survey of radio stations, 83% said they expected no impact, so be sure to include radio as part of your package, Minkalis adds.

"While there might be reduced avails for television beginning mid-September through November, it doesn't mean no avails," she says. "Plus usage generally starts a huge upward curve starting mid-December, when holiday ads wind down."

Media measurement
In what ways are media measurement tools important?
Corporations, foundations, and agencies can all find media measurement to be valuable for both for tactical and strategic purposes, says Albert J. Barr, CEO and founder of Carma International.

With the demand for greater accountability and real metrics to measure the effectiveness of campaigns, media measurement tools should be integrated into the work of many communications pros, Barr says.

Sometimes, clients choose to use media measurement and evaluation tools as a report card to assess whether the ROI of a PR program is valid on an ongoing basis or at various checkpoints. "This provides a way to decide whether some midcourse adjustments make sense," he adds.

Whether for benchmarking, tracking, or as a way to develop and adjust strategy, media analysis has definitely expanded in terms of breadth and depth of users.

Send your questions to:
toolbox@prweek.com. Please contact Beth Krietsch if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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