Facebook's branding power, celeb spokespeople, more

How can I use Facebook to build brand 'personality?'

How can I use Facebook to build brand ‘personality?'

Facebook has become a powerful tool for businesses to connect with customers. As a platform that both consumers and prospects can identify and interact with, Facebook can enhance an organization's personality, says Jeff Werner, communications director at WebVisible.

“Start by creating a profile, populating it with content... and keeping it current,” Werner says.

Connecting with friends and acquaintances and building a network is the next step. Then create a business “page,” which can be filled with a company description, videos, events, discussion forums, and links. Users can then become “Fans.”

“Like a subscriber base, a fan base is a great way to stay in touch [and] share information, advice, and special offers,” he says.

Newsroom connections
What are some ways to cope with lost newsroom connections?

As newsrooms adapt to the digital space, so does the art of relationship building between PR pros and the media.

“Now it can be tougher to get through to a segment producer you've worked with... or pitch a story to a reporter you've known,” says Kerri Erb, SVP and director of media services at Wheatley & Timmons. “Yet PR professionals still have client partners who rely on them to secure editorial coverage of their brand.”

PR and media must embrace digital to stay relevant, so Erb suggests starting a blog or Twitter feed.

“It won't be long before we stop segmenting media as ‘traditional' and ‘digital,'” she says.

The economy will eventually turn around, and journalists and PR pros who are willing to embrace the changes will thrive. Journalists are the checks and balances of our society, and the transparent conversations taking place online should be an enticing place for us to be, Erb adds.

Celebrity spokespeople
What makes a good celebrity spokesperson?

A good celebrity spokesperson must have credibility, capability, and motivation.

“Celebrity spokespersons must have a credible connection with the brand or messaging, and not just be there because they were paid the right amount,” says Rita Tateel, president of The Celebrity Source. “The spokesperson also needs the capability to deliver the message points within the context of the delivery system.”

Not every celebrity can speak without a script. A radio media tour might be OK for those who require scripting, but maybe not a TV talk show.

“Consumer trust is important in today's climate,” Tateel says. “Spokespersons must be motivated by factors other than money for a PR... campaign to be effective.”

The bottom line is, a good spokesperson must have a credible connection to the message, the capability to deliver that message, and motivation to participate beyond what he or she is paid.

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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