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Huddersfield 13/14 PR Lecture

Social media in PR

Richard Jones

on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of Huddersfield 13/14 PR Lecture

Social media in PR
Today's lecture
Contact me
Email: R.L.Williams-Jones@hud.ac.uk
Twitter: @rlwjones
Blog: richardjonesjournalist.com
Office: JM3/08
Office hours: Wednesday 3-5pm,
Thursday 1-2pm
Social media channels
Marketing PR and social media
Crisis management and PR disasters
Social media channels
Crisis management
'Marketing PR' and social media
Marketing Public Relations is a term which means PR activities designed to support marketing aims.
Marketing PR is about creating a buzz around a product by encouraging people between the brand and the consumer - the traditional media, new media, or individuals on social media - to voluntarily be positive about it. (Papasolomou & Melanthiou, 2012)
When it comes to creating a buzz, social media can be pretty useful.
Case study: the battle for Christmas
The marketing aim of all this is to create the idea that John Lewis is THE place to do your Christmas shopping. The different PR activity surrounding the main advert is about building that buzz.
You all know that social media is big, and getting bigger. But it's worth putting a few numbers on it.
There's nothing new about retailers making a big marketing push at Christmas.
A big budget TV advert remains the centrepiece of these campaigns.
But what's new is all the PR that goes on around it, including the traditional media, new media and social media.
53% of adults 'second screen' while watching TV at least once a week (Ofcom).
Twitter says 40% of its evening tweets are TV related.
Facebook has 24 million
users in the UK.
Twitter has 15 million
users in the UK.
YouTube is the most popular brand among young people in the UK. Around the world, 6 billion hours of YouTube videos are watched every month.
49% of adults take part in unrelated media activities while watching TV, such as games (Ofcom).
25% of adults second screen to interact in some way with what they're watching on TV (Ofcom).
23% of adults use YouTube every week. That goes up to 48% among 18-24s (YouGov).
20% of all TV viewing is now done online. The figure is 35% among 15-24s (BARB).
The important thing about all these stats: social networks are far too big for PR professionals to ignore. Any PR activity can no longer just focus on traditional media.
(Not unrelated: Candy Crush has now passed 500m downloads)
But social media isn't just there in the good times. Brands face challenges when something goes wrong.
But not engaging can be just as bad for your brand's reputation. For a long time, Manchester's Metrolink trams had no Twitter presence.
But there was a lot of negative comment on Twitter about the service.
Last week, Metrolink finally got on Twitter for real.
Social media doesn't like a vacuum. So if you're not doing it, you can bet that someone else will be.
What are the potential pitfalls of that?
Northern Rail has a much better track record on social media.
That doesn't stop people complaining.
But crucially, someone can quickly correct anything wrong before it causes a problem.
Having real people doing your social media is essential. Otherwise it's just not, well, very social.
But what are the potential problems with this approach?
But not everyone sees a Twitter storm as a bad thing.
But an imaginative PR team can turn negative commentary on social media into an opportunity,
Although not everyone is as original as that.
And in the quest for Facebook likes, it's all too easy for a brand to come over badly.
If I had to sum all this up in a sentence: brands have got to be on social media. But getting positive PR and avoiding pitfalls is harder than it looks.
Of course, John Lewis aren't the only ones doing this.
You've seen those adverts on TV too. But the John Lewis one has created by far the most buzz.
Not all brands can plan that sort of advertising and PR push. But you don't always need something expensive and new.
Full transcript