Social media helps bring your stories to life

November 10th, 2009 by Megan McKenzie

PR and social media programs thrive on content. Compelling, content-rich communications programs aligned with strategic objectives – and yes sales objectives – can be the glue that binds your company together during a time of crisis, such as the ongoing recession. Clear, open two-way channels of communication keep your customers and prospects on board while giving you vital feedback to assist in managing through the crisis.

The compelling content and stories are there. Every organization has great products and human interest angles in abundance. The trick is to track down this content and put it to use.  With social media, this content can be turned into a powerful ally in the quest to maintain revenue. It also puts you in control of your message and gives you the ability to put up information according to your timetables.

Take a customer success story. Traditionally, you might write up a dry piece of collateral, post it on your Web site and maybe push out a press release. With social media, it can be much more than that. Customer stories can be brought to life as videos on YouTube, podcasts that you post on an iTunes and used as the basis for insightful

Social media lets you take a multi-faceted approach to communications.

Social media lets you take a multi-faceted approach to communications.

blog postings. The content can also be used for email pushes to prospects or turned into testimonials that help sales teams close deals. What’s more the PR team can use the customer stories to drive media coverage, both in traditional print and online publications, and on blogs, further boosting visibility.

A successful, multi-faceted public relations and social media approach like this moves your business forward quickly. The results can be tracked and a measurable return on investment demonstrated.  When stakes are high and business survival is on the line, every fiber of the organization must be focused on moving forward. Your marketing and communications programs are no exception and you should carefully evaluate everything that doesn’t contribute to the bottom line in a definable way.

It is also well understood that social media and PR programs are powerful, cost-effective brand builders. A strategic communications program can do more than just generate leads. In the course of generating leads it’s also boosting awareness and differentiating your products and services from competitors. Done right, you will not only glide through the downturn, but you will be poised to surge ahead when the timing is right.

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