Isn’t life easier in a company when the senior leadership is supportive of the plan? My point here is that when you enrol the C-Suite in social media, the job of the communicator is almost free of hassles. Once the c-suite sees the tremendous value and impact for their business, they will ensure that there are appropriate resources to deploy these strategic communication tools. Public Relations and social media together can have a tremendous impact on a brand or company profile. After all, they are in charge of the art of communication.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the Seneca Media classes February 13th. They are graduate students in pursuit of a certificate in Public Relations and Social Media. These are the communicators of our future. I was stressing the importance of social media and public relations teams, within an organization, to ensure that the senior leadership embraces the power of their work.
The headlines of my presentation were intended to provide some coaching to these up and coming professionals. I suggested some ways of they might successfully enrol and engage senior leaders in their company, with social media and public relations. Social media and public relations should be regarded as valued practices and assets within the marketing mix.
CEO Support a Clincher
If you can become top of mind with the CEO or head of a business, your work will be that much easier. With a CEO supportive of social media and public relations in the mix, the rest of management and the organization will quickly align. CEO’s that value the impact of social media and public relations are no doubt witnessing strong consumer relations and enhanced brand loyalty. CEO’s that take an active role in social networks themselves will experience the power of these networks. We know from the latest Signal Communication Leadership CEO index that Canadian CEO’s are really just beginning to embrace the networks, let alone the value. The goods news is that the communications team can coach and counsel members of the leadership team to impactful social networking for the business.
A Senior Leader “sponsor”
A senior leader within the organization, leading the department that houses social media and PR, will also make a huge difference. A strong voice fighting for inclusion of social and PR, will help entrench the agenda within an organization. This will help raise profile and understanding throughout an organization. Social media and PR cannot be seen as add-ons. They cannot be there only in case of emergency. They must be seen and utilized as communication assets ongoing entrenched in the sales and marketing strategies.
Strategic Benefit Understood
Some might view social as tactical. I view it as strategically tactical. Social Media and Public Relations must be seen and understood as strategic, within the communications strategy of a brand and business.
Perhaps it is core to the brand’s voice in the market.
Perhaps it is critical in leading, protecting and reinforcing corporate reputation.
Perhaps it is a critical channel with which to support direct to consumer relations.
Or, all three of the areas of brand and business strength can be supported by a strategic plan in social media and public relations. The wonderful world of social media has so many analytics available now. There are rich and robust data and tracking platforms. This is not a subjective call. Communicators; you can prove yourself with objective analytic proof. Go for it!
Social Role Defined and Supported
Social Media needs to have a clear role in the mix of marketing and sales. It can play a clear role, as the voice and face of a brand and business. Once that role is defined, the business must then invest in the assets; like they invest in other media assets. Social media voice is as important as an advertising buy. View it as “media”, just as you would view print, television, radio, outdoor and in the home. It is “media” – be sure that its role is defined and supported.
Part of the Marketing Mix
Social media deserves a box on the checklist, like all other aspects and elements of the marketing mix. Social media can play a critical and leading role in Product – Place – Price and Promotion. Don’t let social media become that eleventh-hour consideration. Don’t let social media only become important when that negative tweet is thrown your way and someone happens to stumble across it. Put effective monitoring and listening in place. Lead the conversation for the brand and business in social networks. That clearly puts social media and PR in play, as part of the marketing mix.
Keep it Top of Mind
PR folks need to practice what they preach. PR folks need to tell their story, show the results internally, build alliances, create stories of success and show the value that they bring to the brand and organization. The marketing folks will showcase their new ads. The sales folks will highlight sales. The supply chain team will show the new innovations. Step it up communicators! By showing your accomplishments you will be sure to have continued investment and belief in your efforts.
If these variables are taken seriously, I truly believe that you will find those senior leaders in your organization and the C-Suite value social media. You will be demonstrating impact and value in the mix of the business.
Wishing communicators of the future much success. C-Suite executives…be proud and glad you have them.
Cheers ! @FergDevins @DevinsNetwork