We talked to PR experts of our partner agencies around the world about the influence of social and digital media in their daily PR work. This week our GCPR Blog team talked to Manon Aubert, of or French agency partner Point Virgule & Co.
1. What status do social and digital media have in your daily PR work?
Our digital services focus mainly on ePR, i.e. the relations with bloggers, and the Community Management on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. We also work with partners to provide a wide range of additional digital services for websites, blogs, e-mailing, videos…
We support our clients with an appropriate mix of traditional PR and social media communications, which of course can differentiate in regard to their activity frame and target market. For example, despite the request of some, we do not advise ePR for strictly B2B businesses such as IT companies for the Franch market, as there are not so many blogs covering these fields. In that case we recommend a traditional PR approach. In contrast for B2C brands like cosmetic or for clients concerned by ecological issues, we can create a great synergy between journalists, bloggers, and social communities (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube…).
What is interesting in the e-PR approach, is that we are addressing bloggers which are not working in communication. They dedicate an average of about 3 hours per week to their blog, and cannot be bothered with inappropriate information. We have to create a more personalized speech and favour their engagement towards our clients.
2. Do you use social networking in your PR and communications work?
All of our consultants are on networks like LinkedIn (and Viadeo, its French equivalent) and social networks like Facebook, with a professional use of course! Most of them also have a Twitter account with which we can both broadcast and amplify our topics, but also link and get in touch with journalists and bloggers. Amongst the latest, there are industry experts, editors, influencers, and following them on Twitter can give us ideas on their interests and can be a very efficient way for informal contacts.
We will soon release our own Facebook page with several goals: communicate on our know-how, focus on certain innovating operations, relay interesting news and initiatives in the digital world, and of course create a dialogue with our clients, prospects and our main contacts: the journalists.
3. What would you see as most recent innovation in the field of PR?
We think that brand content will be the next big challenge. More and more brands have their own corporate media or communication channels and display their own contents, especially online on Facebook, blogs, even specialized websites. The traditional brand > press officer > journalist relation is put upside down and often consumers don’t even see the difference.
Our profession will have to evolve to support our clients in these new content strategies that come in addition to the traditional PR. PR agencies have to develop wider skills that embrace content strategy and production, not only texts but videos, games… and most of those new actions will take place online.
This allows us to create taylor-made contents to focus on a more engaged audience for our B2B and B2C clients. It also improves their recognition with much more qualified target groups. In fact, incorporate the digital media in a communication strategy is answering the marketing goals of our clients, but also improving their business objectives.
The irruption of the digital world is an opportunity to bring new ideas and innovation. The boundaries between professional media / personal media / brand media will become thinner. In order to serve our clients we are constantly working on new approaches, like using content recommendation platforms, creating think-tanks with bloggers, involving opinion leaders on Facebook…