Today our series is featuring Stephen P. D’Alessandro, Managing Director at CREDAL Business Consulting, GlobalCom PR Network’s partner agency in Malta who provided us with some insights regarding their local PR practices and regional trends.
1. What status do social and digital media have in your daily PR work?
Locally, there is a growing awareness of the importance of social and digital media as tools in an integrated marketing and PR campaign across the different sectors, particularly in the professional services sector. In this sector, there is strong competition for resources, and the use of these tools is particularly noticeable. Rather than these being considered as ‘extras’ to a campaign, we are now seeing many sectors such as fig retail, automotive, luxury brands, build marketing campaigns focused on the latter with the traditional media reinforcing the context of the campaign. Consequently, the status of social media is rather high at this point, as it is the focus of much attention by so many organizations which are now trying to use them and make up for lost ground.
2. Do you use social networking in your PR and communications work?
Yes, we do use social media in our PR and communications work. They are being used primarily for three reasons. The main use is to reinforce the brand. By getting suitable members of staff to comment and participate in these arenas we are able to assist clients in fine-tuning their advertising and PR messages to very specific customer groups. The second use is to promote events and activities to very specific groups. Again, on the basis of the development of more focused interest groups, these tools enable us to assist clients in promoting specific events, such as open-days, public seminars, fora, etc. Thirdly we use it as a tool to promote recruitment initiatives within very specific groups, enabling us to assist clients in promoting specific job positions to very specific audiences.
3. What would you see as most recent innovation in the field of PR?
It would seem that the most recent innovation in the field of PR that our firm is involved in is the use of on-line learning centres to develop and promote a firm’s expertise. In conjunction with our sister company E-Business Systems, which developed and operates the platform, we can assist clients in developing knowledge-share sites that allow them to provide access, open or restricted access, to their experts and shared collective expertise. By linking audio-visual presentations, live video-conferencing, and all sorts of support materials, the knowledge-share site serves to demonstrate the competencies and expertise of the firm. Apart from being a very powerful platform for train-the-trainer situations, it is a fantastic PR tool for key client accounts. It serves as a basis for extending collaboration through the development of shared on-line tools and resources and builds additional links and channels between a company and its clients at many different levels. This is particularly useful in the B2B arena.