Friday, February 28, 2014

Have a story to tell? Be sure to include visuals.

By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Services, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

We live in a visual world. I was reminded of that just recently when I came across a piece about pitching TV news stations. 

As I read the story, I thought back to a recent conversation I had with a client about the visuals we could include as the client launched a new effort. We discussed providing some video to the TV stations to demonstrate what will be taking place.

But in today’s media world, you really shouldn’t limit that visual discussion to what you can provide to the TV media. Visuals, in the form of still photos, have always been important for the print media. But more and more newspapers today have adopted a multi-media approach to the news, providing photo galleries and video on their websites. You may even find an occasional radio reporter who pulls out his or her cell phone to videotape an event and post to the radio station’s website.

There’s no doubt that we live in a world that is more visual. Look at what is successful in the social media and even how social media platforms have changed to allow greater use of visuals. You don’t have to look any further than the two most popular on that front, Facebook and Twitter. The two keep evolving to give users more options with photos and video. Then add in the platforms that were created for visuals, such as YouTube, Instagram, SnapChat and more.

So the next time you have a story to tell, be sure to think about the visuals that you can use and the different ways you can deliver them to your targeted audiences.

Do you incorporate visuals in your outreach? What’s worked for you? 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Volunteers and Social Media

By: Kristen Paquet, Sr. Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

If you are part of an organization that works with volunteers on a regular basis, you probably have procedures in place for reviewing applications, doing background checks, scheduling, appreciation, reporting, etc. All of these are important tools to be able to retain and maintain a successful volunteer program.

It’s also important to consider social media use. Many organizations forget to think about the impact volunteers can have because they don’t have control over what a volunteer posts or says online. While this is true – it’s only true to an extent. It’s your responsibility as an organization to share your expectations of social media use with volunteers. This can be done with a social media policy that is reviewed and signed by volunteers.

When developing a policy, consider including the following:

  • Knowing who your audience is (its more than just their “friends”)
  • Understanding the difference between posting as a volunteer and posting as an individual (is there a difference?
  • Stating the protocol when it comes to sharing news of the organization
  • What should happen if a conversation gets out of control
  • What types of information is safe and encouraged to post
  • Using common sense: Can what I post do harm to the organization in any way? 
If you aren’t sure where to begin, I would suggest looking online and see what similar groups are doing. Or, if you belong to an industry or professional organization, ask them for assistance. Don’t think you have to reinvent the wheel. There are lots of resources to help.

Do you have a social media policy for volunteers? Any good tips to share or information to include? Please share!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sometimes social media is just for fun!

By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations 

As someone who works in the PR field, much of my social media work is just that; it’s for work. Love doing it, and love helping our clients, but we really don’t get to play around with it for fun. We’re always strategizing, reviewing and adjusting. That’s why this past week’s Facebook individual timeline movie made a great impression on me. It was just fun! No big meaning, no figuring out if the content was the right or if the graphics/video were interesting enough. If your own timeline movie was boring, well, it was your own fault because it was made up of what you’ve been posting since you joined Facebook. And, I have to say, I really didn’t view anyone’s timeline movie that was boring!

I know Facebook gets criticized a lot and often it’s deserved. I also know some people say Facebook is becoming irrelevant. But, judging by the sheer number of people who “produced” their timeline movies in the past week, I’d say there’s still a very strong following. (Yes, it’s an anecdotal observation; no scientific survey here.) The timeline movie really showcased what social media does best: getting us interested and talking and involved with each other. It’s what we love about it! And it reminded me how much fun it can be.