Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Something to Sink Your Teeth Into

FIFA World Cup 2014 logo.
FIFA World Cup 2014 logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

No matter if you have been watching the World Cup or not, my guess is that in the last 24-hours, you have heard the name Luis Suarez. The Uruguay player made overnight headlines by allegedly biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during yesterday’s match up. And while the refs on the field didn’t call anything, the cameras captured it all. FIFA has now charged Suarez with assaulting an opponent and a determination on what will happen to Suarez should be released later today.

Once again, social media took its hold. As ABC News reported, before the game, Suarez was mentioned on Twitter about 100,000 times. After the bite seen round the world, his name mention grew to more than 2 million overnight. Pithy comments and jokes were everywhere on social media and it didn’t take long for a Google search of Suarez’s name to bring up pages of blog posts and media reports.

So with all of this instant impact, I find myself wondering whether Twitter’s voice won’t be an influencing factor going into today’s hearing. How could you have avoided it, really? Granted, Suarez dug his own hole; this is the third time he has been called out for biting another player so he probably has what’s coming to him in terms of future playing time. But, if last night’s bite wouldn’t have been on the Word Cup stage, it probably wouldn’t have gotten the play on Twitter that it did. And if that was the case, would FIFA have been so swift to take action?

To me this is an example of not just the reach of social media, but the potential power it has. If enough people voice the same thought (experts and laymen alike), what kind of influence can it truly have? I’m not talking about a few upset customers who complain to a certain brand to get a product changed or fixed, I’m talking about real influence. In this case, will social media’s reaction to Suarez’s actions influence whether he continues to play or not? Now we are talking about social’s influence on one person.

So has social media condemned Suarez before FIFA can? What do you think? Share your thoughts!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Reenergize your social media

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

If you’ve been dong social media for a long time, it’s easy to get in rut. Telltale signs: Your posts are not attention getting. You’re not generating or sharing new content.  The number of hours or days between posts keeps getting longer. Visuals are just “too much work” to add to your posts. You’re not stimulating much conversation among your followers. You haven’t updated your profile or company profile in months. Does it sound like you?

Well, summer is the perfect time to reenergize your approach to social media. Grab a couple of co-workers or friends, set up a few lawn chairs outside, and start talking about what you’re doing and why. What was your original goal of using social media? Who is your target audience? Has it changed? Have you been keeping up with the trends in social media?  Have you been keeping up with the news in general?

An informal brainstorming session in the great outdoors can be a fun solution to a case of the social media blahs. You’ll undoubtedly come up with at least a few good ideas – and probably some that you’ll laugh about for months. Either way, it’s a win for your social media efforts and your team. Plus, you get to enjoy a little sunshine during the work day. Nothing wrong with that!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Four tips to stay in check with your communications plan

By: Angela Raleigh, Senior Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

You go to the doctor and you change the oil in your car, right? Well then, why not complete a PR
checkup too?

It’s more important than ever to manage conversations and determine if your company is on target with your communications plan or if your plan could be a bit healthier. If you have a PR plan in place, take time to diagnose your existing PR needs based on your previous campaigns and future goals by doing the following:

  • First, review your goals and objectives so you can make sure that what you are saying, and how you say it, reflects what you’re trying to achieve.
  • Second, determine what has worked and what didn’t work. Whether it’s social media, traditional media relations, or community outreach, take a few moments to look back and evaluate how your activities played out.
  • Third, identify opportunities that might occur in the coming months, such as major milestones, product launches or new service offerings. You can then develop a list of action items to organize activities that will enable you to achieve your objectives.
  • Finally, be flexible and willing to change your PR activities to meet new needs. Planning and reviewing your PR strategy now will not only help generate new ideas and opportunities, it’ll give you guidelines for daily activities.
If you haven’t created a PR plan, this is a great time to review past PR efforts and develop a plan to meet your PR goals. If you don’t have the time to put together a complete plan, at least put your goals and objectives in writing so you can refer back to them and evaluate your success.

Remember, while PR plans are subject to change, planning ahead enables your business to stick to your overall goals and maintain a healthy business focus.