Traditonal PR with a touch of social media

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Launching a social media marketing campaign in concert with a traditional media campaign, such as press releases, is a great idea. I’ve seen a few others touch on this subject in the past with the latest being Scott from SEOmoz, who talks about creating a Digg campaign to compliment a client’s traditional PR campaign.
While I agree with Scott, it also depends on the audience you’re trying to target. For example, if you’re targeting housewives, Digg is obviously not the right place for you to launch a viral campaign. I think the most important thing is to know who your audience is and how to reach them via social media. Otherwise there’s really no point in attempting something like this.
Digg is great, don’t get me wrong, but unfortunately you can only reach a certain demographic through it. I think it’s important to think about your target audience / demographic as you move forward with any social media marketing campaign.
One commenter, Michael Visser mentions the fact that “Until solid stats and risks can be calculated many agencies will avoid this sector.”
I think that Michael makes a strong point here that I agree with completely. Measurable statistics and risk factors need to be determined for any social media campaign and clients need to be prepared for what they are getting into. Because social media marketing has only been recently defined, I think it will be some time before this type of measurable information is standardized. My guess is that as this newly defined marketing tactic becomes more mature, we will see new ways to measure it. I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on this idea and how traditional PR can be integrated with social media marketing.

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

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  • Dominic Jones

    Is it OK to ask if this idea is OK?
    Sounds like deliberately submitting a promotion to Digg. Isn’t that a kind of spam? Shouldn’t submissions like this have a special area on Digg? A “submitted for your consideration” area or a “Digg Wire”?
    The MSM doesn’t carry raw news releases with their editorial content (well, they shouldn’t) so why should Digg?

  • Cameron Olthuis

    Dominic, Sorry for the confusion. I wasn’t suggesting to submit your press release, and I don’t believe Scott from SEOmoz was either. Traditional press releases are boring and 99.99% of the time they wouldn’t appeal to the digg audience. What I’m suggesting here is that you launch some kind of viral marketing campaign to coincide with a traditional public relations campaign.

  • engtech

    Finding the right social network for your demographic is so key.
    Stuff like
    comics/humor/visual -> StumbleUpon
    programming/code/development ->

  • Justin Kistner

    Measurable statistics and risk factors need to be determined for any social media campaign and clients need to be prepared for what they are getting into.
    Wow, I never thought about it this way. I’ve been so consumed with pushing my knowledge further that I haven’t been able to see this perspective.
    And, dominic, submitting your own material to Digg is not spam. Digg clearly labels who submitted the material thereby exposing bias. Also, many other people will need to Digg your submission for it to make an impression in the community.

  • Rhea

    Finding those niche social networks is key to any successful SMO/PR campaign. I’ve done a lot of dabbling with most of the networks and unfortunately, my company doesn’t have a place on many of the big names, including Digg.
    I’m currently in the process of figuring out how we take a national commercial, press release, newsletter and SMO and meld them into one cohesive strategy. It’s a pain, primarily since no one really grasps the full potential of what we can do online and how worthwhile it is to sit down for 5 minutes and so everyone is on the same page when it comes to wording, promotions, etc. Argh! It’s frustrating. 🙁
    Fortunately, with a little research and a strong proposal, it’s easy to be the person educating other departments. The key to a great PR/SMO campaign – use the same words, but cater the voice to the unique audience. A press release is usually written for the industry, SMO should be written for the customer and it really helps if a dialogue can be sparked, duh, make it viral! I think the bottom line is anything done for the Internet needs to be unique, personal and concise. Once the creative is down, it’s tedious work finding exactly where to put the promotion and who to talk to about it. I am in that process right now and have no clue how it is going to work out!
    One more thing, there’s no point in pushing something that has no meat to it. If the product behind the campaign sucks you shouldn’t bother.

  • Ken Savage

    Great points, Loren.
    Digg isn’t the only site in social media as we all know. You definitely have to go after a particular target audience and then pick your sites to use.
    Thx guys.

  • Drew Stauffer

    I completely agree with you Cameron. It seems like people get so caught up with new trends and marketing practices that they loose sight of the big picture. If your audience isn’t there…don’t waste your time.
    Maybe it’s more of an ego developer thing?

  • Social Dude

    Integrating a Social Media campaign with a traditional campaign is a little complicated but also very simple at the same time. We work with quite a few very large advertisers that run multiple campaigns on a very regular basis. PR, Advertising On/Offline, KB distribution, Viral etc..
    What we have learned with Social Media Marketing that is added to a “traditional” campaign, that already has good tracking capabilities can be complimented by Social Media and tracked the same way.
    One simple technique used is to create a landing page ( or content piece ) that is attractive to your prospects, the page is not a hard sell but a knowledge or humor based sell.
    By driving traffic (as much as can be controlled) to this page, then tracking can be implemented. There of course are many issues still to be addressed, such as tracking buzz or reputation in a “social sphere” but in time that will also be figured out.