10 steps to effectively use social media for PR

Altimeter Group’s Brian Solis says doing public relations through Facebook and Twitter has to be more than superficial.

Brian Solis, now with Altimeter Group, started in technology public relations in 1991. Over the next few years, everything turned upside down, he told an audience at a Ragan Communications conference at Cisco Systems’ headquarters in San Jose, Calif.

The advent of “PR 2.0” and social media opened the door for what Solis called “true public relations,” that is, companies speaking directly to customers. “Social media’s impact on the organization is far greater than our view of it today,” he said.

Companies think of social media much too narrowly, Solis said. More than 50 percent of social media is run through marketing departments, he said, but it has to go beyond divisions into “the complete socialization of a business.”

“Before we can collaborate externally, we have to figure out how to collaborate within,” Solis asserted. He listed 10 steps to reach that point:

1. You have to be a leader.

“It’s not easy,” Solis said. Office politics and culture will get in your way, but you have to keep at it. “You’re going to have some very interesting conversations,” he said. “You will all be dentists by the number of teeth you had to pull.”

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