With the #19 spot on our list of the top PR firms on social media, we were excited to hear what rbb Public Relations could tell us about how they find success through social media campaigns. Rather than have just one employee give us answers to our questions, rbb took a team-based approach that really drives home the point that individualized attention is a key trait of a successful public relations campaign.
For your clients, which social networks have been the most effective for PR?
Maite Velez-Couto, Vice President:
In simple terms, it depends.
Facebook continues to be a powerful tool to connect with currently engaged audiences and those that are already “fans” of the brands because they already love the product and are there to listen and engage – when done well. It works very well for our hotel brand clients. The platform gives us a forum to mine information to make the guest experience that much better, learn their needs on real time and offer meaningful rewards and insights. The conversation also informs the direction of future promotions.
We find Twitter more effective when trying to engage those that may not be as familiar with a brand or product. Also, the “simplicity” of the platform allows us to move more quickly and perhaps test things without committing too much time or resources. When used creatively, Twitter is also a great way to amplify the reach of a PR program like a media “Fam” trip to a resort or a product sampling tour.
Pinterest is a great place for our travel clients. It’s a strong traffic driver to the brand sites.
How do you go about handling a social media PR campaign?
Christine de la Huerta, Vice President:
This is not a one-size-fits all type of business. We manage these assignments in different ways, to adapt individually to client policies, comfort level and resources.
For some clients, we do it all: create content, handle engagement, manage the online communities and fully run their online channels, soup to nuts. For others, we may ramp it up for them, create a content calendar and engagement strategy, then conduct training for their communications staff to take it over and we hand it off. Still other clients have us create the content strategy and the proactive content on an ongoing basis, while they do the actual postings and engagement. In any of these scenarios, and all the hybrids in between, the most important step is to have a strategy, know your audience and provide value along the way.
What advice would you give when it comes to using social media for a public relations campaign?
Abdul Muhammad II, Vice President of Digital Development:
Let the PR team drive the social media!
You get the best results from an integrated communications campaign, when the message, distribution, and engagement takes place under one umbrella.
Be a #BreakoutBrand and use real-time data to better inform, connect and build long-lasting relations. The new PR is SOCIAL!
How would you recommend that a client handles a big screw up on social media?
Bruce Rubin, Crisis Communications Expert:
In any corporate crisis, one size doesn’t fit all, so variables always come into play. But generally, a social media gaffe can be covered with a swift and genuine apology. If this is done on a timely basis, there isn’t much detractors can continue to say.
Do you have any social media success stories you’d like to share?
Rafael Sangiovanni, Social Media Strategist:
We have several passionate pop culture geeks in the office, and there was a lightning in a bottle opportunity where we found a crossover between “Lord of the Rings,” public relations and social media trends.
We knew that infographics get shared on social media like wildfire, especially Twitter. So, when director Peter Jackson announced that he was making “The Hobbit” into a trilogy (a hugely heated topic at the time), our team whipped up an infographic calculating the potential amount of money the new trilogy could make per page of the book, based on the success of the original “Lord Of The Rings” movie series.
It was a unique angle on the conversation – something we always strive to find in PR – and that particular infographic was representative of the type of creative, out-of–the–box thinking rbb applies to all our client projects, while also showcasing our creative services capabilities.
To get the word out, we hit the pavement with search and response messaging, talking to film bloggers, LOTR book enthusiasts, pop culture aficionados, PR and marketing pros – the works. Because of that outreach on social media, the response to the post was so overwhelming that till this day – one year later – “The Hobbit” infographic remains one of our most viewed pieces of content, and it continues to drive traffic to rbb’s branded online channels.
What do you think sets rbb apart from your competitors?
Lisa Ross, President and Partner
Here are the top five reasons clients choose rbb (culled from interviews we conduct after every new business presentation):
- rbb dedicates the entire resources of the firm to one client in a category to share every opportunity we uncover, and provides up to 10% courtesy hours each month as part of our investment in growing our clients business.
- rbb delivers PR, B2B communications, digital/social media and graphic design, all in-house.
- rbb’s dedicated client teams are always led by a partner of the firm guaranteeing a level of accountability that will exceed client expectations. Our staff member’s average tenure exceeds eight years, meaning we deliver a team with deep knowledge and commitment to match.
- rbb tops off its strategic approach with smart execution, alliance building and realistic fee arrangements (no mark ups) to make clients’ budgets go further.
- rbb is a multicultural, four-time national PR Agency of the Year, recognized for pushing the creative and strategic envelope and driving meaningful client business results. We strive to continually set the standards for public relations success, with our work garnering Silver Anvils, Platinum PR Awards, and SABRE Awards in nearly every possible category including word of mouth, thought leadership, multicultural, cause-related, reputation management, community relations, B2B markeing, digital/social media, and more.
Bottom line… rbb is a marketing PR firm that offers the creativity and experience of a large agency, packaged as a cost-effective and nimble boutique agency. Our sweet spot derives from our Breakout Brands approach, which drives forward brands that want to challenge the segment and break out from traditional marketing techniques. We do whatever it takes to break through the information clutter, communicate with various audiences, and reinforce our passion for breaking goals and setting new standards of ROI.
If you know a PR firm who would like to offer their social media advice to other professionals, leave a comment or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to let us hear about it.