The ideal complement to a great advertising campaign? A great public relations push.
And just like you’re focusing more of your advertising energy online, you should be focusing at least some of your PR efforts through social media, advise retailer-wholesaler duo Bridget Carlson of Ashland Addison, AAF, of Ashland Addison Florist Company and Joe Barnes of Kennicott Brothers Company, both in Chicago.
Last year, Carlson and Barnes worked together to stage a local version of SAF’s Petal It Forward, which put flowers in the hands of random people and encouraged those recipients to share a bouquet with someone else. Part of the success of that effort — profiled in the December 2015 issue of Floral Management — stemmed from their savvy engagement with reporters on social media.
Some of their tips on how to attract and work with the press in the age of likes, shares and re-tweets include:
Follow the press. “In today’s media world, it’s not only acceptable to follow reporters”— on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.— “it’s necessary,” said Carlson. “You can find out so much, including where they are in the city and what stories they’re working on.” That information can help you decide which reporters are a best fit for your ideas, and it might also help you refine a pitch. (It’s still best to pitch the actual idea via phone or email.)
Nail the timing. When Barnes sends a release to a reporter he simultaneously “ramps up” his engagement with that reporters’ social media feed. “It’s a good habit, especially when your story is competing with so many others,” he said. After all, your “like” “share” “tag” or “tweet” might get noticed at just the right time to move your press release to the top of the pile.
Mind your manners. Get good coverage? Great. Don’t forget to “tag, thank or connect” with the reporter after the event. Doing so generates goodwill and it gives you another opportunity to remind them that your business is “present on social media and a resource to the media,” Carlson said. SAF members have access to free PR materials, including customizable press releases and tips on interviewing best practices (including how to generate talking points) at safnow.org.
Read more about best practices in online advertising from SAF’s former CIO Renato Sogueco in Floral Management magazine.