Tips for PR Students: Digital & Social Media Knowledge [PART 3]
From my experience a good working knowledge of digital and social media is not only desirable, but increasingly a ‘must have’ for new recruits. It’s importance has grown hugely over the last decade and this looks set to continue.
Drew Benvie, CEO of Hotwire summed it up nicely when he said ‘social media is part of mainstream consciousness. Not only does it have the cool factor, it is all-pervasive’. In a nutshell, you can increase your employability by understanding online platforms and networks, as well as being able to interpret analytics and appreciate the principles of search.
Digital & social media knowledge – understanding online
1. Understand keywords
Search is playing an increasing role in PR activity. Take the time to read up on the basics of SEO so you can understand how keywords, titles and metadata can enhance search engine visibility and improve the reach of a PR programme.
2. Think across Owned, Paid, Social & Earned media
You can no longer think of traditional and online media as separate. In fact, social and online media are now mainstream media, so approach activity thinking how you can create newsworthy activity that can be amplified across owned, paid, social and earned.
3. Learn how to monitor online mentions
Online monitoring is hugely important and enables us to make tactical and strategic decisions during times of crisis using real-time data. Trial some paid for social media monitoring tools (most offer free trials) and learn how to set-up online monitoring and construct a taxonomy of search terms.
4. Analytics, research & analysis
One of the greatest strengths of online PR is the vast quantities of data available. Familiarise yourself with Google Analytics, Insights for Search and Trends and understand what the information means so you can make recommendations..
5. Use social platforms to understand convention, etiquette and best practice
There’s no substitute for experience; so use a range of social media. This will enable you to become familiar with its norms, uses, benefits and limitations and begin thinking how a brand could use these platforms to communicate with stakeholders.