Gini Dietrich

Integrating Social and Traditional Media Relations

By: Gini Dietrich | May 12, 2011 | 
81

It’s Facebook question of the week time. Woo hoo!

Today’s question comes from Jenn Whinnem. Before I tell you her question, let me tell you how you can find her.

She is a communications officer at the Connecticut Health Foundation (which will make sense when you read her question), she is a contributing author at SMB Collective, and she can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Check her out. You’ll see her around here and on other blogs, as well. In fact, I’m pretty sure I first met her on Mark Schaefer’s blog, and then on Jayme Soulati’s, and then on Shonali Burke’s, and pretty soon we were stalking one another.

She’s very active online and I know you’ll like her as much as I do.

She asks: 

Hi Gini, I have a Facebook question of the week, if I may! What’s the best way for a business to integrate its traditional media relations function with its social media function? Please keep in mind, these are two separate role. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks Gini!

It’s hard to answer this without knowing how your organization is built, Jenn, but I answered it the way I would LOVE to see all companies manage it.

Of course, there will be different ideas and opinions in the comments so be sure to take all of it into consideration as you work internally or counsel friends and colleagues.

Which means, after you watch the video (which you can view by clicking here), let Jenn know if you agree, disagree, or have other ideas for her.

But! Before you go! Head over to the Arment Dietrich Facebook wall and leave a question for me there. I think I have only two more to answer and you really don’t want me to send Nancy Davis after you…with her New Jersey accent and wearing her tracksuit.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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81 Comments on "Integrating Social and Traditional Media Relations"

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jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
5 years 2 months ago

Hi ginidietrich I just happened to be looking at Facebook when you posted this! Thanks so much for answering this question for me, I appreciate it. I loved all of your advice and I’m looking forward to comments from the vast SpinSucks audience!

(A note to people who view the foundation’s site – we’re launching a brand new site that is GORGEOUS on 5/25 – hope you all will come back and see that then.)

KenMueller
KenMueller
5 years 2 months ago

I guess the further question is, why are they two separate roles, and should they be? Not sure I have a full answer for that.

Oh, and I soooo want someone to take all of your videos, edit them, and create some sorta musical mashup. And I think I might wanna turn “Hey, we’re great, we’re awesome, we rule” into a ringtone….

Ari Herzog
5 years 2 months ago

@KenMueller If you don’t do it, someone else will….

KenMueller
KenMueller
5 years 2 months ago

@Ari Herzog Man, I gotta figure out how to monetize this.

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
5 years 2 months ago

@KenMueller Hey Ken, thanks for weighing in. I can tell you that they absolutely do need to be separate roles – it’s too much for any one person to do on her/his own!

I think you should mash them up to Rocky’s fight song.

Soulati
Soulati
5 years 2 months ago

Don’t forget, Jenn, to tie whatever it is you’re trying to promote directly back to business goals. Start there, and all else flows. You integrate marketing, balance PR with traditional media and social, and wrap it all up with measurement/results. If you still need help, you know where to find us! (Thanks, Gin Blossom!)

Shelley Pringle
Shelley Pringle
5 years 2 months ago

Hi Gini, I really like the concept of having the community manager at the ‘hub’ of all the other activities with which an organization is involved. I see how this approach would work on an ongoing basis. Do you (or anyone listening) have suggestions on how to integrate social and traditional activities for large, seasonal campaigns? For example, if an organization typically does a holiday promotion every Christmas, how do they generate the ‘big’ idea that integrates both social/traditional and how can they make sure all the pieces are working together effectively?

Mark_Harai
5 years 2 months ago
Hi Jen – I figured I would add my two cents in here today. In my opinion, tradition and social < outreach > are one in the same. Whether you’re talking to a journalist at the NY Times or a blogger who has an audience that relevant to your industry, you need to understand who you’re talking to, who their audience is and bring them a story that is relevant to their interests. One of the things that’s cool about the blogoshpere is you can participate in conversations on blogs who you’d love to have tell your story. You can… Read more »
NancyD68
5 years 2 months ago
When I am not busy “allegedly” wearing a tracksuit and busting kneecaps, I like to help others with these kinds of questions. I think ideally it should be as Gini suggested, a hub. If you are like me and have many bosses, you probably have a lot of hats to wear. I suggest making friends with as many people as possible to get your message out to as many as you can. Commenting on blogs is essential. Not just business blogs, but also blogs about your specific topic to really get your message out there. If that does not work,… Read more »
Soulati
Soulati
5 years 2 months ago

If you can take the campaign/big idea to video you can promote the event/contest/kids and dogs on social channels and draft a news release that is issued to regional media at the same time. When doing the press release, you also launch it online and optimized so you drive traffic to YouTube or Facebook, for example, while also getting “traditional” media invited to the event or to do a story. Does that help at all? (Kinda hard to share strategy here…!) @Shelley Pringle

Soulati
Soulati
5 years 2 months ago

Interesting thoughts, Mark. I have to disagree. Perhaps there’s a solid blend or blurring of the lines with national media playing in both “camps” but if you look at trade, regional or local media they pretty much stick to what’s familiar. That’s my experience anyway. P.S. Costa Rica???!!! Holy Caw! @Mark_Harai

Mark_Harai
5 years 2 months ago
@Soulati Hi Soulati, I’m not clear on what you disagree with, but we all have our own experiences to draw off, so there not really a wrong or right way to get your story out effectively – just experience in actually getting it done, which is all I can share. Yes, Costa Rica is an interesting little country. My son has a job over at the Four Seasons and he was just telling me about all of the famous people he see’s over there. All I could say is “those folks are nut’s… they pay $1200 per night and up… Read more »
jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
5 years 2 months ago

@Soulati Jayme, you’re in my band! We will JAM!

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
5 years 2 months ago
@NancyD68 Hi Nancy, are you for hire on the “busting kneecaps” side? 😉 CT Health has traditionally had a public relations person (Hi Maryland!) and now there’s me. Maryland I are on great terms (you couldn’t ask for a better co-worker) and were looking for advice from people who have had the roles separated out in this way. We’re already collaborating on how we can communicate messages differently. She and I are going to get together later to discuss Gini’s hub idea. And the blogging thing – absolutely. No one will read your blog if you don’t at least read… Read more »
jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
5 years 2 months ago

@Mark_Harai @Soulati Keep talking both of you – I’m listening!

NancyD68
5 years 2 months ago

@jennwhinnem I “allegedly” bust kneecaps. 🙂 I often joke that Seth Godin is the reason I blog. One day, I will get a pet, and name it Seth. 🙂

Mark_Harai
5 years 2 months ago

@jennwhinnem@Soulati

Gini and the others have provided a more an overall strategy on social media and it’s all great info from people who know what they are doing.

Based on your question, especially since it involved traditional media, I just focused on one aspect, which was outreach.

How does a company reach out to journalist or bloggers who would be willing to share their story with their audiences?

Based on this one question that popped in my mind from your question, I provided what has worked best from my experience.

I hope it helps : )

Soulati
Soulati
5 years 2 months ago

@Mark_Harai @jennwhinnem Perhaps that’s where the “disagreement” stemmed from, Mark. My thoughts were broader in re strategy rather than a more tactical approach. Not saying you’re wrong; just sayin’…

Mark_Harai
5 years 2 months ago

@Soulati @jennwhinnem I completely understand Soulati – no explanation necessary… I saw from your other contributions you made here that you were focusing on the broader picture : )

Have a fantastic day!

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
5 years 2 months ago

@Mark_Harai @Soulati Thanks both of you for weighing in on this. Mark reminds me that my co-worker and I need to be mindful of how we conduct outreach. Maryland is a media relations PRO I’m happy to say!

Jayme points out that local media tend to stick to more traditional contact methods – my experience so far has been that she’s right. I’ve tried to talk to reporters who are online (via Twitter, for example) and heard nothing back. Investigation showed they weren’t there all that often.

From Mark I learn that I’d like to be in Costa Rica today.

Mark_Harai
5 years 2 months ago

@jennwhinnem @Soulati Hey Jenn, it’s great to live in a place most folks would love to be at : )

Come on down!

Soulati
Soulati
5 years 2 months ago

uhm, Mark, you’ve just opened the door for more comments on your blog so we can all be BFFs. How many extra sleep slots do you have down there? Uhm, maybe your son gets a discount for the penthouse in the hotel? @Mark_Harai @jennwhinnem

Soulati
Soulati
5 years 2 months ago

Noticeably, Gin Blossom is absent from her very own blog; so, because we are the same person, I’ll just control the whole thing (besides, I get more points that way). Ta!

KDillabough
KDillabough
5 years 2 months ago
No solution here: just wanted to provide some comic relief. (Actually, it would be comical if it wasn’t so true) Last night at a meeting I was facilitating for early growth businesses and “seasoned” business owners, I dam near had my head taken off when, after a presentation by an ad executive, I asked the group to consider how “traditional/conventional’ media would converge/interconnect/relate (whatever word they wanted to use) with social media. I was then basically thrown to the firepit to even suggest that “social media” had any relevance to, for example, small business in a downtown, “local” business, yadayada.… Read more »
KenMueller
KenMueller
5 years 2 months ago

@KDillabough wow. just wow. That’s even more backward than most of my experiences.

KenMueller
KenMueller
5 years 2 months ago

@Soulati staging a coup?

Soulati
Soulati
5 years 2 months ago

I’m not surprised. Add this experience to trying to be in PR and explain what it is we do to a small business. There is a group of leaders relishing the new opportunities and then there are those who prefer to remain in the stone ages. One day they’ll wake up and see what they’ve missed. (Gotcha covered, Gin Blossom.) @KDillabough

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 2 months ago

@jennwhinnem HAHAHAH! That made me LOL! And I’ll be SUPER impressed if it actually launches on May 25. If it does, you’ll have to give me a lesson in holding developers accountable.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 2 months ago

@jennwhinnem @KenMueller I think they need to be separate roles, too. Two different communication methods. Two different, yet similar skill sets.

I just had a vision of some political mash-up where everything I’ve said is taken out of context. I guess it’s bound to happen.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 2 months ago

@jennwhinnem @Soulati And yes. What she said.

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
5 years 2 months ago

Wow @KDillabough ! That’s nuts! How did you handle this?

Soulati
Soulati
5 years 2 months ago

No better time than the present when the boss is away so the mice can play. Heh. @KenMueller

KenMueller
KenMueller
5 years 2 months ago

@Soulati crap…I think she’s back…

Soulati
Soulati
5 years 2 months ago

Oh, hi, Gini ! How’s your day? @KenMueller

H2HGroup (The H2H Group)
5 years 2 months ago

Check out this video on integrating social media and traditional media relations by @SpinSucks! Great job!! http://tinyurl.com/3jeksg2

KDillabough
KDillabough
5 years 2 months ago
@jennwhinnem Well, I maintained composure in front of the group, although inside I didn’t know whether to burst out laughing of scream in agony. I then simply said: consider all of these platforms/ channels/ mechanisms like tools in a tool box. If I want to hammer a nail in a wall, I can reach in for the hammer or, (as I took my shoe off and banged it on the table) or I can use another tool that as effectively, efficiently and productively gets the job done. The majority of the room was with me. The rest? In Jayme’s @Soulati… Read more »
KDillabough
KDillabough
5 years 2 months ago
@jennwhinnem Well, I maintained composure in front of the group, although inside I didn’t know whether to burst out laughing or scream in agony. I then simply tried the analogy of: consider all of these platforms/ channels/ mechanisms (whether online or offline) like tools in a tool box. If I want to hammer a nail in a wall, I can reach in for the hammer or, (as I took my shoe off and banged it on the table) I can use another tool that as effectively, efficiently and productively gets the job done. The majority of the room was with… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 2 months ago

@Soulati @Shelley Pringle I agree with Jayme. We have a client that is seasonal – lawn and garden sales. Last year we did an integrated campaign that had a contest so it used Flickr and YouTube to enter, Twitter and Facebook to encourage votes, and the traditional methods to announce the contest and its winners. Super effective!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 2 months ago

@Soulati @Mark_Harai @jennwhinnem The only thing I would add to this is social media isn’t solely blogger outreach. I’d almost leave that to the “traditional” media relations team and let the social media team engage with customers and prospects.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 2 months ago

@NancyD68 @jennwhinnem I thought you were going to name it Gini?! Hrumph.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 2 months ago

@KenMueller @Soulati That was FUNNY! I was on a plane without WiFi. A four hour flight without WiFi. I WAS DYING!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 2 months ago

@Soulati @KenMueller LOL!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 2 months ago

@KDillabough FEAR! They feel threatened. Un-freaking-believable. We had a conversation last night with an “old-timer” who told me social media is a fad. My girlfriends had to walk me away from the table.

NancyD68
5 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich @jennwhinnem HAHAHAHA! If I get a girl pet, she will be named Gini no doubt!

I had a Diet Coke today – it made me think of you @ginidietrich

KenMueller
KenMueller
5 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich @Soulati wow. Four hours without WiFi???? Gonna start calling you St. Gini.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 2 months ago

@KenMueller It was super painful!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 2 months ago

@NancyD68 LOL!! Damn you!

KDillabough
KDillabough
5 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich Total fear Gini, wrapped in a frontal attack at me, disguised as an authoritative viewpoint. P.S. In your case, I would have had to have been dragged away as I leapt across the table. Kung Fu fighting, social media style, teehee.

KenMueller
KenMueller
5 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich i bet. worst part was knowing we were all back here having fun without you, and possibly making fun of you…

NancyD68
5 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich You love me, go ahead and admit it! LOL! We still have to go shoe shopping you know…

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