Chicago’s Social Media Week took place last week. After attending different sessions throughout the city, members of the CS team reflect on their favorite social media platforms to use as PR professionals.
Dennis Culloton, President & CEO
Sometimes in public relations, it’s not what you know, but who you know. I’m convinced public relations is still a relationship business. Whether it’s a media crisis or new business development, knowing people and having actual face-to-face meetings (an early form of social media) can be a difference maker. But a force multiplier is LinkedIn. There has never been a faster way to expand a network of contacts and establish a foundation for offline conversation.
Tracey Mendrek, Executive Vice President
While Twitter may seem “old school,” it is still my favorite social media tool. The ability to see news happen in real time makes Twitter my go-to app. I use it less to drive my clients’ messages out and more to monitor stories that may impact them. A new client means a new round of people to follow and a new perspective on what is important to them.
A close second, and one I can’t help but mention, is Buffer. Buffer is my favorite way to populate my Twitter feed with more regularity. It is quick, easy, automatically shortens your links and allows you to schedule tweets in advance. Unfortunately, it does not link to who I am following yet, but they assure me – via tweets – that they hope to incorporate that aspect soon. I’m looking forward to that update.
Julia Schatz, Senior Account Executive
Twitter is my go-to social media for public relations. Every morning, I am able to get the highlights of what is going on in the world, in Chicago and with our clients in a one-stop shop. You can quickly monitor what people are saying about a topic and get an instant snapshot of public opinion. Further, I think that Twitter has greatly impacted traditional media, and therefore PR. Everyone with a smartphone can be a journalist and contribute to breaking news and traditional journalists are using social media as a research and publishing device. Twitter is giving PR professionals not only a news-monitoring tool, but an effective new means of communication to reach legacy media.
Ashleigh Johnston, Account Executive
I’ll have to go with Facebook. Hear me out because I too have a love-hate relationship with it. I know the platform has kind of exhausted its market but there are still some good features that are simple to use and easy to manage, with an added visual appeal. Facebook is far less maintenance in my mind. You have a more interesting post because you can see pictures and videos along with text that isn’t restricted to 140 characters, and it has its own scheduling feature built in.
While there are certainly more recent and fun social media tools out there, by far the biggest question people still ask me about is Facebook. If we’re strictly talking about apps that I use on the job, Facebook is still king because clients always want a presence on Facebook. I need to make sure in addition to discovering emerging social media tools I don’t forget about the standards that still matter to clients.
Conor Culloton, Assistant Account Executive
Though I have been known to tweet, post, like, link, share and otherwise muse on a variety of social media platforms, the one most pertinent to my job at Culloton Strategies is WordPress. Using WordPress, anybody with an Internet connection can create and publish blogs about anything imaginable. No WordPress blog has ever been as noble as my beloved “Checkmate,” the Culloton Strategies blog which you are presently enjoying. Without WordPress and other blog-hosting websites, online expression would be limited to strict character counts. WordPress is an important tool because of its simplicity. The blank screen of an unwritten blog is a liberating sight for any PR social media expert.