Integration is now the key to effective public relations

I have been busy this last week preparing and then running a social media workshop with a new client. Basically, my team and I assessed the client’s current status quo and then held a workshop to ask why it was doing what it was doing. I am now drawing up a list of detailed recommendations but whilst engaged in this process I came to the conclusion that integration is now key to public relations.

Here is my reasoning: it’s all very admirable having set yourself up on Twitter, building a new fancy blog, creating a Facebook page, skinning a new YouTube channel and creating a MySpace community ( I could go on but I won’t). However, although these can have an effect they aren’t quite as effective as they could be if they aren’t connected and integrated with each other and the rest of the PR/marcomms strategy.

For instance, if you have a YouTube channel why not offer links on it to your other social media channels? Why not post each video up on your blog? Why not share them in your Facebook community? Why not communicate the very fact that you have these new channels in more traditional places?

I think what I am trying to say is the key is not to see each of these channels as the next big thing and quickly build something to say you have done it and ticked that box. It’s far better to sit down and carefully think through why you are doing it and how you can integrate that channel with the others.

It seems my view is one which is shared as the social networks are starting to recognise this too. YouTube has announced a new facility which enables users to share its content much more easily.Erick Schonfield over at Tech Crunch reported the story stating:

“Clicking on the Twitter button opens a pop-up window that takes you to your Twitter account and fills in a Tweet telling your followers to “check out this video,” along with the title and URL. The URL is not shortened, but YouTube is working on that. (YouTube URLs are short anyway, so it is not a huge issue). Adding Twitter as one of the key sharing options is a no-brainer. Now, if they could actually embed the videos in the Twitter stream like you can on Facebook and MySpace, that would be something.”

Better integration between all of the social networks is certainly the future but it is our job as public relations practitioners to ensure our client’s are presenting their brand’s and news sources properly and effectively.

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