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Create your own PR plan

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Create your own PR plan

As PR professionals we are well aware of the world of opportunities that social media platforms have provided, hence the reason why we spend our time encouraging our clients to tweet, blog and post. We research their industries, seek opportunities to establish them as thought leaders and make sure we’re always one step ahead of the pack. Why then, argues MD of Livewired PR, Lucinda Boddy, are we so slow to build our own media profiles?

“Browse the websites of almost any PR consultancy and you’re bound to see that it’s not quite as up to date as it should be,” she points out. “Ask a PR professional the last time they spoke at an industry event, or wrote a blog post on PR or even posted examples of their own work - chances are they won’t be able to tell you.”


Boddy questions this state of affairs, adding that having a professional portfolio online is the best way to outline your strengths and expertise to potential clients. “Creating your own brand and establishing yourself as a voice in the industry is just as important as the job we do for clients,” she maintains.


“Create a personal PR plan, in much the same way you would do for clients,” Boddy encourages. “It’s about outlining your objectives, defining the strategies that will assist you to achieve those objectives, deciding on your tactics and timeline, as well as the way in which you will measure the results. Ultimately, you want a creative strategy that will set you apart from others in your field.”


The digital revolution and associated rise of social media provides ample opportunities for PR professionals to create a presence for their brands. Blogging is an ideal starting point. Blog about the industry and your areas of expertise and position yourself as an expert in the field by providing interesting and useful content that adds some value to your followers.


Leveraging social media platforms is another important aspect of self-promotion. “Facebook and Twitter are platforms that we insist our clients make use of, yet we rarely use them ourselves,” Boddy admits. Both platforms are extremely useful in terms of building one’s own brand; provided they are used effectively. Posts on Facebook should include pictures and videos, as well as text. “Also remember to respond to comments on your Facebook page: it’s a great tool for communicating with your fans and creating relationships. Twitter too, can be used to start conversations. For example, instead of simply retweeting an interesting comment, make your own observations before retweeting and start a lively debate.


“Effective use of blogging, Facebook and Twitter should entrench one’s position as an industry expert and soon enough, people will be approaching you for comments, or quoting your blog as a source of inspiration,” believes Boddy.


Other important aspects of a personal PR plan include building a public persona by speaking at industry events or approaching universities to lecture students on your area of expertise – one on one communication remains one of the most powerful ways to reach out to people.


Sponsorships and strategic alliances are mutually beneficial to the parties involved. “Pitch ideas to websites and magazines, offer to write columns that highlight industry trends and establish you as a thought leader,” Boddy adds.


While embarking on a personal PR campaign does require a certain amount of effort and commitment, the benefits are boundless. It’s the best way to establish your personal or company brand; it’s more cost effective than advertising and your visible public profile will open doors at every level.


“Ultimately, it’s not so much a question as to whether one has the time to implement a personal PR plan; it’s more a question of whether you, or your business, can really afford not to,” Boddy concludes.

Last modified on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 11:51
Lucinda Boddy

Lucinda Boddy

Lucinda Boddy is Managing Director of Livewired PR, a multi-award winning strategic public relations company with an integrated model utilising in-house PR, experiential, advertising and digital teams all working together to achieve the clients’ objectives. Livewired consistently deliver exponential return on investment on all campaigns. Livewired is also a member of the ForeBrands integrated marketing services group and has successfully positioned and helped build brands and reputations for a number of South African and multi-national companies and people. This has been achieved through best-practice thinking and world-class services - from strategy, messaging development and planning right through to execution of external and internal campaigns.  Livewired has expertise in the technology, FMCG, Hospitality, Travel & Tourism, Pharmaceutical & Consumer Healthcare, Property, and NGO industries.

For insights on PR, Communications and Social Media topics, visit our Best Practice blog http://www.livewired.co.za/blog/

Website: www.livewired.co.za

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