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6 “must-have” elements to a “digital PR” workshop

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A couple weeks ago, a potential client and asked if I’d be interested in leading a training session for the corporate communications team around “digital PR” with a mix of presentations and hands-on sessions. Right up my alley. I love the education side of our business–teaching is in my blood, as my Mom was a schoolteacher of some 30-plus years (and I see a potential route for me in teaching at the college level at some point–we’ll see about that :).

But, then I got to thinking–what would an all-day workshop around digital PR include? What would the topics be? What areas would I choose to focus on?

Here’s where I landed:

Basic concepts of digital PR

What are the key concepts to success when it comes to digital PR? Depends on your goals, right? But, there are some universal concepts that really apply across the board.

Blogger outreach

Blogger outreach continues to be a topic many PR pros struggle with. How do I know? I’ve seen the pitches. Heck, I’ve RECEIVED the pitches. And they’re horrible. They’re out of left field. Without sugar-coating it anymore than I can, they’re unacceptable. We need to get better here. We’d talk about how to build a list. How to approach bloggers–and how that’s different than working with the media. And, how to maintain those relationships–without “breaking the bank.” And finally, how to measure success when it comes to blogger outreach. Big area of focus here.

Content marketing

Normally, I’d call this “blog marketing” but it’s really morphed into content marketing since PR people are increasingly the folks companies are turning to for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (for starters) content, too. Why? Because we’re the writers of the organization. The storytellers. But, how do you tell a story in 140 characters? How do you do it via a Tumblr blog that’s typically more visual? What about telling a story through your iPhone at events? All would play into this topic.

Social Media News Release

Kinda felt like this needed it’s own category–even though it’s really just a tactic. How do you create a Social Media News Release (SMNR)? What are the critical elements? Which tools are best? How do you measure success? Why do I need to use a SMNR? All would be discussed here.

Crisis communications

I’m not the foremost expert on crisis communications when it comes to the online media. But, what I can tell you is that the concepts aren’t that much different from traditional crisis communication, which I am familiar with. The online media just speeds things up. Sure, there are differences–big ones, in some cases. But, for the most part, a session around this topic would involve talking about your traditional plan and discussing how the online media (social, Web, etc.) would fit in and how to resource that effectively in times of need.

Supplementing media outreach

In this session, we’d talk about how to supplement your traditional media outreach (via phone, email, etc.) with social outreach and relationship development–because there’s a lot of opportunity here. With tools like Twitter and Facebook, you can get to know reporters and editors a bit better than in the past. Heck, just follow a journalist on these channels for a week or two and you’ll glean a number of nuggets you can use in a pitch. We’d discuss potential strategies here as well as the tools of the trade. And, what’s appropriate and what’s not–ethics would be a big part of this discussion.

So, those are the top six areas that came to mind for me. What about you? If you were putting together an all-day digital PR workshop–what would you include?

Note: I didn’t write this post to crowdsource my job (in fact, we already have the agenda in place). Merely interested in what others think about this topic.

Note: Photo courtesy of James Clay via FlickR Creative Commons.

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6 “must-have” elements to a “digital PR” workshop

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