=^..^= Witty Kitty – Week 5: How do you engage your audience?
Words of Wisdom from Witty Kitty:
You are developing a relationship, a line of communication. You want to be noticed and remembered. You don’t want to be annoying or turn anyone off. What is your message? Keep it interesting, keep it relevant, or at least amusing.
Witty Kitty the spokes-kitty would like to thank all the teachers and the members of the Public Relation Specialist Cohort.
=^..^= Witty Kitty – Week 4: How do you select the right channel(s) for your organization? Once you’ve selected a channel, how do you create relevant and meaningful content for your audiences?
Words of Wisdom from Witty Kitty:
How do you select the right channel?
Last week we discussed know your customer.
I’d now like to discuss “know your strengths.” Before you commit to a channel, if you are the person that will be monitoring and maintaining a channel, look at what you are good at. This will show your organization in a good light when you do that channel well. Practice the other channels before going Public.
Back to “know your customer.” Where is your customer connecting? Some channels focus on different areas. Linked In is focused on job hunting and networking. Blogs usually require an attention span of longer than 30 seconds. Where will your target audience be looking? Are they on Facebook? Try something on Facebook and see who bites. Test the waters.
Witty Kitty is into Twitter.
How do you create relevant and meaningful content for your audiences?
Show them what your organization has to offer. Look at your mission statement. What need does your organization meet? Show them what makes your organization different from other organizations that offer similar services.
=^..^= Witty Kitty – Week 3: How would different groups/ organizations use the different social media channels to reach their customers/ supporters?
Words of Wisdom from Witty Kitty:
Just looking at that Kitty I can tell he wants the “Twitter” bird…. Because he is a cat.
The other social media do not interest him… Because he is a cat.
Some people are glued to their smart phone. They might prefer a text message to a phone call. They might reply to an email from their phone.
Some sit at a computer all day and have Facebook on in the background. They might prefer a post on Facebook.
Some people only visit the internet at the end of the day when they are looking for something. They will go to a web page to find what they want.
Know your customers. What do they respond to the best? Where do they expect to look for you. Who are you trying to reach? How much is too much?
My father is over 80 and does not use internet. I can reach him by phone. If I want him to come to an event I need to call him and remind him every few days.
My mother is over 80, usually has Facebook open at home and follows her emails. She does not have a smart phone and does not have Texting. If I send her an email about an event she will read it. She will call me and remind me every few days.
How do you engage your audience?
The key of success in social media is finding just the right channel for just the right message. To put it in the parlance of our painting motif, you need to paint the room the right colour for it to be a showcase. It can be a pop of colour that brings special notice to a part of the room or a wonderful background to the message your organization is trying to establish. Undoubtedly each painter or public relations specialist brings to task their own special tool box of gifts to make this message come to life and to capture the imagination of their target audience. Engaging people in a way that is meaningful to them is always the best approach. It puts a colour on the wall that is easy for them to live with, as well as one that adds to the overall tenor of their day. One of the many ways to engage people is with humour. Humour, when used appropriately, breaks down barriers instantly and puts people at ease. It allows them to have a sigh of relief from whatever else may be going on in their life. It allows them to be distracted for a moment and the to refocus on the information you give them next.
In developing my social media assignments for this class I have engaged that ‘paint,’ for both my Facebook and my Pinterest pages. The LEDMN MEAN MEME PROJECT: “Where’s Harold?” was intended to be just such an approach. One that is hopefully colourful and filled with some real life discussion of the importance of social media in our lives. Showcasing how it can bring both the light of the light emitting diode (LED) for all to share in a way that is meaningful and engaging. As a former teacher, one of the educational tools used to paint a classroom is to understand that what is memorable to a student is also likely something they will learn and use. The light-heartedness of the story of Harold is just such a tool. At the outset it is a story of a colourful figure that has no face in the series of stories. Each listener can project a “Harold,” from their own imagination by painting a vivid picture of who this character may be and his association with the USPS. He exists to make us smile. He also exists to teach us a little more about how we can use social media as a positive force. Thank you Harold for truly being just the right pop of red, white, and blue light and colour all over the room!
How would different groups/organizations use the different social media channels to reach their customers or supporters?
What I’m learning as a neophyte to Social Media 101 is that if you can indeed relate to the exercise as a painter––whether it be of fine canvas or the more ubiquitous wallboard––the organization that employs you as that painter will expect you to be able to find the tools for the job. Just like mass communications or marketing, public relations can segment its audiences by the channel in which they prefer to use and stay connected with on social media.
As there are multitudes of sites to correspond with humanities’ voracious appetite for variety, it is important as the public relations artist to chose wisely the channel that will best reach the audience your organization wants to engage. We’ve learned from our learned instructor that My Space is the web space that teenagers have turned back to because their parents’ generation is largely on Facebook. Messages formulated for users of the Pinterest channel will not reach the same audiences as those that use the WordPress channel, and neither (or perhaps both) may or may not be using the Twitter channel.
For example last quarter I was tasked with creating a plan for diversity training for middle and high school students in the Minneapolis public schools as a final project. Recent incidents in the schools indicated a need for more tolerance and understanding between students. In order for the mass communications training to be successful the plan used Twitter as a channel for both parents and students with different messaging styles. It also used Facebook to persuade the parents to have their student(s) participate in the training sessions.
No one says being a social media manager will be easy. What is easier, is knowing that you must be vigilant in your upkeep of your channels. Remember the painters on the Golden Gate Bridge? Finished: No! Time to start over: Yes!
=^..^= Witty Kitty – Week 2: What should you do with positive and/ or negative comments on your channels? How do you handle controversy or problems that come with being on social media?
Words of Wisdom from the Witty Kitty:
The different forms of social media need daily monitoring.
Think before responding.
Always be positive.
Of course, share the positive across other media. Try to communicate with the negative comments in a more private forum. Publicly ask them to contact you personally. People want to be heard.
Don’t make promises that you can’t keep. Involve higher ups to clarify the organization’s response. When you answer, you are speaking for the organization, not your personal opinion.
I would be interested in your feedback on this subject. Please send me your insights.
Thank you for listening.