Kristin Wadge Director of Metrica examines the role Social Media plays in PR

Kristin Wadge, Director of Metrica talks about the Social Media and PR.  Kristin has a background in PR and Integrated Marketing Communications, Kristin Wadge joined PR measurement agency Metrica in 2003. Since then Kristin has been responsible for the set up and running of groundbreaking global measurement programmes for the likes of eBay, Dell, Adobe, Canon, Symantec, Epson and Visa.

Kristin will be speaking at the Social Media World Forum event taking place at Olympia, London in March this year on ‘The role of PR in developing and monitoring trends in your industry’

Why has social networking and other social media meant PR strategies need to change?
The age-old mass communication model has been turned on it’s head with the rise of social media over the past few years. Business to consumer communication needs to be more personal, two way and perfectly honed for the target audience.  It’s not that the old model still doesn’t exist, it’s just an extra layer that needs to be integrated; which is why we’ve got lots of very busy PR folks on our hands!

What is your top tip for using social networks with brand PR?
The first bit of advice I’ve consistently found myself offering is, “listen”.  Listen first and listen hard to how your brand is being bounced around social media networks.  How are your target audience engaging with your brand currently?  Only by taking this first step of listening, understanding and planning can you slip seamlessly into the social realm.  Then, once there, be honest, open and transparent while also being interesting!  Think of yourself at a party – no one likes the bore, the bragger, the dullard or the liar – so don’t be one yourself.

How do you keep your social media program accountable in terms of time and keeping the balance?
As an agency that has been measuring the effect of social media for many years, and mainstream media for eons more, we have seen plenty of evaluation tools come and go.  Far too many self-service solutions act as time sinks, providing endless rabbit warrens of data.  Our clients find that Metrica’s analysis of results drives their efforts in the right direction quickly and accurately.  Too much time can be spent naval gazing and self analysing.  The limited time PR has needs to be spent in areas that are actually moving the needle and making a difference.

Online PR – is it adapt or die?
Online has been part of PR since the dot come boom, social more recently.  Not every campaign lends itself to social.  That said, a PR person needs the whole spectrum of skills in their toolbox, to integrate and interchange as and when they are needed.  What’s important is following the target market wherever they go and truly understanding how they consume and transmit information about your brand.

How important is understanding SEO to modern PR professionals?
SEO and social go hand in hand.  The blurring of digital and traditional skills is key.  PR’s had a battle on its hands for social budgets – digital professionals and advertisers are all hungry for the extra money that social has conjured up.  An understanding of the complete jigsaw of online puts PR in a better position to grab that part of the pie.  SEO is now a fundamental weapon in the modern PR practitioners armoury and as such is crucial.

What’s key from a measurement perspective is not only being able to isolate, listen and react to the social buzz surrounding the brand but also to be able to integrate with the sum effect of all media on the target audience. It’s still about getting the right message across to the right audience, ultimately influencing hearts, minds and (hopefully!) wallets.

Meet Kristin at the Social Media World Forum, to hear and learn more about Social PR – register for the Social Media Would Forum here.

About Metrica:

Metrica is an award winning global specialist in media analysis, evaluation and PR measurement.
All of our products and services are customised to meet the needs of each individual client – whatever their size, budget and location.  This tailored approach is vital as the media landscape evolves with the explosion of online and social media.
Our people, experience and technological capabilities enable timely, strategic support that increases the effectiveness of PR activity. Our latest social media solutions further maintain our reputation for excellence, innovation and leadership.