In one of my classes we have been discussing social media tools that can be used for public relation professionals. We are talking about tools that are different than Facebook or Twitter. Social media has become a huge part of the public relations career. There are so many social media tools that can be used to benefit not only clients but practitioners and it is important to know what they are and how to use them.
One social media tool that we became familiar with was Help A Reporter Out, also known as HARO.(Help A Reporter Out )HARO is free to use and the way you acquire it is by simply signing up by email. Once you sign up you receive three emails a day with different categories of interest. Under these categories are queries journalists or professionals have posted to look for sources for stories of information they need. Along with the queries comes the persons contact information so you are in direct contact with the person from the beginning. This is useful for public relations practitioners because it connects them with journalists and it can help them to understand what the journalist is looking for in a story. This website is extremely beneficial but should not be taken advantage of. One of the major rules of HARO is to not spam reporters with other pitches or story ideas that are not what they are looking for. If you do get caught doing that you will be sent warning emails or could possibly get banned from HARO.
Another social media tool we talked about was Squidoo.(Squidoo) I thought that Squidoo was an extremely important tool that PR professionals could learn to use. Squidoo helps PR professionals make pages for their clients that can enhance their image. Squidoo is like a blog but it is on a single subject in a form known as a lens. Squidoo contains lenses on a large variety of topics that can generate traffic.
Alltop was also introduced in our class. Alltop is something that can be used to follow the news that you are most interested in. You can sign up for free and it helps you to stay up to date on whats going on in the world. You can keep track of all the latest PR news and make sure that you are not left in the dark when it comes to hot new topics that are being talked about. (Alltop)
These are only a few of the many social media tools that we discussed in class. I found it to be very interesting that there are all these other free resources out there for us to be using but it still seems that most businesses go straight to facebook, twitter, or linkedin. All of the social media tools we talked about are extremely useful in the PR practice and I am glad that we are discovering others. Now it is becoming a regular thing for businesses to have facebook pages or twitter accounts. I think that the things that we were taught in class are tools that are for the future and so knowing how to use them properly can only benefit us. Social media is changing the way that we do things in our practice and it is important we know to keep up!