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PR + Social ---> Boom

Why you build a brand: to add value to your company.
How you build a brand: advertising, marketing, PR, events, social media, publications, web, mobile, apps, sales, email, conferences customer service, internal communications...you name it.
A top-priority, critical intersection you're likely overlooking: the connection between PR and social media.
The connections between your disparate activities generally.
Why you should focus on PR and social media specifically: because the one has an exponential force multiplier effect on the other. Almost nuclear.
Just to review for a second.
1) Why you do PR:
  • Short-term proactive: Get the word out among influencers, who then tell the rest of the world
  • Long-term insurance: Build your reputation for current and prospective investors, and in case of a future crisis
  • Reactive: Minimize damage in case of a crisis
2) Social media's rationale:
  • Community-building, channel - agnostic - i.e. a content portal or a unique social media brand across distinct tools
  • Community-building narrow-targeted by channel - i.e. reach the audience that consumes a particular type of tool, i.e. Twitter
Now consider how coordinating PR and social media multiples your opportunities for positive exposure and awareness:
  • PR folks get "influencer" media coverage - social media professionals drive that coverage online. They drive traffic from that precious interview elsewhere, multiplying your audience, attracting new customers for your business.
  • Social media professionals know how to talk to particular online communities - translating influencer impact across digital cultures. That article in a technical publication may impress other technical professionals, but imagine the possibilities if you establish a presence on platforms that reach either a broader or a completely different audience. 
  • Cross-pollination of print and digital; audio, video, visual, experiential and living projects. So much time, effort and money goes into the focus on one particular event, publication, medium or channel strategy. The PR expert can zero in on the most important print and online channels for a particular audience, and the social media professional has both the technical skill and pop-culture sensibility to work across stovepipes, appeal to the commercial mindset and turn on a dime while doing so.
If you're going to focus on any two areas to promote your brand right now, I would urge you to integrate PR and social media.
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Photo credit: U.S. Marines via Flickr. All opinions my own. Check out my author page on Amazon.

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