Are You Missing PR Opportunities on LinkedIn?

Lori Russo

As the largest professional networking site, LinkedIn—which acquired SlideShare on May 3—is the go-to tool to connect with journalists and new clients. According to Lori Russo, managing director of Stanton Communications, many PR pros are not taking full advantage of the platform to establish thought leadership for clients—and share favorable reviews of their work from those very same clients. In the following Q&A, Russo gives a preview of the LinkedIn strategies she will share at PR News’ June 21-22 Social Media Summit/Taste of Tech event in New York City.

PR News: What unique opportunities exist for PR pros on LinkedIn that they might not be aware of?

Lori Russo: There are two that stand out. First, there are opportunities to expand clients' thought leadership positioning through LinkedIn Q&A. By monitoring the questions that are being asked in relevant topic areas, agencies can bring their clients opportunities to share their expertise directly with clients, prospects and others without relying on the media. Agencies can do this for themselves, too. LinkedIn makes it easy to have relevant questions delivered to an RSS reader so users don't have to spend a lot of time on the site searching for the right opportunities. Second, PR professionals can ask happy clients to share testimonials through LinkedIn recommendations. Favorable reviews from clients are visible to prospects who might be using LinkedIn to search for firms.

PR News: Which LinkedIn features are most underused by PR pros?

Russo: I am always surprised to see PR professionals rely on the default language LinkedIn builds into their profiles. The site enables customization of just about everything, which allows users to control their own messages and include relevant keywords in their profiles. I am also disappointed in the number of agencies that clearly have done nothing to customize their company pages. Here again, LinkedIn enables companies to add their own language and even include more information on their service offerings. Leaving the default information in a profile is a missed opportunity to control a firm's messages.

PR News: What opportunities exist on LinkedIn for media relations? 

Russo: LinkedIn is a professional network, so PR pros should absolutely connect with journalists they know and have worked with. Sometimes reporters will reach out to their LinkedIn contacts to find sources for stories, so being part of their networks can be valuable for uncovering new opportunities. PR pros should be cautious when approaching journalists they have not worked with. It is important in those cases to be as specific as possible in the LinkedIn invitation about why the reporter should accept the connection.

PR News: What’s one key tip you’ll share with attendees at the Social Media Summit/Taste of Tech event?

Russo: Customize your content. Don't rely on the default language LinkedIn uses to populate your profiles and company pages.

Attend PR News' Social Media Summit/Taste of Tech event on June 21-22 in New York City and learn more digital strategies from PR leaders like Lori Russo.

Follow Regina D'Alesio: @reginadalesio