The Pillars of an Outstanding Communications Team

Mitch Germann
Mitch Germann

What elements really make a successful PR team click? To name just a few: metrics that connect PR programs to organizations' business goals, transparent internal messaging and a social media strategy with C-suite buy-in.

Mitch Germann, senior vice president with Fleishman-Hillard San Francisco, and David Tinson, vice president of integrated communications at Electronic Arts, are going to offer a peek under the hood at what makes Electronic Arts' PR team click during their presentation "Anatomy of a Successful PR Team" PR News' Next Practices PR Conference on Aug. 6 in San Francisco. Here, Germann gives a preview of what to expect next month.

PR News: What metrics should successful PR teams absolutely be using?

Mitch Germann: Metrics today should focus on quality over quantity and be directly aligned with business objectives. Tracking metrics such as percentage of placements in top-tier media targets, percentage of message pull-through, coverage sentiment and competitive share of voice are better indicators of earned media success and more actionable than the old-school tracking of impression volume.

PR News: What's the most crucial element in successful internal communications?

Germann: Transparency. One of the biggest benefits of digital and social media's impact on communications principles is an imperative to be transparent with key stakeholders at all times, and that starts within a brand's own walls. Employees are a brand's biggest asset and best ambassadors, and if messages aren't communicated internally in a transparent, consistent and timely manner, the result will be inconsistent and inaccurate messages shared and discussed externally.

PR News: How would you convince a reluctant CEO to start engaging with social media?

Germann: Show the CEO the data which outlines the business benefits of C-suite participation on social media channels. Numerous studies have been published which all arrive at the same conclusion—companies with CEOs that are active on social media are deemed more trustworthy by consumers, consumers are more likely to recommend products from those companies and, ultimately, they are more prone to purchase products from those companies.

Learn what makes Electronic Arts' integrated communications team successful at PR News' Next Practices PR Conference in San Francisco on August 6. 

Follow Lucia Davis: @LKCDavis.

  • Pang

    PR advice from the team behind 2013’s worst company in America? Invaluable stuff.

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  • michaelfkelly

    I’m confused. Team implies people, but this is about the right metrics, transparency and CEOs tweeting. Nothing to do with people. Say again?

  • Lucia Davis

    Hi Michael! The implication is that the right metrics, transparency and a CEO’s participation in social media are all elements that make a successful PR team click. Of course, as this is a preview of Mitch’s presentation in August, he will speak more about the interpersonal dynamics in the full session. Hope this clears up your confusion!