PR in Action: Social Media for Media Relations


When news of the impending 48-hour closure of one of only three Mississippi River Bridges in the Greater New Orleans Area was posted on Facebook, one driver summed up the sentiment of most people who use the bridge with a simple, sarcastic “Great.”

The Huey P. Long Bridge is the oldest of three Mississippi River crossings in New Orleans. Commuters in more than 50,000 vehicles per day use the 76-year-old structure to get to work, school or the grocery store.

In November 2011 it was necessary to close the entire bridge for 48-hours for an entire weekend in order to pour concrete on the new lanes. A detailed communications strategy was developed to ensure that motorists were made aware of the impending closure and how they would benefit from the bridge widening through safety, job creation and fewer delays.

Here’s what we learned:

Use social media as part of comprehensive communications strategy: By the time of the closure, people had been following the major media outlets via the project’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. As media outlets and reporters were followed, others started to show up in the Facebook’s “People you may know” feed or Twitter’s “Who to follow” feed.

Multiply your outreach by sharing information multiple times: Once you build relationships with the news media, social media can multiply your outreach. When reporters or outlets follow you through these sites, it provides an opportunity to have more contact with them. For example, a news release would not typically be distributed to the news media multiple times. Through Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, however, it is perfectly acceptable, expected and even necessary for the same information to be posted numerous times.

Information about the 48-hour closure on the Huey P. Long Bridge in New Orleans was tweeted or retweeted more than 80 times. The closure details were also posted 47 times on the project’s Facebook page.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to leverage your media relations using social media:

> Share information from the news media

> Observe social media etiquette

> Remember non-traditional media sources

> Follow up on traditional contacts

> Provide useful information

> Post information on news media sites

> Share photos, video and links

> Keep in mind that you are always on the record

Shane Peck is a senior communications coordinator with Parsons Brinckerhoff.




Comments Off

avatar

About Shane Peck

PR News - Access Intelligence, LLC; 88 Pine Street - 5th Floor; New York, NY 10005; 212-621-4613



Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Social Media Summit with Taste of Tech

prn_ms_175x135_ep

Unlike other conferences, you’ll be immersed in the strategies and tactics that you can apply right away to your work as a communicator. You’ll learn what it takes to compete for attention, engagement and positive brand awareness across an array of social media networks.

Use code “150off” at checkout.

Get $50 off PR News' Digital PR & Social Media Guidebook

DigitalPRSocialMedia_PrintDigital_vol6

This guidebook has one essential purpose: helping you maximize your communications effectiveness in the digital world. The articles in this guidebook produced both by the PR News staff and more than fifty communications industry thought leaders, focus on most every facet of digital PR and social media.

Use code “DIGITAL6” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.