It’s as Easy as ROPE: Social Media Plan Development

19 02 2013

(Post by Jessica Killenberg Muzik, APR, Vice President – Account Services)

In addition to my role at Bianchi PR, I also have the good fortune of teaching a social media course at Wayne State University in Detroit. The reason I say good fortune is, after many years in the PR business, it’s always refreshing to see PR through the eyes of students, eager to make their professional mark on the world.JK FB color

The key to the course is developing and implementing a social media plan. So one of my first questions for the students is this: “Do they still teach ROPE – research, objectives, program / plan and evaluation – as part of the core PR courses?

And, it’s always music to my ears, when I hear a resounding “yes” from the students. Why? Because, as with traditional PR plans, ROPE can also be applied to social media plan development.

If you find yourself being tasked with developing a social media plan for your organization, here are the steps I suggest:

  • Research. Provide a summary of what your company (or client) is currently doing in the social media space. More importantly, research what the competition is doing. Using a case-study, critical-eye approach as to who’s getting it right and who’s getting it wrong, will provide a road map for where you might want to take your efforts.
  • Objectives. Define the goals of your new media plan. Be specific in defining what success will be, so you know what you’re working to achieve at the onset. Tie some realistic measurements / metrics to your efforts – increase in “likes” or followers, amount of engagement, tone of feedback, issues being discussed, etc.
  • Program / Plan. Define who your target audiences are and where they are spending their time online. Define three or four consistent key messages that will be communicated throughout your social media efforts. Define your strategy and tactics, as well as your timeline. What social media application(s) will you be adopting for your organization (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, a blog, etc.)? What will your content be (product / service updates, news releases / announcements, media coverage, technical data / research, event involvement, community involvement, etc.)? What about consistency? How often will your post, blog, etc.?
  • Evaluation. Based on your objectives, how will you measure the success of your new media efforts? You can monitor and measure visitor statistics via your website, Facebook Insights, Word Press,, etc. And how often will you measure? You need to be sure to analyze and measure data at set time intervals, so that implementation can be tweaked as necessary.

Have you developed a social media plan? If so, what are some the lessons you have learned? 

Getting Quoted and Noted in the Media

5 02 2013

(By Jaclyn Reardon, Assistant Account Executive)

It’s no secret that one of the goals of PR is to get your company’s executives and experts quoted in articles. You want it, your company wants it and your PR firm wants it. JR

Having your executives seen as expert sources in the media’s eyes should be an integral part of your communications plan, as it helps to strengthen media relationships and helps pave the way for future coverage and interviews.

Even when your experts aren’t talking about the company or product, it’s important to build a reputation as a knowledgeable source on industry trends and issues.

Here are some things you and your spokespeople should keep in mind when talking to the media:

  • Background Check – You want your spokesperson to know everything they can about the reporter they’ll be talking to, in advance. What is their writing style? Their background? Do they typically cover companies like yours? This information will help you be more prepared going into the interview and also ensure you’re giving the reporter exactly what they need.
  • Why You? – If you or one of your spokespeople is uniquely qualified to speak on a certain topic or trend, be sure to emphasize that fact when talking to reporters. Not in a sales-y way, but rather weave-in expertise and distinct qualifications when you talk about what your spokespeople know and how they know it.
  • Offer New Angles – Often when talking to a reporter, you might recognize another angle to the story that might help the reporter. Even if the angle doesn’t directly pertain to you or your product, be sure to suggest other avenues for journalists to investigate. They’re always looking for ways to round out their stories and will appreciate the ideas.
  • Build Reliability – Reporters work on tight deadlines and when they need something, they need it yesterday. If a reporter reaches out to you, try to respond promptly and have succinct, approved key messages and facts ready. Your communications team can help by preparing messages surrounding potential topics and trends in advance and always keeping them on file.
  • Add Some Spark – Think of interesting ways you can get key points across so they come out as memorable soundbites. Use an impressive or alarming statistic or find ways to use humorous examples or real-live stories to tie in to today’s trends and issues. Reporters are used to typical canned quotes. If you can give them something memorable and engaging, you’ll move to the top of their go-to list.
  • Bring Energy! – Try and crank up your enthusiasm about 25 percent during an interview. Reporters are trained to be critical and if you don’t treat your topic as if it is important or exciting, how can you expect the reporter to? 

For some additional tips, check out our past E-newsletter: Why Media Training is a Must! and tipsheet: Whether by Phone, Radio or TV: 7 Media Interview Tips for Any Medium.

Do you have more ideas on how to maximize a company’s interview opportunities? 


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