Last week, the conversation here was about ways to listen (and hear) and on joining the conversation on the Internet. In this post, I want to tie social media/electronic tools back to the traditional tools many of us cut our public relations teeth on.

Talking on the TelephoneIn the late 1970s when I began my career, we hand delivered news releases to local media and mailed (yes, snail mailed) releases to out of town media. We arranged events and wrote tons of speeches for our clients to get word out at key constituent meetings. Newsletters and mass communication were mimeographed, and we did all our work on typewriters.

Today, many of the tools are still important, especially relationships with key influencers. I always tell my clients it’s important to work in both worlds using tools based on the needs outlined in an overall strategy. Take, for example a client who wants to sell businesses a product that comes with a high price point, but it’s a younger tech savvy group that understands its use in the work place.

Executives in a larger company are more likely to respond to information received through a chamber of commerce or rotary meeting, or on traditional news programs. They might have a couple social media accounts but aren’t using them the same way younger staff might be. Younger employees are more likely learn from their peers on social media and less likely to read/watch traditional news programs. Without using tools in both worlds, you’ll limit your exposure.

Regardless of which tools you use, developing a story around your program is critical. Think about your story from the perspective of the reader, and not that of the company marketers. Focus first on the features the customer/target will get and then the advantages and benefits. Leave the boilerplate to the end, or incorporate it into the features.

The tactics you choose should include traditional news releases, speaking engagements at business meetings as well as a series of Google+, Facebook and Twitter campaigns chosen because you know where individuals decisions makers can be reached.

What hasn’t changed today is the importance of reaching out to individuals who can help you tell your story. More about that tomorrow.

Part 1:   Listening (And Hearing) Crucial In Communication Plans

Part 2:   Now That You Know What’s Being Said, Join the Conversation

Part 4: Reach Out and Engage Someone