The days of the stalwart and stoic press release are long gone for PR, and now, more than ever your brand needs to have a clear and distinct personality. When it comes to PR and social media if you find yourself using the same old tactics and your results keep decreasing, it’s a sign that it’s time to inject new life into your strategies and tactics.
The best way to do that is to find ways to have more personality. Even for the most conservative of companies, there’s always a way to add more color and to make your brand memorable in a sea of boring companies that are all the same.
Here’s four ways to inject more personality into your PR & social media:
1. Facts Tell, Stories Sell
The more traditional your company, the more apt you are to fall into the trap of focusing on facts and features, which do very little to engage the imagination of the media or your community on social media. There’s a reason that more and more companies are relying on storytelling to help share their message. Where once upon a time, we would have needed to pay for traditional advertising to tell our story, with web and social media, we finally can share as much of our story as we want.
The key to storytelling is understanding it’s not just about telling a story – it’s about sharing one that engages your audience and makes them want to learn more. Studies have shown that when we hear stories, multiple areas of our brains are engaged, as that story captures our imagination it becomes part of our memories. That’s why we can remember the funny story our co-worker told us versus what the director of sales said about sales number in the last weekly meeting.
As you look for ways to inject more stories into your PR and social media, consider how you can share the inside scoop or behind the scenes, get your customers involved or share your company’s values and mission.
2. Spice Up Your Copy
Take a look at the copy you’re using in PR, social media and on key areas of your website and assess how engaging it is. You may find that your copy is a bit stiff or uninspired, or worse yet, sounds like your three biggest competitors.
A simple way to start adding more personality to your copy is in your word choice. Try to use words that capture more imagination and make people take notice. For example, you can use a word like walk or you can say they flounced. Try writing things the way you normally would and then go back and look at all your verbs and adjectives. See if you can improve upon them to make it more engaged.
Also, look at the way you talk about the company and it’s products/services overall. Is it interesting and makes you want to learn more? Does it speak directly to your customers and community? Or is it laden with insider jargon and geek speak? Try to be clear and concise while ensuring you aren’t putting your audience to sleep.
3. Make it Visual
The fastest way to make an impact is using a visual as our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text. With your social media and PR, you need to find ways to take complex or important information and turn it into visuals.
The good news is that there’s so many ways you can use visuals to communicate your message from Twitter Cards to Slideshare to Infographics. The best strategy is to consider the medium you are using and then create a visual most appropriate for the information you want to convey.
Consider how you are using visuals now and how you can improve on it to add more personality. Are your images eye catching and make people want to learn more? Experiment with using different types of images and see what gets the strongest response. You may find that creating a bit of dissonance is effective as people will gloss over the picture of another computer, but a beach scene is entirely unexpected.
4. You’re Not a Robot
Working in PR and social media, it’s all too common for us to feel paralyzed as we represent the company in a very public way. But if you want to add personality to your strategies and tactics, that may include building your own personal brand where people want to work with you.
Relationships are the cornerstone of media relationships, so if you can be likeable and more memorable, bloggers and journalists will be more apt to get to know you. The days of hiding behind your title as a PR professional are long gone, so you might as well share your public persona within the bounds of what’s aligned with your company. This may be a matter of interacting with key contacts using your own accounts, signing Tweets from the company, sharing everyday things for your team on corporate accounts and more This can be tricky territory, so you’ll want to ensure that you’re using good judgment and representing the company in the best possible light.
What can you do starting now to add more personality to your PR and social media? Remember, no one remembers boring – but they will remember the people and stories behind your brand.