Social Sleuthing: Ditch the Cold-War Era PR & Become a Social Super Agent

Is your brain stuck in the cold-war era of PR?

Do you think a news release is the cure-all for any communications stand-off, and new-hire announcements actually matter?

Ahhh, stand down, comrade. 

There’s an earned media revolution in digital communications that’s designed to make your brand communications a whole lot easier; and you don’t need to summon your inner Boris & Natasha to be successful. 

What we’ll be doing today is learning how to turn social media dialogue and trends into useful fuel for your public relations platform.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­


In 2014, half of web-using adults reported getting political & government news from Facebook within a one-week period:  Pew Research Center*

Yes, lots of people turning to social for news, and you don’t want to miss out on the conversation, or trending news intel.

So, grab your spy-decoder ring, trench coat and fedora.  You’re going to learn where and how to cyber-sleuth social media sources for insight on turning your PR strategies into the social media-savvy, brand-building communications ally your enterprise needs.

Note:  While the realm of data analytics is an exciting and critical topic, we’re going to focus on quick, free and easy-to-use tips and tricks to get you and running.  Trust us, we’ll be talking about analytics soon enough.

1.       BuzzSumo:  Takes you to the Social Action

Any good James Bond-esque operator needs an insider to help them decode what’s critical and current, especially as it applies to topics in your market.  BuzzSumo takes the key word or phrase you’re interested in, does a search and delivers the best-trending social mentions using your terms.

Why its valuable:  Context, my friend.  Seeing how people respond to news and conversations, and what generates response, is valuable intel when you’re crafting your media messages.

2.       MuckRack: The Journalists’ Digital Watering Hole

You may have realized the journalists of the world are not flocking to your digital doorstep.  Well, what ARE they excited about?  For a look at what journalists think, say and write when they’re amongst their peers, you don’t need that mysterious but expensive Eastern European mole.  Simply sign up for MuckRack’s daily email alerts.  You may want to follow them on Twitter @Muckrack, and they have some nifty premium services, too.

Why its valuable:  You may never know what goes on in the minds of your boss, family or dart buddies, but MuckRack helps you see what journalists care about – which helps you craft a story that matters

3.        Did we Mention…Social Mention?

Show us your clearance papers first.  Naw, don’t bother, we’ll just see what’s trending about you on Social Mention, a platform tracking user-generated content across blogs, social sites and more.  Want to know what people are posting, Tweeting, Facebooking about right now?  Social Mention is the site for you.

Why its valuable:  See if anything is trending in your marketplace, your stakeholders, your competitors, and don’t forget you.  SocialMention is also a terrific resource for NewsJacking; the time-honored tradition of adapting your company’s news, views and thought leadership to trending news items.

4.       Google Alerts:  Your Second Eyes & Ears

You can’t be everywhere at once, and enterprise budgets may or may not allowed for sophisticated tracking platforms.  The workhorse of the web, Google Alerts, is your solution.  You can set up a Google Alert (see how here) and you’ll get an email alert, with news link, for your key word, phrase or company name.  It may not capture ALL of the news coverage out there; it tends to lag in the realm of industry and specialized publications, but it will do a pretty good job for the price.  Did we mention it’s free?

Why its valuable:  Sometimes you just don’t have time or focus to search for data and news.  Google Alerts are your secret agent ally, a reliable, if not completely comprehensive, free and easy way to track media coverage about the things that matter to your company.

Finished reading?  This post will self-destruct in five seconds.  No, actually it won’t; and I hope you download the info, or refer back often so you can become a PR Super Power.


Concluding the Mission:

It’s important to be strategically dialed-in to the trending conversations across the web and social.  Using simple and free tools can give you a distinct advantage in understanding marketplace priorities, and crafting public relations/earned media messages that successfully align with these priorities.

Questions?  Want to know more?  Shoot us your email address:

Or, feel free to connect via our social, or simply call or text: 1.503.298.9749.

*Pew Center Research