Should You Hire an Accredited Public Relations Professional

by Patricia Pickett, APR

You may note that my name is usually followed by some “alphabet soup” that supposedly demonstrates my professional knowledge as an accredited public relations professional. Nearly every industry has these designations and certifications, from architects and realtors to accountants and school counselors. I attained the APR nearly five years ago and have successfully maintained the accreditation through continuing education and professional development.

In the world of public relations, “APR” is the designation for those accredited by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and seven other communications organizations. It is achieved by presenting a peer-reviewed “readiness review” project that incorporates the best-practice “knowledge, skills and abilities” as set forth by PRSA/UAB as well as passing rigorous computerized exam. The designation Accredited in Public Relations (APR) signifies a high professional level of experience and competence.

So, do you hire an APR? Not always – do not hire an individual who holds an APR if:

  1. You are seeking an order taker and/or a head nodder. Those PR professionals holding an APR are pretty adamant about a set process – research, planning, implementation and evaluation — and are going to respectfully disagree with anything that feels like a whim.
  2. You want a “spin doctor” to cover up the company’s faux pas. Ethical conduct is the most important obligation of a member of PRSA and a good portion of the APR exam is dedicated to both legal and ethical practice.
  3. You want someone right out of college you can train. Sorry, the APR exam is recommended only to those with five or more years of experience. It demonstrates knowledge gained in real-life, professional situations, not the classroom.
  4. You believe that a public relations professional – whether part of an agency, sole practitioner or internal employee – is not an integral part of the management team. To the contrary, an accredited public relations professional should work in tandem with executive leadership – from the CEO to legal to human resources. An APR should never be the last to know about a merger, acquisition, change in policy or a crisis; their expertise in strategic communication is why you hire them, and their commitment to the code of ethics makes them a trusted advisor.

That said, do seek out a public relations professional who holds an APR if you are looking for a seasoned professional and a trusted advisor who is committed to strategy and ethics. I don’t believe you will be disappointed in the results.

The P&A Gratitude Journal

November is a month to reflect on that for which we are grateful. I am clearly grateful for the E.B. White’s Elements of Style … leaving no preposition behind.

But, in all seriousness, I am grateful for the P&A team of collaborators and contributors. Each of them brings a unique skillset to our team … from communication skills to business acumen to “a B-S-ometer.” All important in the day-to-day managing of 70 social media channels, multiple websites, graphic design, public relations, and marketing needs of more than 20 clients at any given time.

I am so grateful for those 20 current clients. They are as unique as the P&A team who serves them. They give us a window into business that is invaluable … from the sales cycle of technology to the manufacturing timeline of medical devices. Customer and patient journey maps? Yep, we’re there. Let’s throw in a youth motorsports business, a staffing agency, and a 70+-year-old aggregate company while we’re at it. No day is boring at P&A!

I’m grateful for all the clients we’ve served these last 13 years. We built our business and our reputation with these folks and that’s led to where we are today. Proud to say a couple of those clients were able to sell their businesses for a nice profit — and they’ve pointed to the work P&A did to build their sales funnel, client base, and general brand awareness that led to the sale.

I’m grateful for the technology that enables us to work from our home offices, seamlessly manage and collaborate on projects, and rarely have the need to use a stamp to mail an invoice or a check.

I’m grateful I knew the grind and terror of entrepreneurship when I began my business in 2010. I grew up with entrepreneurial parents. My parents sold their home, moved into an apartment, and used the equity to become a Marathon service station dealer in 1954. They were a team, with my mother serving as the accounting and HR department and my dad a very hands on manager. I saw firsthand the hard work it takes to sustain a business over the long haul. My parents worked EVERY day (though my mother would say her one day off was the day AFTER Christmas as there were no books to be done), and I was part of the team. Usually, one spring break day included alphabetizing the previous year’s (hardcopy) repair orders; likewise, the credit card receipts were chronological. I was loading vending machines, counting change, and giving directions from about the age of 9. I learned to drive a stick shift by pulling the wrecker into the garage. And when the burglar alarm went off in the middle of the night, the three of us piled in the car to meet the police. Not long before he died, I was “running parts” with my dad (aka driving around to parts stores, junk yards and such to gather auto parts for various car repairs … this is what we did pre-Amazon) when he saw some hot air balloons overhead. He noted, “I just want more control over my destiny than that.” Yep, dad. I hear ya.’

I’m grateful for the interns we’ve had along the way. They provide me with comfort that “the world isn’t going to hell in a hand basket,” but that this next generation is fully capable of doing great things.

I’m grateful (and proud) that Pickett and Associates contributes to the economy. We generated an admirable sum of billables last year, enabling us to pay our associates a deserving wage for their time and expertise. We generate accurate 1099s so they may pay their taxes and their share.

Speaking for the whole P&A crew, we are all grateful for our family and friends who support us in our work. The nature of our business means occasionally a “beyond the 9 to 5” assignment, email, text, etc. that requires immediate attention. We try to balance it out with the perk of flexibility, but we understand it can be annoying sometimes. Thanks for hanging with us!

In this season of “giving thanks,” pausing to think about those items on your gratitude list is a great way to check in with your work’s purpose and meaning. Happy Gratitude Day, everyone!

Need Full-Service Marketing?

full service marketing

After nearly 13 years providing full-service marketing to businesses, municipalities, and non-profit organizations, we would like to think our community already knows what we have to offer. But more times than not, we find potential clients … or even current clients … who are surprised by the scope of our capabilities and capacity. As a full-service marketing firm, we want to make sure you understand just what we are bringing to the table when we sit down with you to talk business. And it isn’t just a bunch of “spin.”

Full-service marketing meets outside-of-the-box creativity

We know business can be tricky (because we’ve been doing it for 13 years … we get it!). If you’re not navigating some change in the Google algorithm, you’re trying to figure out how to manage the short-video space of TikTok or YouTube Shorts. Small businesses face an uphill battle, especially in the digital space, to “be heard” above the noise of large-budget corporate marketing. It is a constant puzzle in which you need to find all the missing pieces. As a full-service marketing firm, it is our job to help you find those pieces and to make it easier to see which ones might be missing.

Marketing services provided by Pickett & Associates

Our marketing services include our five “pillars” of service: Branding, content, digital marketing, creative, and public relations. Each is its own unique niche; together they work together for a holistic and proactive approach to marketing.


Many clients come to us needing branding, or what they think is a new logo and some fresh new colors. More likely than not, however, branding needs to start first with a whole bunch of research that develops a brand message and a hierarchy of your pillars and priorities … and THEN the logo. The goal is making your brand feel like a solid story instead of a flimsy novel. At P&A, we have the skills and know how to dive deep into research (and even focus groups!) with you to help your brand’s story shine through. And yes. We design logos. And they are fabulous.


We help our clients get their message out, but it is about more than just writing something catchy. We put research (again that word!) into our content to create something meaningful to your brand’s message and goals. Businesses should be consistently writing new content so, if that feels overwhelming to you, just remember that we are here to help!

Digital Marketing

Have you made your brand’s foray into the world of digital marketing yet? If not, you may be far behind your closest competitor. Websites, social media and more, digital marketing is the best way to reach your target customer regardless of their demographic. The landscape of marketing on the web, though, can be tricky to master, so having the folks at P&A by your side is a sure way to find success.


We mentioned before our outside-of-the-box creativity, which comes in handy for all manner of PR and marketing tasks. In a world where things can get saturated, being creative is a great way for you to stand out from the rest. Custom graphics, amazing photography, videography, whiteboard videos, custom illustration define the path for your brand to secure its spot as a leader in your community.

Public Relations

You knew we would end up here eventually. Yes, we are a full-service marketing firm that includes public relations in the mix … and we do some amazing PR for our clients. It’s the space in which our Prez, Pat Pickett, began her journey as a former journalist. In 2010, she earned her accreditation from the Public Relations Society of American and proudly puts APR behind her name – proud because it sets her apart among the top 18 percent of ALL public relations professionals in the country to attain that status. Our strategic plans include “Research – Planning – Implementation – Evaluation” (Pat likes to refer to “R-Pie” … for a hot minute we were excited about a rhubarb or raspberry pie …); we are committed to helping our clients to communicate 1) TRUTHFULLY and 2) clearly.

Where to begin with your marketing?

Sometimes, it feels overwhelming to be a business owner and realize just how much help you may need to get things on track. Whether you are launching a business and need a brand strategy and yes, the visual elements like logo and fonts … , or more content or a 12-month marketing/communication strategy, we are the associates who will help you get there. Contact us to learn more!




Social Media Analytics: Dive on In!

social media analytics

Social media analytics is the grand finale for our “22 in 22 social media tips!”

We’ve got one more nugget of social media wisdom for you this year — but it’s an important one. And very much unglamorous … and it has to do with tracking the results of all your hard work.

Because we are working with humans, the ability to predict your post’s popularity can be challenging at best without diving into social media analytics. These data nuggets provides insight into your audience’s triggers and will lead to better content in the future.

Bring back those SMART goals

One of the first tips we dropped for you early in 2022 was “establish SMART goals for your business and your social media marketing.” We have continued to refer to how important this is throughout the year because it will make a huge difference in how you track your progress and what you can measure it against.

Remember, your SMART goals are a reliable yardstick; you establish them by intentionally figuring out what it is you want from your social media marketing. Keep a consistent eye on your metrics to see how posts and campaigns are performing over time and how they measure up. How many people are engaging in your content? If one of your goals was simply to reach more people and gain more followers (who can then be translated into consumers) you will want to track that progress often to make sure you are headed in the right direction.

Social Media Monthly Monitoring!

Don’t wait for an annual check in with your social media accounts. Instead, monitor after every campaign or once a month to get a frequent reading of how your brand is performing.

Each platform offers its own tools to track your successes and failures. If you see that you are performing particularly well with a certain type of content, produce more of that. Afterall, you are trying to engage followers, not robots, and people will favor more of what they want when it comes to the entertainment and informational value of a social media platform.

There will be other times that you see your content NOT performing so well. As with everything in life, making mistakes is a great chance to adapt and create something new and more exciting. If you want to go the extra mile, surveying some of your social audience could be a worthwhile cause, especially if you find yourself performing poorly over time. Asking your followers directly what they want to see is an obvious way to make sure you are engaging them with something they enjoy.

Social media marketing doesn’t mean much unless you are willing to do the mundane work of tracking your progress. And this won’t mean just checking in to see how many likes you received on a post. Metrics on each platform will check for various points that will tell you whether you are succeeding in running successful campaigns and creating engaging content. By measuring your successes and learning from your failures, you will be on your way to gaining more followers and establishing your brand across social media platforms.

Social Media Channels and Your Marketing

If you are a social-media-for-business newbie, it’s time to learn more about coordinating marketing campaigns across your channels as an important way to leverage this platform. Even with some experience under your belt, understanding the importance of creating a cohesive story across all your social media channels will help you to knock your social strategy out of the park.

Most users have a favorite social media platform that they turn to for entertainment, news, and connection. However, they most likely have a few different ones downloaded onto their various devices, interacting with your brand in different ways. Each social media platform offers a unique chance to show off a different part of your brand’s story to followers who are interested in learning more.

Maximize your social media channels

It’s easier than you think, but it does require knowing your target audience and time spent paying attention to detail.

You know by now the little quirks each platform offers. Twitter has that famous 280-character limit. TikTok is known for videos and not much written content. Hashtags are popular on Instagram but not necessarily on Facebook. All these things add up to a lot to remember when it comes to creating content. Add to that a marketing campaign and you may find your head spinning.

Overwhelmed by social media? Breathe.

So, let’s say you have a new campaign you would like to launch on your social media channels. As noted in this series on strategic social media, you can reach more followers by creating a cohesive story across all your channels. But this doesn’t mean you need to use the exact same content. Give you followers a chance to interact with different content on each of the channels, while keeping it all within the general theme of your marketing campaign.

Let’s say you have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. You can create a short tweet including an image as well as a helpful link for those followers who are part of your community on this platform. Take the same message and make a video that can be shared on TikTok, as a reel on Instagram and even as a story on Facebook. This message can be longer and more in-depth than the one on your Twitter account. Then, you can make static posts that will go out on Instagram and Facebook as well and even create a hashtag that is relevant for your campaign.

Teamwork makes the dreamwork! By working with all these channels together, you reach all your followers, gain some more, and get your message out in a dynamic, interesting, and multi-dimensional way.

Make content relevant to channel

A word of caution: there are some instances where a campaign will only be appropriate for certain platforms, depending on users. Your demographic will be different on Facebook versus TikTok, so before sharing content across all your social media channels, make sure that they are relevant to your followers there. If your company is launching a huge campaign, for example, or annual fundraiser, this would be appropriate across all channels. However, if you sell multiple products and are launching a new line aimed specifically at a certain age group, it would be worth your time to figure out where those followers spend their social capital and focus your efforts more on those channels.

Keep brand and message consistent and let your marketing campaigns shine on social media!


Cue the Chatbots

Earlier this month, we posted a blog all about the use of AI in marketing. If you are following along with us, maybe you are ready to let the robots take over. If so, we need to let you in on a little not-so-secret helper for your customer’s overall experience with your brand: Chatbots.

Have you ever visited a company’s website and had a little bubble pop up, with someone (or in some cases something) asking if you need any help? If you have a Polly Anna complex, you may have thought “Oh how sweet, there is someone just waiting on the other side wanting to help me should anything arise!” If you are more of a realist, you know that this is a chatbot, or an example of using AI to assist your customer in real time.

Chatbots come in all forms but are mainly created to help take the burden off your customer service team. There are a wide variety of easily answered questions and queries that automation can simplify for your brand when it comes to interacting with the customer. Chatbots leverage platforms such as texting, messaging, and website chat windows to receive and respond to messages. They are programmed to respond to keywords, phrases and can learn to adapt as time goes on.

Technological Tool for Saving Time

We aren’t just talking about saving time on YOUR end, although your time is extremely valuable. We are also talking about saving your consumers time when they have a question or issue. Who wants to be on the phone with customer service, where long wait times, multiple transfers and misunderstandings abound. If you give your customers one gift this year, please let it be less of that hold music!

You will also be saving on precious time for your employees, who can focus on helping customers with more complex issues instead of wasting their workday answering the same repeated questions. What will your HR team do with all that time? We think some extra vacation days are a good idea.

Aren’t Chatbots Complicated?

The best part about the tech boom we are seeing across all platforms of marketing is that things are becoming more user friendly and streamlined, rather than more complicated. Chatbots are no different. Instead of worrying about how to code and install a chatbot for your company, you can simply subscribe to an already existing platform that can take your website to the next level in terms of customer experience.

You may be surprised to find out that chatbots aren’t new to the scene. They haven’t been around quite as long as your brain has identified with the sound of dial up internet, but they have maintained a steady presence in the world of online marketing. Their latest boom comes from the past few years of a growing online presence for all consumers. This same boom has also brought more automation to every aspect of business. If you want to keep up with your competitors (and we know you do), you may need to investigate this simple but effective method of helping your consumers navigate your product or service.



Find a Brand Advocate to Help You Spread the Word

In the realm of social media, we have, many times over, heard the word “influencer.” Last month, we even wrote a  blog about why using the help of an influencer is a great tool, although sometimes difficult to navigate. One of the reasons as to why it can be hard is because you can’t always control what an influencer does with your product (or how they conduct themselves for that matter).

Choosing someone to represent your brand or get the word out about how awesome your business is can be a time-consuming task. And as with all time-consuming tasks, many brands want to opt for something easier or more efficient. You want to know the short cut? It’s called a Brand Advocate.

Talk that isn’t cheap

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to spread the … well … word about your business. But this isn’t because people love to listen to random people spouting off facts about an industry or product. When word of your brand is spread by someone who knows and loves your product of service, other people will naturally tend to wonder if it could do the same for them. A brand advocate is just that: someone who has used your product or knows your service and really likes it; they want to help you spread the word. Sometimes we call a brand advocate an “evangelist.” They are in the top five percent of your clients in terms of loyalty; you can count on them to be return customers, even in the face of a price increase or maybe even an occasional poor customer service experience.

Whereas the use of influencers can feel a bit contrived and commercial, brand advocacy is more organic. Your advocate will continue supporting and using your brand, all while letting their followers know of their loyalty. There is a time and place for both an influencer or brand advocate and one or both may not work for every business. Determining this requires you to know your consumer and keep your SMART goals in mind.

Is a brand advocate a good strategy for your business?

If you are aiming to reach a wider audience and want to get your brand’s name out to as many people as possible, brand advocacy may not be the way to go. An influencer is focused on gaining as many followers as they can, so anything they put out on their social media account will have a large impact. Influencers expect some form of payment, and you will need to negotiate a contract so that your brand is protected. We don’t mean that influencers will necessarily take advantage of you, but since they may not be familiar with your brand yet, you will need to give them a good idea of how you want your business to be portrayed in the online world.

A brand advocate, in contrast, is not paid. Instead, they are simply an enthusiastic fan. Because they are not an influencer, they may have a smaller following. Many companies will have current customers, employees, leadership, and company partners perform the role of advocate on social media. If you have ever asked your employees to share a company event or product on their page or account, for example, then you are already making use of brand advocacy.

Brand advocates support your company’s growth by sharing their (hopefully positive) experience with your brand. Even though they may not have the following an influencer is likely to have, their honest opinion can be invaluable in gaining new customers. And because they WANT to help you spread the word, they will most likely succeed in bringing in a new and loyal audience.

It doesn’t hurt to try

If someone is already popping into your mind that may be a great brand advocate, there is no harm in testing out the waters now. If you are ready to share your brand’s social content with a larger audience, spreading the word through advocacy will be a great jumping off point to boost your followers and potential for customer growth.

Don’t take our word for it (although you should since this is what we do for a living). Go forth and spread the word like wildfire!


Influencers as a Social Media Strategy

Do you have that friend you go to for book recommendations, date night ideas and the occasional vent session? If you are lucky, you do have a bestie who is there for you to share their fave ideas and help you when you need it. In a way, an influencer is like a best friend you can trust to show you what is fun, hip and happening in the world of social media.


Although most people don’t have a close relationship with the influencers they follow on social media, you can think of these people (both celebrities and everyday people like you and I) as entrepreneurs who have gained a following and created a community around their personality as a brand. Companies will find influencers whose audience matches their target market and pay them to do brand endorsements and the like. This is called influencer marketing and, whether you intend to use it or not, it is something you should know about. (Read how P&A uses local influencers for clients!)

Like paid promotions on social media, if you aren’t doing it, your competitors probably are. The same goes for influencer marketing. You may think of an influencer as someone famous, but chances are they have just gained a following because they are good at what they do: marketing themselves. As with everything, there are pros and cons to inviting an influencer into your marketing strategy.

Why use the help of an influencer?

Back in the day, television was the largest source of mainstream media, aside from print. Target audiences could easily be ascertained from Nielsen ratings. It’s hard to image those pre-streaming, pre-cable days … when you could hit your audience without a lot of effort. Three or four stations in every city … easy peasy! Cable + streaming + internet and social media … brands must work hard to find their audience. Working with an influencer can help your business to zero in on a sizable chunk of that audience (aka the influencer’s followers).

Working with an influencer on social media allows you to tap into a niche market that may not otherwise see your posts. The catch is you need to have something up your sleeve that will make the users want to visit your website, purchase your product, and follow your social media account. It isn’t impossible to create a good strategy here, but it does take some planning.

That’s a hard pass

One concern when working with an influencer is that your brand is in someone else’s hands. You must make sure this representative aligns with your brand’s mission and will take care of your company’s reputation. Professionalism, maturity and non-offensive language are all highly important to many companies that typically have a legally binding contract for the influencer to sign. Trusting your influencer is highly important and creating a good relationship with them could make or break your successful marketing endeavors.

Before you buy

One interesting thing about influencer marketing is that it is driven so much by the preferences, likes and opinions of consumers. Trends come and go, and influencers do, too. In fact, what was popular a few years (or even months) ago on one particular social platform has probably gone the way of bell bottoms now. Oh wait, they are back?!?! How will we ever keep up?

One thing is for sure: social media may evolve, but it is here to stay and so is its impact on our marketing strategies. Influencers will always be around in one way or another, creating interesting content to attract a growing community of followers. Their methods of rolling a brand’s product seamlessly into their content will always be an important part of what they are able to do to capture your target audience.

Paid Social Media Posts?

Are you considering paid social media posts? To pay or not to pay … that seems to be the question …

Getting your message out there on social media seems easy enough, right? If you are following along with our tips, you know many of the most important guidelines when it comes to nailing it. But this begs the question: should you spend more money on promotions in your social accounts or should you just rely on your cleverness, charisma and business know-how?

Our verdict: Your competition is probably paying for social media promotions – boosted posts, Facebook ads, Instagram reels ads, etc. This doesn’t mean that you should blow your whole budget on running paid ads at every turn. There is a nuance to it, and we are here to help you parse it out.

Know your goals

Remember those SMART goals you set in one of our first blogs in this series of tips? You will need to return to those repeatedly to make sure you are keeping them at the forefront of your marketing strategy. Your goals will guide you in figuring out when to use paid advertising on social media versus when to go the more organic route.

Paid promotions and boosted posts allow you to share your content with a specific target market. In today’s (almost) post-pandemic world, many people are still spending a lot of time on their phones (flashback to quarantine). To reach consumers who haven’t yet come across your brand, paid advertising will pop up in their newsfeed. You want to use paid promotions if your goals include:

  • Raise brand awareness and attract new followers
  • Promote the newest content and events, etc.
  • Generate leads
  • Drive conversion, including e-commerce sales

Organic social media refers to content that is free for you to post and can reach anyone, but mainly the followers you have already acquired. Your followers’ followers and people who search for hashtags you use may also see your post, which is a slow but steady way to grow your audience. Organic social media is a great way to grow connections and create a community surrounding your brand– an important aspect of brand loyalty. You want to use this type of social posting when:

  • You are establishing your personality and voice
  • You are trying to build a relationship with your target audience
  • You want to engage customers at every stage of their buying journey
  • You want to give the best customer service

B2C versus B2B

Next, it is important to know who you are trying to market your efforts toward. If you sell a B2C product or business to consumer, then your social accounts on Instagram, Facebook or even TikTok will probably be a beneficial place to start. If you are marketing yourself to other businesses, however, you will likely be aiming your sights on social platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. The point is, no matter what you are selling, your tone should match that of your target audience and the feeling of the ad should be something they would gravitate toward.

Content matters, but especially if you are going to pay for an ad. You must make sure your voice matches your brand. You must also make sure your target audience will WANT to click on your ad. Have you ever been scrolling through your Instagram feed and been surprised by a terrible ad? Don’t be that brand. (Maybe that is our best advice yet.)

Integrate paid promotions into your already existing content

If you want to reach a larger audience and target ideal customers, chances are paid promotions will help you. Repeating: Don’t put all your eggs in this basket. It is important to take care of the mama hen, aka your current followers and community, as well. Settle into a nice combination of paid promotions and organic social content that will wow your target audience and help your brand to speak up within the saturated landscape of social media.

You can do this by boosting organic posts that have performed well AND by targeting people like your consumer base. Make sure to keep an eye on your data and measure your results, something we will talk about later in this series of social media tips. Until then, best of luck out there!

Community Building through Social Media

building community

Community building is the heart of the matter. In our last “22 in ‘22” post, we talked a lot about how to engage an audience. The truth is, we left the important matter of building a community out of that blog for one reason: it deserves its own place to shine.

Creating a community surrounding your brand is one of the best things you can do to ensure customer loyalty. But it isn’t an easy thing to do. You must play all your cards right if you want to make sure you are being authentic AND taking into account the marketing and demographics of your target audience.

Say goodbye to faceless corporate jargon

One thing is for sure: consumers do not want to be in a community founded by a big, faceless, bland corporation. The younger generation would call this “vanilla” meaning it lacks pizzaz. And then they would make fun of us for using the word “pizzaz.” But alas, we can’t please everyone at the same time.

Whether your brand is big or small, you need to work to build a company culture that will shine through to your consumers. Then, share yourself with them. Let them see the inner workings of what you and your team do. In fact, share team members on social. Have some humor, let them in on special deals, share articles you like, speak to them so they know you have a common ethos. Your company culture is your foundation, and it must be a values-based, non-negotiable entity.

Become a go-to place

Once you have established your company culture (or if you already have one, good for you!), you can draw your target audience to your social platforms and create a community. Be the account they want to see on a daily basis. Allow your values to morph into a brand personality online. Engage them by creating hashtags, asking for comments or opinions, showing videos and publishing NO BORING, SALESY, B.S. CONTENT EVER. <please> If you find yourself struggling to think of options, just know that the professional at P&A are here to answer the call …

The point is that your audience must find your content valuable. They should want to spend time reading and interacting with it, otherwise you will have a hard time getting them to come back for more.

Who runs it?

An important thing to ask yourself is, “Who will manage your social media accounts?” You can’t expect to build a community with an audience if you don’t have the right language or personality behind the scenes … or if you’re not posting regularly. It’s like The Great and Powerful Oz of social media — if you want to attract the target audience, you must put out the right message, or else Dorothy won’t even try to walk through that field of poppies to get to you.

For instance, if your target audience is mostly a younger generation, make sure you have people in that generation running your social media accounts or at least responding to comments IRT. Your voice must sound like your consumers, with the right lingo. And believe us, youth these days have come up with some real doozies that seem to change daily. On the other hand, if you are a construction company, make sure the person running your social media understands how to speak the industry jargon and responds to comments accordingly. (Call us “multi-lingual” at P&A … we “speak” healthcare, construction, senior living, human resources, legalese and fun lifestyle!)

Creating a community doesn’t need to be hard, but it does take work on your part. You need to identify the personality of your target market and make sure you align your company’s values with that. Then, let them see you as more than a faceless corporation. It will not only gain you followers, but you will be a social account they can trust and rely on for information and entertainment.