Do you have a strategy for online comments?
- 24 Comment
Whether you’re a local bar owner or CEO of a Fortune 100 company, people are talking about you online. This post is specifically looking at the online communities of media outlets. The majority of online media outlets, especially blogs have a comment section following articles. Many times these comments can prove more entertaining, heated and thought-provoking than the articles themselves.
Landing the story is only part of your strategy
This means that landing a story in the media or by a blogger is only part of your public relations strategy.
Do you monitor online comments posted in articles you are mentioned in? If not, you’re missing a major part of your communication and public relations strategy. Invest the time into developing your own strategy. The worst thing you can do is to not have your finger on the pulse on what is being posted about you or your company.
Comments can determine prominence
In fact, did you know many times the number of comments can determine the prominence of an article? When a newspaper publishes it’s daily front page story, that story remains front page. If an online article receives a certain number (depends on the media outlet) of comments it can actually move an article “up” in prominence, making it the equivalent of a front page story.
You must monitor
It doesn’t matter if you’re a team of one or 100. You MUST monitor your online presence-especially if you’ve got a public relations strategy. A simple and FREE way to find out if you’re mentioned anywhere on the web is to set up Google Alerts. This is a MUST HAVE resource for any business. Set up alerts for your executive team, your competitors, high profile customers, etc. You will stay in-the-know on important news.
Is it your vice president of marketing and communications, the president or a public relations agency? Someone needs to be responsible for not only monitoring the stories but setting the wheels in motion for your comment strategy. This strategy is dependent on a host of triggers. For example, classify comments as positive, negative or neutral and have tactics for each.
TIP: As part of your strategy decide when an article no longer needs monitoring (i.e. no comments posted in 48 hours).
Comments: newest to oldest or oldest to newest?
Okay, you’ve been mentioned in a media article. What next?
Check out the comment structure for the outlet. Are comments posted oldest to newest or newest to oldest? This is important because if the oldest comment is first, it means it will stay there for-ev-er. The point is, you want to have the first comment posted.
Engage a group of supporters
As part of your strategy reach out to a combination of employees and non-employees (this number depends on your average daily number of media mentions). Ask them if they will help to post their real, sincere comments on media stories about your business/company. If they agree, share your key messages, important website links and other information with them. When it comes time to ask for their help, they will be prepared. (Don’t forget to reward and recognize these individuals.)
MY OPINION: If employees are posting, they should disclaim in their post.
This is only a brief look into media integration of online communities. Overall, it’s a reminder that you need to beef up your public relations strategy to include the monitoring of online comments.
Feel free to share what has worked for you with this community.