We know the fundamentals of public relations such as writing, expression, creativity and integrity are still consistent today, even as the industry has evolved with the advent of new and social media. As referenced in last week’s Four on Friday post, these skills are the foundation for all successful public relations professionals.
We also know that mastering Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social platforms to tell brand stories and facilitate relationship building with key audiences is a critical component of what we do. Yet, so many professionals underutilize LinkedIn and all of the tools it offers. Not only can it connect you with like-minded PR professionals and share valuable industry insight, it also is one of the platforms reporters frequently use to research companies and identify sources. Here are four tips for Spring cleaning your LinkedIn presence to make the most of this valuable tool:
Pump up your Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is a multimedia rich version of your professional life that enables you to be extensive and thorough about your experience, your capabilities and your point of view on industry issues. LinkedIn provides options for adding links and uploading files, including PowerPoint presentations through LinkedIn’s SlideShare integration, as well as attaching samples of your work, patents you hold, certifications you have and causes you support – all in one place. Anything that establishes your credibility and experience, and showcases your good work, should be featured in your profile. Why not include it? Also incorporating relevant keywords will make you more “findable” for anyone who might be looking for someone with your expertise. Offer to help clients who are subject matter experts or spokespersons build out their profiles as well.
Consider your Contacts
Journalists with whom you have an established relationship are more than happy to connect on LinkedIn. Proactively invite reporters to connect and use the opportunity to ask for introductions to their colleagues you would like to know. If you are using LinkedIn to connect with a journalist you have not yet worked with but would like to know, be sure to include a personal note explaining why you, and possibly your clients, are relevant to their areas of interest and coverage.
Impart Useful Information
LinkedIn users who share updates at least once a week are ten times more likely to be approached for new opportunities. These can include opportunities to serve as sources for reporters. By keeping your updates current with company and client news, articles in which you are quoted as a subject matter expert, corporate blog posts or your perspective on industry issues, you will remain front and center on the LinkedIn news feeds of your contacts and remind reporters you are a potential resource.
Keep your Company Page Current
In addition to connecting with individual sources, reporters use LinkedIn to keep tabs on organizational news. To ensure they do not look elsewhere for information about your company, find out who is responsible for managing your company page and offer to build it out by providing content for updates, developing creative for the header image and creating Showcase Pages for prominent products and services. By providing a wealth of information in one place, you buildyour company’s newsroom on a site reporters are already using for research.
Additional insight into maximizing LinkedIn to connect with journalists can be found in this recent post on Ragan.com, which includes a video clip on how to get media attention on Twitter and LinkedIn.