Sunday, March 15, 2015

What Happens When PR and Social Media Intersect?

I would like to introduce Jayme Soulati to my blog. Jayme is president of Soulati Media, Inc., and a message mapping master. She offers blended public relations marketing with content, social, digital, and internet marketing. Recently, she launched a podcast, The Heart of Marketing, on iTunes and Stitcher Radio, and since 2010, she’s been an award-winning blogger. She’s also a past president of the Publicity Club of Chicago. Follow her on Twitter @Soulati and on her website ( We recently talked about the intersection of social media and PR, and highlights of our conversation follow below.

QUESTION: As a social media strategist, how do you integrate social media into an overall marketing plan to create consistent messaging?
JAYME SOULATI: Social media marketing is hunkering down as just another tool. The excitement has dulled with the intense evolution of Facebook as a publicly-traded entity, monetization demands across the channels, and the expected demise of Google Plus. That’s not to say we can ignore social media! It needs to be included in the blended marketing plan as a method of amplifying messages consistently and sharing owned media. Regardless of how you’re pushing messages and where, it is critical that social media marketers use approved brand messages across all media for accuracy, clarity, and consistency.

QUESTION: What are the five ways PR can benefit from social media, and why?
JAYME SOULATI: As a seasoned PR professional, I understand the value of writing across media. You need to become a change artist as social media writing is an art form! Showcase writing talent with tweets. IMHO, tweets provide the toughest writing opportunity as the message gets portrayed succinctly.

Every PR person has to develop a personal brand. Back in the day, that was a buzz phrase, and today it remains important. Developing a professionally strong identity via social media is an opportunity – seize it!

Networking has always been the core of business and professional development. Do use social media to engage with others you’d like to meet, from whom you’d like to learn, and make the ask! Most of us are always interested in helping others in our profession.

Knowledge immersion can be overwhelming and social media provides astonishing opportunity to get free knowledge from the best sites. If there’s time to dive in deeply from the A-listers and the sites with specialty topics, seize it! More carpe diem!

Career advancement is probably the least used avenue in social media for PR peeps. It’s pretty rare that I get someone to nicely stalk me in social channels or ask my help looking for a position. I love that! People should be more aware of finding their peers because genuine connections can be made.

QUESTION: What’s your favorite social media platform, and why?
JAYME SOULATI: Twitter remains my favorite channel by far. I guess it’s the immediacy of the connectivity, the speed conversations occur, the global reach, and the ‘raderie I’ve built on this channel. It’s where I earned my social media mojo in early 2009, and it truly saved my life from a dismal relocation to a new city where I knew no one. Back in the day during the great recession, we partied on Twitter every night. It was a banterfest, and that’s where I made my earliest and deepest connections with peeps around the world. I relish the early days and miss them, too.

QUESTION: There was a post last year indicating that the most important word in marketing is relevance. How did that post impact your marketing? 

JAYME SOULATI: I’d argue that relevance is directly aligned with authenticity. If you present your brand authentically, you build trust. The relevance quotient goes up a notch when you realize that people are reading you, engaging with you, and sharing your content because you’re being smart and relevant.

People need to learn how to cut the clutter and differentiate. Relevance is learned behavior, and for folks to stand out in the social media circus, they need to continually innovate and change with the technology disruption. Pretty soon humans will be irrelevant; I’m seeing the signs all over from driverless cars to watches that pay your bills. We need to work hard at being authoritative so customers regard us as relevant.

QUESTION: Lastly, in today’s social era, it’s critical to create personal brands. You have branded yourself as a “message mapping master.” How do you describe this, and how do you use it as a tool to stand out?
JAYME SOULATI: When you reach the point in your professional development with a breadth of ticked-off accomplishments on the checklist, then it’s time to explore specialty services. People have a difficult time knowing how to open the door to work with an accomplished professional.

By rebranding as a message mapping master, I’ve been able to pinpoint a service most companies need. With the leadership team together, we hash out a huge free think about the company. Every detail is explored, and using the conversation as inspiration, I can craft a messaging suite that better clarifies the company’s services, products, people, mission, customers, and more. The simple and clarified messaging is used to write a website, case studies, social media, blogging, thought leadership, and more.

My gratitude to Jayme for sharing how her concept of “message mapping” can create more memorable brands when the worlds of PR and social media intersect.