How to use Social media as support to your PR campaign

A case study about using social media as a means and not an end.


Pundits often have a nasty habit of wearing the grim reaper’s clothes; predicting the death of this and that to the profit of new “more effective communication approaches”. How many times have you read or heard that Public Relations was dead? Killed by the omnipresent and omnipotent social media. After all, we have to admit, it is a pretty tempting promise to bypass a third party (in our case the press) to reach out directly to your constituents. While I don’t disagree, that social media is part of the communications landscape and that it has shaken up the PR profession, I would argue that, instead of killing the profession, it has made PR even more relevant. To quote America’s favorite marketing sweetheart Seth Godin: “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic”. And still, one of the best tools to build relationships is PR.


But over the years, for the PR professional, social media campaigns came to mean either of two things: managing a client’s social media (own media) or building hybrid marketing/communications campaigns. But the argument we want to make with this case study is that there can be different ways to utilize social media for a PR. Mainly utilizing social media as a means to create winning conditions for a traditional media campaign.


To illustrate how to harness social media in a different way, we want to present a case study about a campaign we successfully conducted in 2017.


PR Objective

We were approached by a health and fitness client who wanted to launch a product in a provincial market already saturated with similar offerings. The objective could not have been clearer: get visibility in traditional media. That was the only ROI accepted to ascertain the success of our PR campaign.



Before I enumerate the challenges facing our endeavor, let me restate the obvious. Challenges are to be welcomed and never feared. For challenges are actually an impetus to think more creatively. To find solutions by connecting different dots together.

In the case of our health and fitness product launch, here were our main challenges;

1-The local market is dominated by an extremely strong player who had recruited the help of many high-profile local influencers.

2-Traditional media in the province has very little space for health and fitness product news.

3-The client’s product only has a slight advantage over competitive brands.



To apply a cookie cutter strategy to our campaign would have been disastrous for the client. The obstacles were daunting enough to validate dedicating time to the search of novel ideas to tackle the challenge. From the get-go, it was clear that we needed to lay some sort of groundwork before doing a cold media outreach that we knew would not get traction. This is when we thought of using social media as a means and not an end. In other words, to use a salesman analogy, to use social media to turn a cold outreach to a warm one. This meant drawing up a pre-campaign.

Specifically, the strategy focused on:

1-Emphasizing the client’s differences,

2-Using colloquialism in dialogs with a targeted audience,

3-Leveraging social media to raise the level of awareness with reporters,

4-Have people and media experience the difference.




The process is actually simple and straightforward. It consists of two parts. One is creative, the other, more technical.

Finding the creative angle.

First, all member of the team needs to experience the product before the initial brainstorm.

The brainstorm consists of finding ideas on how to describe the product’s difference in writing and visually as it is customary on Facebook. The goal is not to stand out, but rather feed upon the social media style.

Build a targeted social media list.

This is the more technical part of the process. Here, you need to build a targeted list of reporters and lookalikes on social media. To do so, start by developing a shotgun email list of all media in a given geographical area. Use that list as a starting point to build a social media target list. In our case we used Facebook. You go to your Facebook business manager and select “Audiences” in “Assets”. Then click on create an audience and chose custom audience from customer file. Input your reporter’s list and Facebook will find the social handle of people on your email list. Out of maybe 1000 emails, Facebook might find 300 social handles. Once this list is built, use it as the basis to do a lookalike audience. Go back to “create Audience” and select this time “Lookalike Audience”. This whole process requires the use of Facebook business as opposed to the regular Facebook interface.

If you use the 5% lookalike audience you will easily be able to build a targeted list of hundreds of thousands of profiles to reach.


In this second step of the process, you have in effect built a targeted Facebook list to indirectly expose your message to the media of a particular geographical area. The goal is not to get social media ROI per say. The goal is to create targeted chatter within a community about a given subject.





Now that you have crafted your messaging and that you have your targeted Facebook list, next step is to deploy tactics that need to run for a month long to achieve what Facebook calls: “recall lift”. This is when someone’s exposure to a message is strong enough that it should be remembered for 2 days after exposure.


1- Craft 7 posts describing the client’s product and values. Have a maximum of 7 persons helping you out in posting your content on their Facebook wall. You should pace the posting once every two days.

2- Promote the 7 contents to your targeted Facebook list once every two days. Cap the exposure at once per day. Here you don’t need to spend a lot on daily promotions. 10$ per day will suffice.

3- After 15 days, analyze your results. Then pick the top 3 posts to push for the remaining days of the month.

4- The following month, reach out to a targeted list of reporters. Be specific. Just reach the relevant reporters based on their beats. Propose a trial of the client’s product.





When you are given a precise mandate as was the case with our health and fitness client, benchmarking is quite simple. Our client was looking for one thing: coverage in tier A and B traditional media. Giving anything else would have been in my mind “smoke and mirrors” to hide the failure of the campaign.

But internal benchmarking for the team meant two things:

1-How successful were we in exposing our client’s product to reporters

2-Was the messaging striking enough to generate a “recall lift”

The most simple and effective way to know was to ask directly the reporters in our follow-up calls. In our particular case, we had achieved 41% of reporters remembering reading about our client’s product.

We had envisioned success at 25 to 30% “recall lift”. In hindsight, generating 10% to 15% “recall lift” is a good benchmark. One that will definitely help you in your traditional media outreach.



To perform a pre-PR campaign on social networks, you will need three key people, but with three different skill sets. You will require the services of a social media specialists and PR professional.

A third person is necessary as a client manager.

The execution requires minimal investment from the client side, and it takes about 100 hours over the course of 6 weeks.


Was it perfect? 

Someone said perfection is not of this world! I can’t recall who said it but I remember vividly my mother telling it to me numerous time!

If we had to redo it, we would definitely produce original visual assets instead of using official client’s assets. Since the campaign was based on disseminating information, in a colloquial manner, it would have been more convincing to use unaltered locally produced images.

And if we had a more substantial budget we would have asked more people to share our posts in our pre-PR campaign. This would have given our campaign a better chance of going viral and potentially have interested reporters reach out to us for information.


7 Best practices

— Use reporter’s databases to indirectly reach them as opposed to spamming every single one of them.

— Social media can be a PR professional ally if you use its powerful targeting features to warm-up your outreach.

— Images without logo work better if you are looking to opening up a dialogue about a brand.

— Make sure your initial list of reporters that you import on Facebook has at least 1000 emails. This will ensure a good sample size for Facebook to find social handles.

— Produce authentic images with people portrayed.

— Use a personal tone when writing.

— Always experience the client’s product before brainstorming.


At the end of our campaign, we were able to receive 14 press coverage for an MRP score of 3,5 million impressions.

We hope this case study, will convince PR professionals to leverage social media as a tool and not necessarily as a means to bypass media to reach directly the consumer.



5 steps to improve the success rate of your traditional PR campaign

Follow these 5 steps to use social media powerful targeting option to support your traditional PR campaign.

– Build a broad localized reporter’s list not based on beats,

– Input the list in Facebook to find the reporters social handle,

– Expand your target with lookalikes,

– Create content for a month-long campaign,

– Promote your content to your target list.

After completion of the month-long campaign, start a very targeted outreach to relevant reporters based on their beats. If your social media “pre-campaign” content was relevant and your targeting precise, you will have improved greatly reporter’s interest in your pitch.

Google Keywords Tool: how and why to use it


Google Keywords Tool Can Improve Your Ads

You can improve your ads ranking on the search results page if you find relevant keywords to use in your ad by putting the Google keywords tool to good use. When you search for keywords it is best to find keywords that have the highest average cost per click if your budget can handle it.

Google ads are the ones that show up on the right side of the search results page. If you want your ad to rank high on the results pages you have to have a page that is optimized. This how you will get the most traffic to your site.

The Google keywords tool is easy and free to use even if you do not have an active AdWords account. However, you will not have access to the all-important cost-per-click information unless you do have an AdWords account. So your first step is to sign in to AdWords and register. The AdWords account is also free to you.

Once you have an AdWords account then you can start your keyword research by going to the website and typing in a keyword or keyword phrase or the URL for your website into the text box. click the AdWords button then enter the security Captcha then click the search button.

The tool will automatically show you a list of relevant terms you can analyze to find what will work for you. Pay attention to the column that shows the average CPC. This is where you will make your money. Do not choose any keyword that has an average CPC of less than $0.50. These keywords are not worth your time.

The best keywords are those with a CPC higher than $0.50 and a competition of less than 3.00. If you find a keyword that fits these criteria you can try to use it for your ad. You will have to test it to see how it performs out in the marketplace. Pick a keyword and then write your ad. Test each ad, one at a time, for two weeks with a different keyword for every two-week trial. Track the results and then try out another keyword for another two weeks

This is a good way to find a niche as well. If you are into niche marketing then you can analyze this keyword further to see if you can find out if a website is available. If there is a website available then you could turn around and buy the domain name. The all you have to do is put up a website and use that keyword to drive traffic to your new site.

If you already have a website and are just trying to drive traffic by placing an ad on Google then you must look at the Local and Global Monthly Search tabs to find out how many people search for that term every month. Obviously, the more people searching for that term the better. Effectively using the Google keywords tool can mean money in the bank for you.

Google Keyword Search

Knowing what Google keyword search statistics can tell you about the keywords being used in local monthly searches and global monthly searches. This type of information can help in many ways such as:

A. Structuring your account. You can make an ad group with a keyword that generates a lot of traffic for you. This will allow you to fine-tune the written content on your squeeze page to that keyword.

B. Planning your budget. Figure out how much traffic your keyword gets so you can put enough money towards it.

C. Choosing keywords. Choose quality keywords that will turn the leads you get into conversions.

D. Research fluctuations in traffic. This is important because web traffic to your keywords is constantly changing due to the time of year, what’s going on in the world, and lots of other reasons to stay on top of this research.

E. Targeting Location and Language. If you have structured your account with an ad group the keyword tool will take into account the country and the language in the Local Monthly Searches column. The Global Monthly Searches column takes these into account all the time.

F. Keyword match selection. If you choose Broad or Phrase for your match type then Google Keyword Search will show alternate keywords related to your original one that may help trigger your ads.

G. Local Monthly Searches and Global Monthly Searches give an estimated 12 month average of how many times someone searches for your keyword.

Your business is all about the keywords you choose. They are the basis of how your customers find your website and you make sales or not. The keywords you choose will help you get ranked high on the search engine results page and get your ad seen by a lot of searchers. This is called getting traffic. You need traffic to get sales, it’s that simple.

Spend some time creating a keyword list. This may take some time but if you find just the right keyword it could mean a significant boost to your bottom line. The best advice I can give you about coming up with keywords is to think like your customers do.

Choose words or phrases that you think someone would use to search for your product or service. With the right keywords, your ads will get the clicks from those who are looking for your specific product or service.

You may have to dig down deep to find just the right keyword. Some keywords may bring you a lot of traffic but not many conversions. These are not the keywords you want. Do not be too broad in your keyword selection. Fine tune your keywords so you get targeted results.

When you have a good basic list of good keywords then you can take those keywords and find maybe even better variations of them. Try using the plural form of your keyword or maybe some slang terms, or different spellings, who knows, it might just be a little gold mine for you.

Google keyword search and writing a great ad should work together to improving your bottom line significantly.

Google Keyword Research

When you do Google keyword research there is a wonderful keyword tool that they have for you to use. Their keyword tool lets you wade through a whole database of words and phrases to help you find your niche and the best keyword to put to use for that niche.

Not only can you find the best keywords to use to bring traffic to your site you can also research statistics of that keyword to see how many searches it gets every month. The best keyword is one with little competition and a high search volume.

This may take some time but sometimes, if you look long and hard enough, you might just find a keyword that will be just like finding a little nugget of gold good enough to bring you all the riches you desire.

Here is what you do:

Open a new tab on your browser and go to the Google keyword research tool located at “” Type in the keyword you want to start with then type in the captcha letters and lick the search button.

What will come up is a list of related words and phrases the tool generates for you to choose from. Like I said choose a keyword or phrase that has low competition and a high search volume. Picking one that has a high competition will not allow you to rank high on the search results pages.

Now, when you find one that you think is a good one, check how your keyword for trending. Put your mouse over the keyword or phrase and then click on the spyglass icon. Google Trends will show you when, during the entire year, your search term is the most popular.
This is a great feature if you have picked a niche that is seasonal.

The next thing you should do is go to Google and type your chosen keyword into the search bar. How many ads do you see on the right-hand side of the results page? If there are less than five then you should keep looking for another keyword to use. Less than five means that this is probably not a good niche because no one is searching for it.

If there are five or more ads on the right-hand side of the results page then you are golden and this is a keyword you should keep and use.

The keyword tool will also show you how much your keyword is making per click. The average CPC for a good keyword is anything above $0.50 per click. You want to make money right? Then pick your keywords carefully and make sure that they have a higher CPC.

Google keyword research tool was the basis of another company’s study on the top 20 highest CPC keywords. “Insurance” tops that list of keywords with over 24% of all keywords used and a CPC of over $47. That is absolutely insane! You would probably never find a good keyword to use in that niche but if you did, WOW! You would be laughing all the way to the bank.

Google Keyword List

Assembling a Google keyword list is easy. All you have to do is use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to find specific, relevant keywords related to the product or service you are offering for purchase.

A well-defined keyword list will be the difference between you being a successful business person and an unsuccessful business person.

When you are doing your keyword research, think like your customers would. Ask yourself what words would the people looking for my business use when they type into the search bar and use those words to generate a related alternative Google keyword list.

If you have a hard time with this, at the next family gathering ask everyone to write some words that relate to your business down on some slips of paper and use those suggestions to plug into the keyword tool.

If you dig deep enough you may just hit on a little gold nugget that will turn your business into a huge gold mine.

Also, reread all the content on your website and try to pinpoint one or two keyword phrases or long-tailed keywords to use as well. Keyword phrases can help you get that much more specific in the marketing of your niche so that you may find you have very little competition.

Everyone needs some competition so you basically have a bidding war going on between you and drive the CPC up just a little bit. Not too much though, you do not want to go bankrupt on your very first PPC campaign.

You do, however, want enough keyword usage in your ad and in the content on your website to be able to rank high in the search engine results pages. The higher you rank, the more click-throughs you will get and that means more sales. Not everyone will buy something when they go to your website, they may visit for a while and then when they are ready they may come back to you to get what they need. Who knows maybe they bookmarked your site and will tell someone else about it and they will come and buy something from you.

Depending on the time of year or the product or service you are selling, you may want to target a certain area or region and use the name of that area or region in your keyword phrase or long-tailed keyword. The search engines would love you even more.

Do be careful that you are up-to-date on the most recent changes that Google has made about the originality of the content you must have on your website. If the content you place on your website is not uniquely yours and does not cite some study or other expert or professional resource, Google’s human reviewers will not rate you “vital” or “relevant” and you run the risk of being rejected.

Start with a well-researched Google keyword list and go from there. Just be sure you are adhering to all the new rules so you can get and stay profitable.


Google AdWords keyword

If you are a frequent user of the Google AdWords keyword tool then you may have noticed that they have made another change. You will no longer see the green and red bars that showed you the competition data like you did before.

Now, the Google AdWords keyword tool ranks the competition data with the words high, medium, or low rankings. Previously the green and red bars showed you, at a glance, how competitive the keyword was that you were researching.

Google does still allow you to download a report from their site to get the competition data as a real number that the red and green bars used to stand for. If this will continue no one knows but for now it is still available.

The rankings and what they stand for are as follows:

High-ranking – Competition is above .67

Medium ranking – Competition is between .33 and .66

Low ranking – Competition is below .33

All the data you will see is only directly related to AdWords data including cost, and competition. No other search data is shown. If there is high competition for the keyword you are researching the rank will be high.

This change, as well as the other changes Google has made over the past few months, is designed to try to make things easier for the user. Business people trying to get an edge on the competition will no longer have to “guess” at what the colored bars mean. they can read the ranking and know whether or not they have a good keyword or phrase.

Keyword research can now be a lot quicker because as any business owner knows, “time is money”. If you use this tool every day then you can see the ranking and go to Google just like you always did to get the real numbers so it really is not any more complicated than it used to be.

Google has put out a list of the top 20 keywords searched for and included the CPC for all of them. The top Keyword is “insurance” and comes along with a hefty pay per click sum of $54.91.

The study was done by WordStream over a 90-day period. The others keywords that comprise the list of the most competitive keywords and the highest CPCs are as follows:

2. Loans – 12.8% of keywords – CPC $44.28
3. Mortgage – 9% – CPC $47.12
4. Attorney – 3.6% – CPC $47.07
5. Credit – 3.2% – CPC $36.06
6. Lawyer – 3% – CPC $42.51
7. Donate – 2.5% – CPC $42.02
8. Degree – 2.2% – CPC $40.61
9. Hosting – 2.2% – CPC $31.91
10. Claim – 1.4% – CPC $45.51
11. Conference Call – 0.9% – CPC $42.05
12. Trading – 0.8% – CPC $33.19
13. Software – 0.8% – CPC $35.29
14. Recovery – 0.7% – CPC $42.03
15. Transfer – o.6% – CPC $29.86
16. Gas/Electricity – 0.6% – CPC $54.62
17. Classes – o.5% – CPC $35.04
18. Rehab – 0.5% – CPC $33.59
19. Treatment – 0.4% – CPC $37.18
20. Cord Blood – 0.4% – CPC $27.80

There they are, the most searched for and most expensive keywords ever according to WordStream. The folks at WordStream used their own information and that of the Google AdWords Keyword tool. Google makes billions of dollars each year and now you know how they do it.