July 1, 2011
In his 2011 PRSA Leadership Rally keynote address, “The Third Way – Public Engagement," Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman, gave the following counsel on engaging consumers effectively:
1. Listen with new intelligence. There are new kinds of influentials now, conversation-starters. Cultivate relationships with them.
2. Create galvanizing ideas. Find something that’s visual and simple. Don’t be biased against an idea. Be creative.
3. Know the socialized approach to media relations. The media cloverleaf now consists of traditional media, hybrid media, social media and owned media. Broadcast tailored messages across each space with different spokespeople.
4. Create and co-create content. SEO is important, but it won’t help boring content. Use video and other multimedia. “I believe any company can be a media company.”
5. Participate in the conversation. Conversations happen in real time, all the time. Go where the people are.
6. Build active partnerships for common good. The new CSR mantra is “immediate justification.” When consumers buy a product, they want to feel like they’re doing the right thing. Do your part to help.
7. Embrace complexity. Issues are complex. Embrace a coherent way of thinking about them and analytical methods to identify and address problems.