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The Future of PR and Marketing: Part Three

This is the third of three Guest Posts by Rick Rudman, our CEO and President.

Part Three: Where Vocus Comes In

The Internet is changing people’s buying patterns and it’s changing the role of PR and marketing. Meanwhile, Vocus is working on what we can do to help. For us this means – listening to our customers, watching industry trends and developing software that will help our customers succeed.

Although many consider Vocus the most effective software suite in the world to reach and influence audiences, I’m happy to say we’re just getting started.  Over the last year, we’ve made three acquisitions with products that are being enhanced and integrated into Vocus to help our customers to be even more successful.

A year ago we acquired HARO, founded by our own Peter Shankman.  We saw HARO as a breakthrough approach to connecting reporters with sources.

Earlier this year we acquired North Social, creators of a suite of 18 Facebook apps that help businesses of all sizes quickly create interactive Facebook pages that attract new fans and turn them into customers.

By the way, if you have any remaining doubts about whether Facebook is an appropriate channel to help PR professionals reach and influence people, consider this: recent research highlighted in TechCrunch shows that Facebook now accounts for 56% of all shared content on the Internet, dwarfing email with only 15%.

We’ll be incorporating these Facebook applications into future releases of Vocus, allowing you to build and engage a community, publish content, launch campaigns and track results from your Vocus console. You’ll be able to see how many times your content was shared, who shared it, and what action they took.  In short, we’ll help you use Facebook to reach and influence your audience even more effectively.

Finally, about six months ago, we acquired Engine140.  As you may have guessed from the name, Engine140 helps organizations build their following and their influence on Twitter.  With over 150 million users generating over 190 million tweets per day, Twitter has emerged as another relevant platform for business communication.  For PR professionals, it’s become an essential tool to distribute content and engage with followers.

So where does this leave us?

In a recent blog post by Vocus Users Conference speaker David Meerman Scott, entitled “You and I are incredibly lucky”, David describes how PR and Marketing people can now reach the world directly, rather than being solely dependent on the media to tell their story.

While some pundits cite the changing forces in journalism and the rise of social media as reasons why PR won’t be as relevant as it used to be, I believe these changes are specifically what makes the future so bright for PR.

So – being incredibly lucky, and being in the right place at the right time – let’s not let this opportunity go to waste. Let’s leverage the natural ability of public relations to reach and influence people, and help our organizations reach and influence people across social networks, online and through the media. And in doing so, let’s turn likes into loves, turn followers into endorsers and turn fans into customers.

 

Click here to read Part One or Part Two of this series by Rick Rudman.

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