The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) hosted their first professional development event of 2014 on Tuesday, February 25th, with an event on social media – one of the most topical public relations subjects. CPRS members and non-members entered the Metropolitan Hotel, eager to hear Andrea Hadley, president of dStrategy Media, deliver her presentation 'The Evolution of Social Media Strategy to Social Business Strategy'. The event was hosted by CPRS director of professional development and director of ReadyGo Media, Joanne Probyn, and supported by volunteers Sydnee Ricci, Samantha Dutton-Jones, Christine Brett, and Carrice Wong (public relations students from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Simon Fraser University).
Andrea Hadley’s presentation covered four areas, including how the social web has impacted business practices; how social media strategy leads to social business strategy; what social business strategy is and how it fits within the context of digital strategy; and what PR communications professionals can do to help their organization adapt.
Hadley provided useful data throughout her presentation starting off by stating what companies are doing with social media today (top three results are communicating with customers, responding to customers questions, and promoting events) and which departments are responsible for managing and implementing a social media strategy. Hadley discussed how social has impacted business practices, processes, and values of organizations. She gave examples how companies have been better able to respond to customer inquires using @BlackBerryHelp and @AmexHelp, for example. Hadley explained of how social has impacted business practices with four points. Social media has:
- Changed the face of customer service and reputation management
- Opened up breadth of opportunity for research and product development
- Provided new channels for sales and lead generation
- Proved the value of owned social assets
Social media is one of the leading communication tools used in the public relations. Hadley engaged the audience in a lively discussion throughout and following her presentation.
CPRS workshop guests enjoyed appetizers and beverages provided by the Metropolitan Hotel and mingled as they discussed Andrea Hadley’s presentation. Many networked and caught up with peers as Hadley took part in a live interview conducted by Samantha Dutton-Jones for use on the CPRS website and on several social channels. The success of the event proved how the evolution of social media strategy to social business strategy is a topic every public relations professional should take interest in. Hadley’s presentation gave a great recap on the topic.