Social media best practice: “Yes, I am the PR girl”

Image Source: Andrew Kelly: Flickr Creative Commons

Image Source: Andrew Kelly: Flickr Creative Commons

In my previous post I utilised the analogy of a social media masquerade ball to demonstrate how transparency and authenticity are essential components of any online public relations strategy. In fact transparency and authenticity are the foundation to becoming a captivating online presence whom your key publics seek to befriend.

Today I would like to expand on the aforementioned concept by presenting a case study of social media best practice. Let us first re-enter the scene of the social media masquerade introduced in my previous post.

In a sea of masks, one woman brazenly stands out. She wears no mask. She is confident. She speaks the language of the mingling crowds.She proudly states her affiliations. Why? She knows she can captivate the crowds with exclusive information that only she knows. People want to be her friend. Why? She positions herself as a friend of value.

This woman described can be you as a public relations practitioner.
Aliza Licht otherwise known as “The DKNY PR Girl” was one of the first PR professionals to pioneer the concept of a popular PR girl. She utilised social media to converse with her key publics and her tagline on Twitter confidently asserts her position as a PR girl who has something to offer.

“I’m your well-placed fashion source bringing you behind-the-scenes scoop from inside Donna Karan New York & DKNY and my life as a PR girl living in NY.”

The manner in which Licht’s twitter tagline casually asserts her role as a PR girl and invites followers to follow her “life as a PR girl living in NY,” adds intrigue to her PR role instead of stereotypical suspicion of PR practitioners. Licht’s raw transparency and authenticity allowed her to be a relatable online persona. She not only tweeted about the glamour of her role as a PR Girl but also her human errors and career stresses which resonated with her followers and thus captured their attention. The Tweet below mentioning a lost suitcase of gowns engaged her followers and prompted them to follow her account of the gown saga online as the crisis unfolded.

Licht’s relatability  and authenticity also extended in the manner in which she infused her own personality within her posts. How did she do it? Licht explained in a Blogpost that she simply tweeted as her genuine self.

“Because I have been a “pr girl” at Donna Karan for fifteen years, I didn’t have to create a personality that lived and breathed the brands, because I already did. Ultimately, by being myself, I created DKNY PR GIRL”

A desire to be genuine translated into Licht’s famous “coming outYoutube video as the human face behind “The DKNY PR Girl” sketch.

Licht sums up her success as “The DKNY PR Girl” in a Ted talk appropriately labelled as “The Power of Being Real. ” She explained that she considered her social media community as “not followers but friends” whom she could engage with. She enabled her online friends to be a “fly on the wall” and exclusively peek into the glamorous fashion world in a timely manner. Licht did not just talk the talk but rather pragmatically reached out to her Twitter friends and invited them to join her Twitter party.

Licht’s message to you?
Be authentic and genuine.
Add the human element.
Be relatable.


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