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Engaging: The Key to Your Marketing Plan

A major part of public relations is engaging audiences.  A typical marketing plan is designed to help clients meet their goals by engaging with their key demographic, target audiences, and geographic target locations.  Today, many of us are using the useful tool of social media to help engage audiences and communicate.

Social media brings what audiences are saying to the forefront.  This allows for two-way communication that can be very useful to help build relationships.  The power of social media can have effects that stem far beyond just reaching audiences.  We can learn about what target markets need and how they feel about organizations and different products and services.

Take the recent Susan G. Komen crisis as an example.  The organization cut funding to Planned Parenthood, a leading provider of reproductive health services.  According to Susan G. Komen news, the decision was made during last year’s marketing and fiscal strategy planning.  This action resulted in an outcry from current supporters and was widely criticized on social media platforms.

The public attack on Susan G. Komen’s decision resulted in a change of heart on the funding of Planned Parenthood and a statement released by the Board of Directors and CEO, Nancy G. Brinker.

Though Susan G. Komen is still funding Planned Parenthood, support is at record lows.  A recent article on noted that a few of the flagship locations are struggling to meet fundraising targets, and at least five executives have announced they are leaving the company.  “We’re seeing challenges for races in some of our markets,” said Leslie Aun, spokesperson for Susan G. Komen. “People are concerned and they’ve decided not to help Komen. That’s unfortunate because it affects women whose lives we’re trying to help save.”  One has to ask, could they have handled their decision in a more proactive and strategic manner and still maintained their core values?  Did they consider using social media tools to gauge the public response before moving forward?

If we engage audiences by implementing a social media plan, we have the opportunity to know them more intimately.  We learn what causes they support, what business models are best suited for them and which places of business provide excellent service.

There are approximately 845 million monthly active users on Facebook and 100 million active users on Twitter. Are you using social media to engage with your target audience?


Published on: April 4, 2012