Public relations teams often are in the best position to help an organization with its digital media and content strategies. Many times, however, they are not as integrated with other parts of the company to help move these strategies forward.
Doug Haslam aims to help companies overcome these obstacles. Doug (@DougH) is a senior consultant at Stone Temple Consulting, where he advises clients on content and social media strategy. He is a veteran communicator with decades of experience in journalism, PR, social media and content marketing, and previously managed social media for PRSA Boston.
On April 28, Doug will join a group of experts for PRSA Boston’s Digital Marketing Tips for PR Professionals panel session. The panelists will host 20-minute roundtable discussions – speed dating style – that will allow attendees to choose which areas they would like to learn more about. Topics will include what is new in search engine optimization (SEO), current trends in social media, how to integrate inbound marketing into a communications program, and digital marketing.
We caught up with Doug for a FAST 5 to ask him to reflect on what drew him to digital marketing, the value PR can bring to digital marketing and social media, and how the industry may evolve in the next few years.
#1 – What led you to you focus on digital marketing and social media?
I lived through the digital transformation of audio, and then made a career change to PR right as the Internet was catching on. Digital was never far from my mind, even in the ‘90s. When blogs, and then social media platforms, began to appear, I gravitated naturally to media that would allow me to help clients (and me) create content. With the means of production more easily accessible, it was easy to make that transition, where standing out meant not just access, but being able to tell a story well.
#2 – What role should PR play in an organization’s digital marketing and social media strategies? Why?
PR, if strictly meant to create awareness in the outside media, is more digital than anything else. PR is also, usually, in the best position to craft messaging and tell stories, which makes most PR departments and agencies a natural fit for social media in particular.
Another thing PR needs to do better is to gain more knowledge about how what they do affects business and marketing goals, and what they can do to ensure that happens. That could include making sure they are acquiring links with articles for better SEO, or gaining access to and understanding of websites and other metrics to assess the effect their efforts have on the business.
#3 – What aspects of digital marketing, social media and SEO do you typically see companies struggle with?
The biggest struggle is not a new one: making sure all the parts operate toward a greater whole. Does PR talk to marketing? Do they talk to the web team? The sales team? How is progress linked to overall goals and reported to the executive suite?
#4 – How do you see digital marketing and social media evolving in the next two to five years?
I would like to see more cooperation among departments. We used to talk of convergence, and then of specialization, but I don’t think we need more of either. We just need to see the parts add up to something greater than their sum.
#5 – Who are three people you follow daily on Twitter, both professionally and personally?
– @marktraphagen (colleague)
– @shellykramer (friend and mentor)
– @rhappe (Community Roundtable)
– @vanhoosear (former colleague)
– @cthilk (another former colleague I love to troll)
About Doug Haslam
Doug (@DougH) has more than 20 years of experience in communications, beginning with radio (NPR, Christian Science Monitor), and then moving into the public relations and social media marketing worlds. Doug was among the earliest PR agency professionals to integrate social media into PR and marketing programs and was involved with associated organizations from the start, including PodCamp and Social Media Club. Among dozens of clients over the past two decades, Doug has served companies in industries including technology, employment and recruiting, and publishing and design. Doug is active in the Boston marketing, PR and social media scenes, having served as a board member of the Social Media Club, a Fellow for the Society for New Communications Research, and as a Board Member and Vice President of Social Media for PRSA Boston. When Doug is not helping Stone Temple Consulting clients, he is honing his wit on social networks and hitting the roads on his bicycle and training for the annual cancer charity ride, the Pan-Mass Challenge.
Register for PRSA Boston’s Digital Marketing Tips for PR Professionals panel session and meet Doug when he joins a group of experts to host 20-minute roundtable discussions – speed dating style – on what is new in search engine optimization (SEO), current trends in social media, how to integrate inbound marketing into a communications program and digital marketing.
About FAST 5
This is an interview feature of PRSA Boston’s Hot Topics blog page. The expert subject is someone who is clearly in demand, on the go, and nailing them down for a conversation is about as easy as … winning Powerball at $1.5 billion! But we know leaders like to share, so check back for insights, wisdom, author’s books about to hit the stands and other valuable tips. @prsaboston #prsabos
Do YOU have a candidate for a FAST 5 interview? Email: Joshua Milne at firstname.lastname@example.org and pitch your subject expert!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or board of directors of either organization.