Posts tagged with ‘digital marketing’

  • Digital PR in a New Tech World – An Interview with Michele Snyder

    By Ariana Revelas of Bentley University, PRSA Boston’s Faculty Forum student correspondent

     Michele Snyder is Director of Communications at Maimonides School, a private Jewish Modern Orthodox school, in Brookline. Michele is also on the Board of the Public Relations Society of America’s Boston chapter and serves as Co-chair of the Program Committee.

    I interviewed Michele so I could learn about strategic digital communications from a professional who was not born in the midst of today’s technology, but has successfully learned to master technology in her career.

    Michele graduated from the University of Maryland in 1983, the same time she first saw a computer video display terminal—a typewriter with a screen! After college, Michele worked in radio and TV marketing and communications in addition to non-profit PR. Today, Michele is responsible for all communications at Maimonides, including employee communications and external communications with parents of students at the school. Her duties include: writing e-newsletters, managing all social media channels, and producing school videos.

    How is the proliferation of digital media impacting your PR job?

    I had to learn about it along the way with hands-on learning and by taking classes. It adds a huge element of “how do I reach people, because I have to be able to.” I learned how to use certain platforms and researched what messaging would be right for certain audiences. I have learned a lot by talking to other communications professionals and by reading about digital media. I also have a mentor who is a communications consultant, which has been very beneficial.

    What skills and expertise are needed from you now that were not needed 10-15 years ago? 

    It requires openness to learn, time to follow other professionals and influencers, and see what they’re doing, and a level of understanding of analytics such as interpreting statistics with a PR lens. PR used to be just gut feelings on what content people may want to see, rather than research, but now it requires skills and understanding of data.There is a Website Design agency that one can consult to grow digitally.

    Measuring the impact of communications is getting much more intricate and it’s constantly changing. Joining professional organizations helps professionals from straying outside of their little bubbles and allows them to learn from others who have experience in data analytics.

    How do you handle earned/owned/paid media strategy and SEO strategy alongside traditional PR such as building trusted partnerships, or does someone else in your workplace handle each of these separately?  

    I handle all communications at Maimonides, which is typical in a school setting. Working with traditional media is still very important in building relationships. Authenticity is essential with media or internal management. SEO strategy like getting outreach links from Freshlinks is one aspect that I am not familiar with yet, but it’s on my radar. As digital marketing is an evolution (Vancouver digital marketing agency can also help you out in seo campaign as it is a worthwhile investment). As for mastering earned, owned and paid media strategy and execution, I have a great mentor who helps me for kitchen remodel leads. It involves looking at analytics, which is exciting and does not overwhelm me! It is so important to ask for help when you need it. It is also helpful to have an understanding of HTML.

    What digital communications projects are you proud of?

    I did a month-long campaign in March for Maimonides. I featured many photos on social media to show parents what it is like to be at school. I focused on consistency of the brand. I received feedback along the way and I’m very proud of the campaign. In terms of increased engagement, during the campaign month and 28 days of engaged use, the daily total reach increased by 31% versus the following non-campaign month. I also love the Instagram stories that I feature on the school’s page. I take photos, videos, and time lapses to tell a story through the day.


  • Doug Haslam Stone Temple Consulting

    FAST 5: Q&A with Doug Haslam, Senior Consultant, Stone Temple Consulting

    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 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.