Joanna Lennon is the head of PR at TC Communications (TCC) an integrated marketing agency based in Ascot. In conversation with Cision, Joanna discusses the importance of social media in PR, the challenges associated with it and her plans to be in the Caribbean in five years.
What’s new at TCC?
We have reshaped the company in the last six months and have a new senior management team that combines TCC’s 29 years’ experience with new skill sets. We have also started the year with some excellent new business wins.
How has the nature of campaigns that you create for clients changed recently?
In a word – digital. There are more channels for PRs and marketers than ever before and almost every campaign has a digital element. Clients like the instant reporting and ROI that digital media offers while also complementing all other marketing activity. However, it is short sighted to think that digital is the new solution to everything as clients still need long term, slow boil customer awareness and corporate campaigns.
How important is social media as a communication tool for PR today?
All our clients have now embraced social media (some more reluctantly than others) and none have looked back. Social media allows a conversation between brands and their customers and, in some cases, the customers’ online influence is crucial. For example, when you are planning a weekend away, the chances are TripAdvisor influences your decision more than any PR.
What are the challenges of social PR and how do you overcome them?
Because of its immediacy and influence, some companies have been badly bruised in brief encounters with social media – usually because they have not planned and run their digital strategy very well. We manage a great number of clients’ social media to ensure 24/7 response times (to good and bad), a consistent style, on-brand messaging and engaging, interesting content.
What is the road ahead for TCC?
2014 has kicked off with some excellent new business wins and what is exciting is that they are all in different sectors. One of the best things about TCC is that we have an unusually diverse client base and we do not put them (or our account handling teams) into old fashioned pigeon holes. We know some people think one has to specialise to be an expert, but at TCC we believe that marketing skills, experience, knowledge and creativity are applicable across the board – in fact, it is just plain old fashioned to think otherwise. For 2014 we have a number of businesses in our sights.