Pinning for PR

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Posted At: October 26, 2013 9:08 a.m.
By Lexi Holdbrooks

Social media has transformed the world we live in. Pinterest is one of the newest forms of social media that allows you to blog visually. A user can create numerous boards that are categorized and filled with images of things that inspire them, such as “Do It Yourself,” dream weddings, fashion, food, home decor, travel, etc.

Photo Credit: mkhMarketing
Photo Credit: mkhMarketing

According to Mashable.com, Pinterest is the third largest social media site on the Internet behind Facebook and Twitter, and it drives more referral traffic than Google +, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. Mediabistro.com found that ninety-seven percent of Pinterest users are women and use the site for 16 minutes or less. The most popular age group that uses Pinterest is between the ages of 25-34 years old.

Implementation Strategies

When it comes to PR, how can a public relations agency strategically use this increasingly popular social media site to contribute promotional value like its social media counterparts, Facebook and Twitter?

In 2012, PR professional Gini Dietrich spoke at the Public Relations Association of Louisiana meeting in New Orleans about 16 different ways to use Pinterest for PR. Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm in Chicago. Check out her 16 tips on how to use Pinterest for PR.

As Dietrich notes, promoting a business on Pinterest can be an easy and fun way to help it succeed by keeping a competitive edge in the world of social media. Many agencies use a number of these tools to strategically use Pinterest as a measurable means to promote the agencies’ brands, as well as their clients’ brands.

Pinning for a Persona

One Chicago-based PR agency uses Pinterest methodically to maintain its brand. Skirt PR is a full-service agency dedicated to the practice of specialized personal public relations, while concentrating on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. As of October 2013, it has 5,693 followers on Pinterest. Its Pinterest page truly represents the image of the company and gives followers a chance to engage and relate with the company’s brand. Skirt’s social media team dedicates at least one to two hours per day on Pinterest pinning, repinning, re-organizing boards and cover images, following target-right influences and coordinating the occasional contest or promotion.

Dana Farber, the social media associate at Skirt PR, believes that its Pinterest page truly identifies with Skirt PR as a brand.

“Pinterest is such an inspiring and visual network,” Farber said. “It’s incredible to witness everyday people, companies, brands and celebrities engaging in a community at the same time. Not to mention, it’s just so addicting!”

Farber said that Skirt PR’s rapid growth indicates an immediate connection between its brand and its followers. Pinterest introduced Skirt PR to many inspiring bloggers, photographers and businesses that Farber believed they would have missed on other networks. With 30 various boards on its page, Skirt PR has numerous strategies on how obtain the most from this social media site.

“We aim to spread out our pins across all of our boards for continuity and variety,” Farber explained. “We have boards that represent each of the different employee personalities at Skirt, and we also look to engage with other companies, brands and influencers by interacting with their pins.”

In order to accurately use Pinterest as a social media advantage for Skirt’s clients, the team starts with understanding and developing a client’s brand identity.

“The Skirt social team currently runs the Pinterest accounts for a few of our clients,” Farber noted. “The process begins with brand identity – digging deep to understand who the client is, what the brand gravitates toward and what inspires it. Establishing this grasp is essential to cultivating a personality on Pinterest. Combined with traditional social media efforts that cross-promote Pinterest boards, a successful Pinterest campaign is born.”

Branding and persona are two of the most important aspects of Skirt PR, and the agency makes a concentrated effort to infuse these components into everything they do. The agency’s Pinterest boards accurately depict the personality behind the agency. Sassy and playful, this powerfully pink agency seems as if it is a fabulous, fashionable, high-class woman.

“We view Skirt like a person,” Farber said. “One who has refined taste, particular interest and defining characteristics. Our pins reflect this, and people seem to respond to our specific point of view.”

Proof is in the Pins

Similarly, Magnolia PR, a boutique agency that focuses on the representation of children’s fashion and lifestyle brands in Los Angeles, uses Pinterest as an extension of its brand. Magnolia PR is also one of Pinterest’s most popular PR agency pages with with a growing following of 6,124 as of October 2013.

“I love Pinterest because it’s a visual scrapbook of sorts,” Adrienne Dorsey, owner and CEO of Magnolia PR, stated. “I use it to attract followers of my brand, create exposure for the brands I represent and build relationships with bloggers, editors and tastemakers.”

In comparison to other social media platforms, Dorsey explained that Pinterest is popular because it is less verbal, more visual and allows for constant contact.

Dorsey tries to pin every day for at least 20-30 minutes and always creates boards that are both interesting and relevant. In order to use Pinterest effectively and efficiently, Dorsey recommends making an agency’s board social and fun.

“Pin things you truly like and be creative with your boards,” Dorsey said. “Look up brands, publications and designers you admire to follow and repin. Make it a priority and try to set aside time each day to pin — there’s nothing worse than an abandoned, inactive Pinterest page with hardly any pins.”

Pinterest is a new and innovative tool to promote a company’s brand identity to its followers. It not only allows for promotion of the brand, but also for an intimate connection and engagement.

Be sure to visit Skirt PR & Magnolia PR‘s innovative Pinterest pages.

4 Comments

  1. Kalli Abernathy

    I am so intrigued by Skirt PR and Magnolia PR. I love PR, but my internships and interests have always been off the beaten path. Fashion, beauty and lifestyle initiatives represent a niche that I am very interested in. I also think it’s fantastic that Pinterest is finally getting the attention it deserves. In PR, we are often trying to get a company, idea or product scaled down to its most essential parts. It is always about conciseness. In an effort to individualize our audience, we try to boil down an entire campaign into a fresh, easily digestible message. Since a picture is worth 1,000 words, Pinterest is a vital tool for any PR practitioner to aid in that process. One glance at the Pinterest board of any person or organization gives the viewer insight into who or what that person or organization really is. Following that, I love Skirt PR’s idea that its Pinterest account is like a person. For me, that has always been the best way to promote any program or product. Animate it, personalize it, make it come to life. In this day and age, people are plied with so many billboards and messages that it sometimes seems impossible to get your campaign to stand out, By creating a person, you are giving your audience something more solid to interact with. Finally, PR is a career choice that is writing heavy. Press releases and AP style are important and have their proper place. However, the chance to showcase a client through pictures, pins and ideas gives PR a brand new facet. Which is one reason why I choose this path. Public relations is ever-changing and always on the cusp of a new frontier.

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  2. Allison Holmes

    Great article, Lexi. I agree with your view of Pinterest and how it can promote a company’s brand identity. When used correctly, Pinterest can promote a business and give customers a way to see the creative side of a company. It is interesting to see PR firms using Pinterest to promote their companies, like Skirt PR. With the large amount of women users on Pinterest, it is smart for PR firms like Skirt PR that work closely with the fashion industry to use the social media outlet. Women can use the boards that Skirt PR posts on its Pinterest to get to know the firm. With social media having such a prominent influence on a company’s brand these days, Pinterest is a great way for consumers to engage with a business. A woman consumer can browse a business’s boards on Pinterest, find things of common interest and immediately identify with the company. Like Adrienne Dorsey says in the article, Pinterest truly provides constant contact between a business and a consumer.

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  3. Heather Fleming

    To start, I personally agree that Pinterest is such an engaging social media tool for public relations use. For organizations like Skirt PR and Magnolia, I feel like they can be massively beneficial since their focuses are fashion, lifestyle and beauty. It’s a tool that can only enhance your organization’s personality with the public and show expertise. I also agree with Dorsey as she said to be creative. Interesting and entertaining article, Lexi! Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Michelle Sue Agee

    The great thing about Pinterest is the brand’s ability to interact with a portion of their market. Once the brand finds pins that resonate best with their clients, the brand may create interactive content on other platforms. However, not all brands belong on Pinterest.
    Pew and Burst Media determined that women run social media. Women interact with brands more often and are the more prominent audience on Pinterest; that platform continues to grow (link: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/16247.aspx) –

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