Q&A with Social Media Experts, Kris McDonald and Zach Wright

Are you interested in social media strategy and how it is a defining force in public relations? Join the Social Media Club from 6-7:30 in Lillis 162 on Thursday November 20th to meet with social media professionals, Zach Wright and Kris McDonald.

Kris-croppedMeet Kris: Kris McDonald currently works as a social media strategist at MMGY Global, the largest integrated travel marketing agency in the world, with clients including the Trump Hotel Collection, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel and Casa de Campo Resort in the Dominican Republic. Recently, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel were awarded with Adrian and SMITTY awards for their Google Glass campaign, the first of its kind in the travel marketing space.


Zach-croppedMeet Zach: Zach Wright is an Enablement Consultant for Sprinklr. Sprinklr offers the only Social Media Management System that enables global scale for the social enterprise. Enabling brands to innovate faster, grow revenue, reduce operating costs and manage risk. Zach has been working in social media for six years and has worked with large brands such as GrubHub, Seamless, Nestle, Kraft, Sears and Kmart.


Zach and Kris graciously reached out to UO PRSSA to provide tips on social media strategy:

What does a typical day of work look like for you?
Z: My days are a mix of client calls and meetings with technical configuring of the platform for the client.
K: My days are usually very different. Some days I’m grinding out strategies, audits, etc. Other days I’m on the road visiting clients or helping them produce a campaign. Then some days I’m going from meeting to meeting. It’s a great mix and I get to interactive with a lot of interesting people. 

How does a campaign on social media differ from other forms?
Both: As social media and end-user activity evolves, the best campaigns aren’t just inherently social or print or broadcast. The best campaigns are an integrated mix of various media. It’s all about touch points. When planning a vacation, most consumers have effectively been through 20+ touch points before making a decision.

How do you pitch social media strategies to clients who think they can do it themselves?
Z: With case studies of successful campaigns and applying it to things that are relevant to that client. You have to make them understand that this is truly the best course of action, and that it isn’t a stand-alone marketing function; it’s a support for the entire company’s strategy.
K: You have to make it relevant to the client by showing them case studies and previous successes. Ultimately they want to know why their money is best served in your hands.

How important is content planning?
Both: It’s important to plan proactive content because it allows all parties involved to be a part of the process from the client to strategic experts creating the content. Timely content will come up and replace some planned content, but it is imperative to always have planned content available. Posting on a regular schedule helps create an engaged community.

Why is social media strategy important in the PR industry?
Both: Social media strategy is no longer used as a standalone opportunity; it drives the entire marketing of a brand. It has lasting power that has been proven with results.

What is the best way to use LinkedIn to its full potential?
Both: Talk to people and engage with them. Connect with real world connections – people you’ve actually met. Don’t just hit connect because it may help you. Hit connect because you have a solid reason for connecting with that person.

Do you have any last tips you would like to share with our members?
Z: Work so hard that your company can’t work without you.
K: Never stop learning. Social media evolves daily. If you want to work in this industry, you better do the same.

Lauren_JohnsonHall_thumbnailLauren Todd, Internal Events Director, plans internal events for UO PRSSA in effort to build relationships within the group. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys assisting with weddings and staying up to date on the world of pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @Lauren_Todd.

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