Employer Branding

Social Innovation: How Cision Cuts Through the Noise

It’s difficult not to drown in the vast, fast-moving sea of content out there. We know that using social media is key for employer branding, but if you’re trying to sell your company as a great employer, and reach potential candidates natively, you’ve got to have a strategy in place that’ll get your messages noticed.

I’ve spoken to Michelle Dziuban, Social Media Manager of Cision to find out how a global leader of PR software uses social media innovation to steal the spotlight. Listen to our conversation below, or read on for a summary of our chat. And be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.

Tell us about Cision and what you do there?

I am the social media manager here at Cision, which is a software and services company for communicators and marketers. Our software includes really four key elements. Number one, we offer a searchable influencer database for influencer marketing and media relations. We also have distribution and engagement functionality from press releases, to email distribution, to social media management and content marketing. We also offer media monitoring from traditional broadcast and print, to online and blogs, to social networks, comments, and forums. And then lastly, we have an insights team here who, they are a team of analysts who provide in-depth information on a brand’s health and performance. So we’re really all about the full circle of helping you tell a story.

What social channels are most important to Cision?

You know, as a B2B company, our main focus is Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook. I’ve also really been trying to revamp our Instagram and been focusing there as well. Some things that, you know, we’re not quite too sure about at this time; Snapchat. That is something that I am definitely paying close attention to.

What content can we expect to see in Cision’s weekly Facebook Live broadcasts?

Our SVP of Products, Heidi Sullivan and I have been kind of running the show so far. Last week, we did a 20-minute chat about news-jacking and why news-jacking is a great marketing tactic and how brands can get started. One week we talked about influencer marketing. We’ve also live streamed a webinar that we had going on here in our Chicago headquarters.

One time, I did a quick tour of our office, and that was actually my test run. I was planning to go live for the first time during that webinar here at Cision, and I thought, “You know, maybe I should kind of learn the ropes a little bit before I just jump right in.” So I thought, “Why not give a quick tour of our Chicago office?”

Tell us about your newsjacking campaigns?

Something that we started doing when I joined in January, when I joined the team, was we really took over this news-jacking thing. So just before I joined, we started getting involved in the political conversations and using our software to monitor, “Hey, what are people talking about regarding the presidential candidates? Who are they, you know, favouring? What’s the sentiment?” And we kind of predicted things based on that, and then we would take that data and live tweet it with the election hashtag or the primary hashtag, whatever was going on, and became part of the conversation. We had people reach out to us and said, “You know, this is really interesting. We didn’t know that you guys were in this space.”

And as I mentioned earlier on in the chat with you here, we recently acquired Visible Technologies and Viral Heat, which is the social intelligence and social engagement platform. So being a part of these conversations and news-jacking them with our software is a great way to kind of say, “Hey, Cision’s in this space,” and the reach has been great. Then we went on to news-jack events like the Golden Globes, Super Bowl Sunday, and the Oscars and…I’m trying to remember, during the Golden Globes we got retweeted by Perez Hilton, the reach was unreal from that.

Tell us about your employee advocacy program?

One of my biggest efforts so far has been rolling out a social media advocacy program. And I launched a pilot program to about 20 sales reps here in our Chicago office, really about using our tools to uncover people that are talking about, you know, buying signals or also to really nurture their relationships with their current clients. We use our own technology for this, it’s what I use for my day-to-day.

Do you use a corporate hashtag at Cision?

For anything around recruitment, we do #PowerYourCareer. Our tagline is “Power your story” so we tend to use that on our Instagram. Every Friday, I highlight an employee here at Cision to show what life is like, and how long employees have been here, and what they do and to get more personal as well, right? We really want to humanise our brand, so what do employees like to do outside of work? You know, what’s their life like? We use that hashtag there, and people we’ve seen, you know, using this #Cision during our webinars, people tweet #CisionWebinar.

How do you measure ROI?

It’s really a few things. We look at Cision’s mindshare and share of voice in our industry. So, you know, how are we comparing to our competitors? We look at lead gen and customer satisfaction. That’s the thing with social media. People think, “Well, how many followers do you have?” And it’s, “No, it doesn’t matter,” right? It’s not just about that. You know, we’re looking at click-through rate, engagement, mentions, mindshare, like I said. So it’s a mix of things. And I do that report every month, and it’s really interesting to see, you know, how the needle turns month over month.

What technology does your team use behind the scenes?

We use our products in-house. So we have our platform called Cision PR Edition, and that is what we use for pulling, you know, all of our mentions, whether it’s traditional, online, as well as social media and those forums and comments and so forth. We also use Visible Technologies for our insights for social listening. And then for engagement, for scheduling, one of our more recent acquisitions is Viral Heat, and we use that to schedule all of our posts.

What’s the next big thing for Cision and the industry?

If I had to guess, live video. I think, you know, we’ve seen it. People have been talking about it for a while now, but I really truly believe that this is the year for that. People don’t want polished and scripted messages anymore. They want authentic and real, and they want to see behind the scenes, and they want to know what brands are about. And I think live video can really do that for us, and I’m super excited to see where it’s going to take the industry and how brands can leverage it.

Follow Michelle on Twitter @Dziubs and subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.

By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.