PR 101: Back to Basics
Whether you’re completely new to PR; have managed it in-house and are new to an agency relationship; or a long-term PR hack, it can be a valuable exercise to regularly take a decent stare at the why’s and wherefore’s, and a spot of best practice.
Here are our five top tips for maximising the value you get from your PR campaign:
1. Understand your Business Objectives
Ask yourself why you embarked on a PR campaign in the first place.
If your PR isn’t aligned to your business objectives, you probably are not gaining maximum value from it. All PR content produced should be supporting your marketing messages, which in turn should be aligned to your business’ sales priorities.
By focusing your PR efforts on the area of the business that stands to gain the most, you will, in turn, maximise your ROI from the investment.
2. Set and Review KPI / Success Metrics
PR is not rocket science; in fact, it isn’t science at all. And because it isn’t, there isn’t always a clear way of defining a direct return on investment.
PR is, however, infinitely measurable when the proper key performance indicators are taken into account:-
- Google Rankings: Your PR campaign should support your Google rankings through the appropriate use (but not overuse) of SEO keywords. When it comes to boosting rankings, content is King. Implied links on highly ranked pages – such as industry publications – will be a huge driver here and will place your content in front of the right eyes too. In addition, your PR agency and the content they are producing should be used intra-day in your social media channels, which in turn will favourably boost Google rankings.
- Web Analytics: Measure your web hits when press coverage hits. Many of our clients can see clear spikes in web traffic aligned to good pieces of PR coverage
- Teleprospecting & Sales: If your PR campaign is hitting the right audience, your outbound telesales team or direct sales force should see fewer and fewer incidents of ‘Company x – who are you?’ In exchange for an increasingly positive response of ‘Yes, I think I’ve heard of you somewhere – you do XYZ, don’t you? Successful PR should be helping to increase brand awareness so you can get your foot in that sales door
3. Thought Leadership First
If your PR campaign relies on news, and news alone, it will be a challenge to keep your media and social media channels filled with content. Furthermore, think about what your clients and prospects really want to hear from you.
Of course, companies and people buy from successful brands – so communicating your wins and growth to the market is important to the campaign. But what they really want is to work with companies who can demonstrate innovation, forward-thought and leadership.
Communicating to your audience how you can help them address their pain points, and your views on the direction of the market is key to both a continuous flow of content to ensure you keep your brand recognition up and to establishing you as the ‘go-to’ industry thought leader.
4. Pervasive Content – Get Team Buy-In
In order to broaden the reach of your PR content, you should be using and re-using it across all communications channels: print media, online, social media, digital marketing, website etc. for a coordinated, consistent message to the market across all potential touch points.
In addition, make sure that the whole organisation is bought in. Your sales team should be encouraged to share a great piece of coverage with prospects. Share Twitter and LinkedIn posts throughout the business and get your teams ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ them to boost reach and engagement. It’s also important to build processes into your sales and marketing activities that will support the PR campaign: make sure PR is part of the new contract signing process, for example.
By getting buy-in to PR across the organisation, you’re likely to find that many people will have ideas for great content and that, ultimately, success will come faster and longer-lasting.
5. Embrace Your Agency
Finally, but by no means least, bring your agency into the fold. The best way to maximise the value you get from your PR campaign is to make it real.
Most good agencies want to make a tangible difference to your business. They will get a real buzz when they see that they’re getting positive results, which will spur them on to do yet more.
So share your business objectives, share values & ethos, introduce your PR team to your sales and customer service teams. In making your PR agency part of your wider team, you’ll create a long term partnership that is fun, rewarding and ultimately drives success.
Could your PR campaign do with a helping hand to get it off the ground? We’re more than happy to have a chat, so get in touch with us – firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on +44 (0)1296 733 867.