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Using PR to Grow Your Business
Posted on May 30th 2014
Creating a public relations plan may seem daunting, but do it right and it can help grow your brand and improve profits. The traditional model of PR relied on media such as radio, television and newspapers to spread the word and talk to potential customers. However, with 67% of the typical B2B buyer’s journey now done digitally, the need for quality integrated PR is greater than ever.
For many companies PR campaigns work independently from marketing, but if the two are integrated it will help grow your business even more.
1. Set your goals
Don’t begin your PR campaign without knowing what you want to achieve. That way you’ll ensure your communications are targeted, which in turn will ensure a better response.
2. Build relationships
Compiling a killer media list will enable you to target each campaign, allowing you to offer angles that are of interest to each publication or website.
If your list is sparse, start building relationships. Follow industry journalists on Twitter and find relevant blogs or publications that fit with your objectives. Relationship building is the crux of good PR and takes time, but really is worth it.
3. Focus on content
Now you’ve got your distribution list, you just need to send them a press release - right? Erm, no actually.
Obviously it’s important to get your pitch out there but you can’t rely on that alone. You need to take an integrated approach and develop a public relations plan that goes beyond the press release – share your news on your company blog, Tweet about it, upload an image to Facebook.
Combining the two will spread the word further – after all, 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles.
4. Be newsworthy
You’ll have a bigger impact with your pitch if it’s newsworthy. Think outside your company and look at what’s happening within your industry or the world in general.
A topical hook means the media is more likely to carry it and it will also have a greater resonance with potential customers. Quality content, especially when it’s timely, will also start to spread naturally.
5. Grab attention
When it comes to emailing your media list, the rules of email marketing apply to PR as well!
Make sure your subject line stands out – journalists get lots of emails so the subject line has to be enticing.
Keep it short and sweet.
Don’t make it too text-heavy. Embedding images will add interest, while including a video has been shown to increase engagement by 55%.
6. Be prepared
There’s nothing journalists or bloggers hate more than a company who is not prepared, so once you’ve made contact, make sure you have relevant support material to hand.
Keep a library of photos, videos, quotes and additional information ready to send out - or even better on your website - so you can just email a link.
7. Publish it yourself
There’s been a big change in the media over the last few years - everyone is now a writer - so take advantage in the shift of power and start getting your own message out there to your target audience.
If you’ve created a survey for a PR campaign, turn the results into an infographic and post it on your Facebook page. Or put exclusive news on your blog, tweeting it out to all your followers.
Amazing content will get shared across multiple platforms spreading the word for you!
Targeting your content to the right media list will improve the effectiveness of your public relations plan.
Newsworthy – or timely – releases are more likely to get picked up by the media.
Integrate your PR campaigns with inbound marketing to see greater results.