Helen Rosen Woodward once said, “Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.” Believed to be the first female account executive in the United States, Woodward certainly knew what it was like to have to fight to be heard in a crowded room. Public relations is that fight. To convince an audience to care about your brand and ultimately increase profits, you first need to know how and where to tell your story.
Not Just Newspaper
Gone are the days when a smooth-walking, fast-talking journalist controlled the lone key to press coverage. Although print yields valuable exposure, PR is not so black and white. With people now spending most of their time online, it’s crucial to engage with audiences through social media, blog posts, review sites, and online forums to shape relationships that can lead to sales.
Modern businesses need to be searchable. Domain authority (DA) reveals a website’s reliability and brand power by predicting how likely it will appear in searches. A successful PR strategy considers a brand’s DA number when backlinking to off-site news and information. By doing this, they improve their own content’s SEO and increase its ability to be the first listing in relevant Google searches.
Essentially, by understanding SEO alongside where your audience is and what they care about, you improve the potential for clicks, shares, likes, and increased coverage. But before you can even think about targeting content, you need to know how to effectively create it.
Story: The Heart Of PR
A good PR person analyzes their organization to find messages that relate to others. Sure, there’s the press release, but behind that is an army of strategy with storytelling leading the charge.
Point-blank: if your content is boring, no one will care. If it’s inauthentic, you risk distancing your brand from your audience. It may sound ironic to use the words “marketing” and “authentic” in the same sentence, but modern consumers are increasingly aware of when they’re being sold to. In a 2021 survey, a whopping 80% of people considered trust to be a deciding factor in their purchase decisions.
Have you ever wondered how some businesses always seem to be in the news? They host glitzy events, have a steady stream of press, and their CEOs are always giving interviews. It’s the art of persuasion. Their PR strategy is centered around convincing others to promote their idea, purchase their product, and recognize their accomplishments through any way possible.
Building strong relationships leads to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth marketing. For example, if you develop a good relationship with a journalist, they are more likely to update you on upcoming stories and reach out to you as a trusted industry source for thought leadership. If you develop a genuine connection with a consumer through online messaging, they might recommend you to others.
Share of Voice = Share of Mind
One of the most important things that PR can do for business is generate leads. By getting your company’s name out there, you introduce your brand to new people. Putting out regular high-quality content motivates them to view you as a trusted source of information.
Think of it this way: if someone were looking for a new car, they might start by reading articles and watching videos about different models to see what’s available. Then, they might visit a few car dealerships to take test drives and get a feel for the cars. Finally, they would make their decision and purchase the car that made them feel most comfortable and confident. PR works the same way. By boosting your brand presence, you hope that potential customers think of you first when they’re ready to purchase.
Fluent in Influence
By now, you know that PR is more than sending out press releases. PR pros execute targeted market research to perform an excess of responsibilities, including speechwriting, event planning, public outreach, media relations, crisis management, and digital communications. Essentially, by diversifying your brand’s outreach, you diversify your market.
The future of PR is working across all forms of media. The PESO model does this by integrating paid, earned, shared, and owned media. In those sectors is a $16.4 billion growing industry: the influencer. In our constantly evolving digital landscape, you can’t ignore them.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing if you can’t connect with a Kardashian. Nano-influencers (less than 10,000 followers) and micro-influencers (less than 100,000 followers) serve a more niche and passionate audience. Partnering with these influencers brings authenticity to your brand while appealing to an exclusive crowd.
Numbers And Figures
Once you figure out your PR campaign and implement it across the right channels, you’re done! Now go take a nap.
To measure the effectiveness of your PR pursuits, you need to quantify it as much as possible. That’s certainly no easy task. PR can reveal its value in many forms. It can be difficult to measure an audience’s level of awareness and feeling towards your brand, but by looking at some numbers, you get a good idea.
For social media, it means dissecting your follower and engagement numbers. For web traffic, you check bounce rate, page views, and conversions. Your measurement toolbox is endless, and it can be time-consuming and strenuous. Fortunately, there are technologies to help monitor press hits, track buzz and automate reporting, such as Onclusive, Sprout Social, and Semrush. It’s all worth it once you hit those PR goals.
If you’re not already using modern PR tactics for your brand’s marketing strategy, now is the time to start! Need a boost to get you there? Our team can create a custom plan that will help you reach all your goals. Learn more here!