10 simple tips to give your PR a more integrated approach
Posted By Peppermint Soda
With all the new ideas, technologies and media options available to modern PR campaigns, why miss an opportunity to make yours as all-encompassing as possible? Traditional PR methods are still as relevant as ever, but truly successful campaigns now incorporate other disciplines, too.
So, how do you ensure you stay one step ahead of your competition and create innovative PR strategies that work in the 21st century?
Well, your first step is to read our list of 10 simple tips on how to take a more integrated approach to your PR.
Use a Multifaceted Approach
To achieve results in modern marketing and PR, there needs to be a sea change in mentality. Old-fashioned maxims that consider traditional PR, marketing and digital to be distinct entities need to be challenged.
In the modern world, each discipline needs to ‘march to the beat of the same drum’. Rather than having separate departments or agencies working in isolation from one another, you need to decide on the campaign’s KPIs and then use all the tools at your disposal to achieve them. Break down these components and ensure there are aligned goals.
For example, if you place an industry survey in a traditional media outlet, don’t just leave it there. You should then ensure that you…
1. Repurpose the survey results into blogs or articles
2. Create infographics that visually demonstrate the findings
3. Promote the survey and accompanying content across social channels
4. Feature the survey as gated content on your site for data capture purposes
5. Follow up on the data you collect via e-marketing or direct mail campaigns
Encourage Data-Driven Creativity
With all the data available to modern campaigns, creativity for creativity’s sake should be a thing of the past. In days gone by, some PRs would decide what would work based on their instincts and industry knowledge alone. Now, let’s not be mistaken, human knowledge is essential and can never be overestimated, but why not bolster its potential by aligning it with empirical information?
Take Inkology, a campaign design by the printer firm HP, which aims to encourage more people to purchase its cartridges as opposed to cheaper, generic versions from other companies. The campaign began by analysing social media-driven data and came to two important conclusions. The first was that the consumers most likely to be swayed towards cheaper brands were students and businesses. The second was that these demographics had two specific HP cartridge models they liked in particular. Using this knowledge, HP shaped the type of content it created to suit each audience’s preference. Audience knowledge also informed the PR team about where this content should be placed to generate maximum impact amongst key consumers.
Here we see how data analysis can be a powerful tool to PR practitioners looking to sharpen their PR efforts.
Act as a Publisher
PR is no longer entirely in the hands of traditional media outlets. Modern brands have their own media outlets – such as their websites, social channels or e-marketing departments – through which they can disseminate key messages. By creating content that resonates and provides value to consumers, you can build a community. Doing so will ensure you always have an audience for your brand’s messages.
Use Traditional Techniques in the Modern World
Use tried and tested PR techniques to amplify your content strategy. Building a media database then pulling together an editorial calendar to suit their schedules will help to shape the content you create. For example, if you know an outlet is looking for information on email marketing techniques, create a webinar or whitepaper in time for their publication date.
Optimise for Journalists
Of course, your content needs to resonate with your key audiences; that being said, there is no harm in keeping journalists in mind, too. Increase the likelihood of your content being picked up by traditional media outlets by avoiding ‘salesy’ jargon and by focusing on stories that offer genuine interest, such as news or data that a journalist would be able to use. Likewise, if you have existing content such as a whitepaper or webinar you think a journalist would find useful, reshape it into a by-lined article so they can pick it up.
Utilise Social Media
It’s an unavoidable fact that social media is now an integral part of modern PR. Social can obviously be used to further circulate media placements across your own channels, but there are other, more sophisticated methods to consider.
Social Listening – By monitoring social using tools such as Mention or Topsy, you can get an idea of what your audience thinks about your products, brand or other ideas in your sector.
Social Engagement – After publishing your media placement via social, you then have an opportunity to shape the debate around the subject. By asking people’s opinions on the piece, you allow yourself the opportunity to further spread the message, enhance engagement and build a rapport with the audience.
Use Social Ads
Paid social ads are a great way of ensuring the content you create gets shown to the target audience. Facebook keeps so much data on its users that you can pinpoint exactly who you serve your ads to, right down to the tiniest detail. Looking for twentysomething female cricket fans from Lancashire whose interests include retro fashion and celebrity? Don’t worry, Facebook can find them for you.
If you want to get really clever, you could even use Facebook to target journalists with ads showing your latest press release.
Revolutionise Reputation Management
The media and technology now available have really revolutionised how the reputation management industry operates. Whereas in the past PR companies would attempt to enhance a brand’s image by circulating good news stories in the media, the process is now becoming a two-way dialogue with consumers.
In an attempt to dispel myths, rumours and mistruths towards their food and working practices, McDonald’s rolled out the ‘Our Food, Your Questions’ campaign, which reimagined reputation management by turning the process into a Q&A session. The result was a campaign that tackled many of the negative attitudes towards McDonald’s through transparency and by tackling people’s concerns head-on.
The campaign’s results speak for themselves: over 20,000 questions have been answered and visitors are really engaged with the content, spending on average over four and a half minutes on the site. Furthermore, McDonald’s was able to reformat the campaign’s content into amazing infographics that further circulated their myth-busting messages.
Keep Your Mind on SEO
A great media placement naturally leads to subsequent coverage, as other news channels or bloggers pick up the article. This, in turn, will result in additional links and traffic. By doing the little things right, such as correctly optimising the article’s keywords and links, you will enhance your brand’s search visibility.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that SEO and PR teams work from the same editorial calendar, as doing so will make sure brand messages are transmitted consistently across both.
Connect Offline and Online Marketing
If you host an event, attend a trade show or speak at a conference, you should try to leverage the coverage you receive by encouraging online exposure from attendees.
Speaking at a conference? Ensure your Twitter handles are clear on all your slides and encourage questions or comments regarding your talk via Twitter. This is a great way of encouraging engagement and generating leads.
Hosting an event? Set up a screen that features live tweets when attendees tweet to a hashtag of your choosing. This is a great way for people to have fun on the night and will create a buzz around your event on social media, too.
At a tradeshow? Why not host a social media competition? One idea would be to encourage attendees to take selfies by your stand and tweet them, for example, using a pre-determined hashtag. Doing so will put your brand in people’s newsfeeds and also supply you with great imagery you can use for future content.
Need to Know More?
To find out more about how you can create a modern PR strategy that works in today’s integrated world, speak to our team today.
We can advise you on the best approach to ensure your strategy elevates your brand above your competitors.
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