With the pace of change in today’s business world, many companies struggle with implementing strategic, value-driven PR initiatives. While several grassroots PR principles still apply, the game has changed, and it takes a multi-faceted approach to come out on top.
Learn more about integrated marketing and PR, read: Implementing an Integrated Marketing and PR Strategy for Healthcare Brands.
To avoid missing the mark where it counts most, use these 7 PR tips to help your company get your best results yet in 2018.
1. Up your face time
Time is limited for company executives. Between meetings, conferences and the mountain of work on your desk, finding an extra 20 or 30 minutes for a media briefing can seem like a daunting and impossible task. That being said, find the 30 minutes, and increase your face time with the media who matter to your audience most. Designate specific time each week to keep available for potential media briefings – don’t worry, they will get filled.
2. Know what your brand persona is
This seems like a no brainer, but a common thread, especially with larger enterprises or enterprises that are growing rapidly, is that the brand persona becomes distorted. Everyone is focused on their specific department or line of business and forgets to think of the company’s overall big picture. As a result, you can often end up with a confusing brand identity in the marketplace. Make sure executives and employees across your organization are briefed, trained and aligned on what the brand persona is.
3. Focus on real thought leadership
To be a thought leader, you have to share what is thought leading. Avoid speaking too generally about a topic or piggybacking off another thought leader’s commentary, unless you’re giving your own take on what’s been said. A key part of any great media relations campaign is to spend time building your reputation for giving valuable and valid information, solidifying your media relationships and establishing your credibility as a thought leader.
4. Embrace the power of paid placement
Many believe PR practices should only ever equal earned media opportunities, but the media industry has changed and so have PR practices. The value is in a healthy mix of earned and paid opportunities. Engaging in paid media with reputable groups like national broadcast shows, newspapers and business press can further solidify your relationships with these outlets and lead to earned opportunities as well.
You might also be interested in reading: 5 Things You Didn’t Know Your Public Relations Agency Could Do.
5. Listen to your potential customers
Everyone knows the importance of listening to your customers and delivering on their needs and wants, but equally as important is listening to potential customers. Use PR and social media to engage with this group as much as you engage with those who are already customers. Find out what their needs and wants are and address them swiftly. Pretty soon they’ll go from prospects to customers.
Also check out PAN’s recent blog post: Why Every CMO Should Be Leveraging PR Across Integrated Marketing.
6. Focus on awards and speaking engagements
Media relations isn’t the only way to use PR as a means of getting your message out there. Winning industry awards and accolades for your business and for individual employees helps differentiate you as a leading company to customers, stakeholders and your wider audience. Similarly, speaking live in front of an audience at industry events is another way to increase visibility, solidify your position as a thought leader and convey your message to the people you want to hear it.
Make sure you check out: 10 Steps to Planning an Efficient and Successful Press Tour.
7. Invest in analyst relations, too
This is particularly important for B2B companies, as the reports coming from top analyst firms often help different businesses across a myriad of industries ultimately decide what companies they want to work with and buy from. An often-overlooked area, analyst relations can give your business access to a completely different kind of market exposure than PR and media relations. Plus, taking part in these reports can help you truly identify where your business excels in the marketplace and which areas need improvement.
You might also be interested in reading: B2B Technology Analysts – Catching a Big Fish in an Even Bigger Pond.
Finding the right mix of PR best practices that work for your business model is an important part of gaining valuable brand exposure and setting your executive team up as reputable industry thought leaders. These practices are all part of a larger integrated marketing and PR plan that can get you the audience exposure you need and catapult your business far ahead of the competition.