One of the common responses I get when telling people I work in public relations (PR) is “oh, like marketing?” And frankly, I’ll take that over the blank stares or the immediate jump to “spin doctor.” The reality is, in today’s world, the line between PR and marketing has become fuzzier than ever.
If you’ve spent time researching online marketing campaigns, you’ve likely seen stats that say anywhere from 50 to 97 percent of all campaigns fail. That’s incredibly alarming, especially when you consider that the average marketing spend is estimated at around 10 percent of company revenue. Since so many PR and marketing budgets overlap these days, it’s important to position your company for the best chance of success. When it comes to PR, here are four things you can do to help ensure a killer launch.
1. Know the Audience
I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a client tell me they want to be in the Wall Street Journal (or pick your favorite business outlet). The question they don’t often ask is why, or for what purpose? Sure, getting an article in the Wall Street Journal could be amazing, but only if you have a specific reason for targeting that particular outlet. Do your customers read the WSJ? Are you looking for funding, and you know that writer is highly regarded in certain VC circles? My point is, long before the first pitch goes out, you should have a strong understanding of your audience and what you want them to come away with. Being armed with that knowledge will help you choose the right outlets and methods to communicate your message.
2. Make Them Care
One of the most frustrating things any PR or communications professional can hear is “make this go viral.” If creating “viral” content were that simple, wouldn’t all campaigns be viral? My point is, we’ve all seen content that we just have to share. Whether it’s funny, topical, or hits directly on some pain point, the reason it’s viral is because the message matters. So while you may not be able to create viral campaigns out of thin air, you can increase the likelihood your audience will share the content by describing or hitting directly on something you know they will care about — customer case studies can be one of the best ways to do this, especially in B2B markets.
3. Create Compelling Content
Part of making your audience care is creating content that can be easily shared and digested. Sometimes, this might be text, but more often than not pictures or images (including infographics) will enhance your press releases, blog posts, and social media content. I mentioned case studies above, some of the most compelling case studies are short, 2-4 minute videos with real customers sharing their stories. Regardless of what type of content you create, make sure it’s easy to find on your website and social media accounts.
4. Leverage the Experts
There’s a common saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Most PR pros will tell you that an essential part of securing high-quality coverage is building relationships with journalists and influencers (analysts, bloggers, reviewers, etc.) that cover areas relevant to your brand. I should note that it doesn’t matter how good of a relationship you have with a journalist or influencer, they won’t write if you don’t have a compelling story. Obviously it’s much easier to share those stories when you’ve built up some trust. When you combine compelling content with a trusted source you can amplify your message many times over.
Successful PR doesn’t happen overnight. It takes research, planning, and carefully crafted messaging. Whether you’re a new company looking for that first round of funding, or an established player in a crowded market, Voxus understands the keys to successful campaigns. These are just a few of the basic tips to get you started. If you’re ready to do more with your PR budget and generate world-class results, let’s chat.