Do you want clients to increase their spending with you or use competitors for your service? Do you want to generate a steady stream of lucrative new business? Yes? Then a well-crafted PR campaign is critical.
Convincing folks to take a leap of faith with your business and commit their hard-earned cash often won’t happen overnight. You need to gain their trust steadily and, more often than not, consumers need to hear your message multiple times before they even begin to pay close attention to it, let alone consider your sales pitch (whatever it may be) A strategic PR campaign is one of the most efficient marketing ideas for small businesses and can help you build that trust and much more.
A lot more, in fact. This is just some of what can be accomplished by an effective PR campaign:
- Boost the profile of – and trust in – your company, individuals within your company and/or of a specific service or product
- Get people to make a significant change in behavior, i.e. choose you over a rival.
- Engage people in a specific project or program, i.e. persuade them to join the membership group your firm heads up.
- Increase investment opportunities and boost financial trust in your company
More than just a press release, a dedicated PR campaign is a measured burst of action that focuses on achieving a particular goal, and in 2020 it involves all different types of media, everything from traditional newspapers, radio and TV to social media, content syndication, podcasting and more.
When well done, a formal public campaign will deliver fantastic outcomes for an organisation. In this guide, we are going to look at just what the best ways – and best practices are – in PR in 2020.
What is PR Anyway?
A public relations campaign (PR) is a set of coordinated events that all concentrate on achieving a particular set outcome for an organisation.
A PR campaign may lead to a change in consumer behavior, such as purchasing a new item or investing in a new service or it may be a campaign seeking help or with a clear call to action, such as making a donation to a charity or writing a politician to ask the government to take action on an issue.
At the outset of the project, committing to a particular goal not only makes it easier to plan and conduct a successful PR campaign but also to evaluate its progress. Taking on PR randomly without a plan will rarely work, and it certainly won’t get you the best possible results.
Achieving the right balance of media is crucial in the 21st century as well. Both earned media/mainstream media (TV, radio, digital, print) and owned media (website, social media, newsletter, etc.) should be used throughout a well-crafted public relations strategy.
What is the Difference Between Earned Media and Owned Media
Having just stated that both are crucial to the success of any 2020 PR campaign, then we should explain the difference between earned media and owned media before going too much further:
Earned Media Vs. Owned Media
Earned media, or earned content, is any material that you have not paid for or produced yourself written about you or your business.
In many ways, the nickname of earned media is “publicity.” You have not paid for the production of this media — the way you would, say, for an advertisement — and so your acts alone “earned” this exposure for you. You will also hear earned media referred to as “free media,” since this media has not been paid to be placed.
The Change in Earned Media
Paid media used to be the 90-minute episode about a new consumer product on the news. Or an article in the newspaper. And to some degree, these can still be vital sources of earned media.
Nevertheless, earned media now often comes in the forms of things like of a diner’s tweet at a restaurant, one with many lots of likes and retweets about” the best brunch ever! It’s also that terrible Yelp analysis of how you served “the worst brunch ever” to a different customer at the very same restaurant.
It should be noted that, if you paid an influencer to tweet about their breakfast at your restaurant that is not earned media, it’s paid/owned media. That’s not to say doing so won’t be effective, though, as we will discuss in a few minutes.
Earned media can also be the “Top 10 Apps of the Year” post from the technology writer that was viewed and posted by thousands of people since you launched your new smartphone app or even just a quote from you featured in an industry round-up article.
Earned media can also be as simple as an appearance on a podcast, and, as long as you don’t pay for it, a guest blog.
What the Earned Media Is Not
Earned media is not ads that you pay for or own. For instance, when a business pays a newspaper to write a glowing article about them, that’s not an instance of paying for earned media — that’s just paid media. And when you write a blog post about your new product release for your company blog, that’s not earned media, either — that’s owned media because that blog post you own.
The distinctions between these camps are fairly simple, but they are necessary for anyone who wants to utilize a PR campaign to understand.
Defining an Objective
Before you do anything else, you need to define the objective of your PR campaign. ‘Make me famous’, or ‘make my app/service/product more popular’ is too broad to be measurable, so it is not a good basis for a PR plan.
How To Plan a PR Campaign Strategy
When it comes to public relations, the saying,’ Fail to prepare then prepare to fail’ couldn’t be more accurate, which is why you need a PR strategy. Effective PR campaigns are well studied and meticulously organized, and not putting the time, and the work, in to do so is setting the campaign up for failure from the start.
You need to pin down the following before you do anything else:
- The target- what you want to accomplish
- The message – what you will say to ensure that you accomplish your goal.
- The audience-whom your public relations campaigns are targeting.
The kind of media you approach during the PR campaign, for example, will depend on the audience-whom do you want to target during the campaign? Whose behavior do you want to alter? Reaching different demographics not only calls for different messages but ‘sending’ those messages from different platforms.
The media you work will also depend on the message you want to send, what the campaign needs to say to get the people you want to act to do so. Start by clarifying your target. Be as precise as possible.
Probably most importantly, make sure that the goals you set are measurable. Set up objectives and time frames and decide from the start just how you are going to measure them.
How To Choose a Message That Resonates
The single most powerful aspect of public relations campaigns, no matter the niche, is the message they send.
Get it right, and it will generate a huge media buzz about your company and drive engagement. Get it wrong, people are going to be turned off, and you will be ignored by the media. Get it really wrong, and you might still get media coverage, but for the wrong reasons.
Here are the top five things that will help you create the kind of consistent, clear and effective message you need.
1. It must be newsworthy
2. There must be a clear call to action
3. You should include ‘audience participation’
4. It must be informative
5. Try to be different
Newsworthy Messaging Explained
If your public relations campaigns are going to get attention from the media, then your message needs to be newsworthy. It must be up-to-date, relevant and make the reporter sit up and take note of it. You’ve got to help a reporter out.
Place your message within the larger news agenda, describe how it is important to the audience of the media and what effect it will have on their lives.
For companies, particularly those whose goods or services are not generally regarded as newsworthy, this is often very challenging.
This is where it is important for PR to become imaginative, creative and humorous. And good campaigns involve a little of all three of them.
A perfect example is Paddy Power, the online betting shop, who, with their ‘Brexit Bunker’ campaign, managed to attract a massive amount of media attention.
Led by Eric Cantona, a former Manchester United footballer and Frenchman, the campaign proposed that anyone tired of Brexit madness should join them in the middle of the English Channel in their Brexit Bunker.
It was a winning PR campaign, very timely, amusing and led by a football legend.
Did anybody turn up at their Brexit bunker? Was their message taken seriously? No, but for Paddy Power’s brand recognition, it worked wonders.
Can you hire an ex-football legend? No, probably not. But you can use the kind of humor and newsworthy messaging that this campaign did to insert your company/product/service into the news very effectively.
Clear Messaging Explained
The most powerful messages are the simplest to understand and provide a straightforward path for the viewer to follow.
Make it easy to complete an action (that helps them) for your audience, and it will be a no brainer for them to take part.
A great example is IKEA ‘s recent ‘sleepover campaign’ which, having undertaken its own research (always a good PR tactic), set out to tackle the bad sleep habits of more than 75% of the population.
They invited customers to have a sleepover in one of their stores in order to inspire people to prioritize a good night’s sleep.
“Think,” Oh, struggling to sleep perfectly at night? Then come over for a sleepover, and we’re going to show you how.” A quirky and unique request like this was bound to get a good response and a lot of attention from the media while cementing brand loyalty and increasing brand-customer engagement at the same time.
Audience Participation Explained
Keep your audience interested in your campaign’s success and not only will they feel more related to your cause or product, but you will benefit from the same audience spreading your message through their own networks and contacts.
Think the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ for ALS- with a very simple tweet this little-known charity was propelled to global fame. In return for charity donations, the participants dared to dump a bucket of ice over their heads and then nominated a friend to do the same. Simple, but boy did it work.
The campaign went viral, raising millions (not to mention making for some really funny ice footage) and attracting celebrity supporters from all over the world and millions and millions of ‘normal people’ too.
The end result, however, is that the millions raised were credited with financing a major discovery of a new gene that leads to the disease. Something that it is believed will help a massive amount in the fight against the disease.
Educational Content Explained
PR campaigns can be the perfect way to educate customers about your message and your brand. But by opening minds and raising consciousness, the best campaigns don’t preach; they engage and educate.
The environmentally friendly cleaning brand, Ecover, which opened a pop-up venue called The Rubbish Café, where customers were asked to pay for food using disposable rubbish, is a great example.
Bring a bottle of plastic in and get a cup of coffee in exchange. Genius.
The Ecover message was that, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic were manufactured throughout recent history and that 60 per cent of it ended up as waste and more than three-quarters of that plastic waste goes to landfills.
The campaign was part of the “Clean Earth Revolution” of the company. It intends to make all its packaging made of 100 % recycled plastic and 100% recyclable by the end of 2020.
Being Different Explained
Don’t be afraid to turn the current image of your brand upside down. If you’re a serious, conservative charity, for instance, then do something pretty out there or think BIG to get noticed if you’re a lesser-known charity.
You will need to be imaginative, or even better, disruptive, to gain traction with your campaign.
One of the best examples of this is from back in 2012 (but it’s so good we just had to include it!) from The Dollar Shave Club.
Their disruptive public relations offering was spearheaded by a groundbreaking viral video that produced 12,000 new customers in the first 48 hours, subscribing to razors by subscription rather than buying overpriced ones from the store.
Their message was so blunt and shamelessly bold, “Our Blades Are F***ing Awesome,” that it made everyone sit up and take notice, winning them millions in revenue.
Public Relations Campaigns Media Collateral – What You’ll Need
Depending on the story you tell and the media you target, you’ll need a number of different kinds of media collateral for your campaign. Make sure you have them in advance so that as soon as they are requested for, you can supply them.
Here is a selection of the collateral that you will need to create and some tips on how to create it effectively:
An Effective Press Release
It is still, in a digital media-dominated era, a critical facet of any PR campaign to learn how to write a press release. It must be a well-crafted, news-ready story that clearly communicates the campaign’s relevance and why it should be heard by a journalist or influencer.
Gone are the days of boring lists of information about a product and promotional messages. A press release must, first and foremost, contain NEWS!
What makes a press release a newsworthy one instead of just an advertisement? Here are a few pointers to get you started before you write a press release:
How does your event, product or service impact the world at large? Your new product or service launch is of course of huge interest to you and your staff but what about the world at large. Ask yourself honestly, if this was not your company, would you still be interested in reading about this on Google News or a similar news outlet?
You can use your press release to explain to the world how your company is reacting to a
particular trend or how your product may change the face of a certain industry or niche.
Are you promoting or advocating for a cause? Do you contribute a percentage of the profits to a certain charity? Is your company sponsoring, organizing or participating in a fundraising event? This is almost always a newsworthy tie-in that many a journalist will often be keen to pick up on.
Did you make a change within your company that will affect the face and operations of your business? Can you explain why hiring that new CFO will have an impact and what that impact will be? If you can answer yes to that question, then that is a newsworthy angle for your press release as well.
Once written, if your press release conforms to a format that is familiar to a journalist, your chances of being published are greater.
Here’s a standard format for press releases:
- A headline that catches the interest of people
- A title that captures the attention of people and describes precisely what the release is about. Is this a newsworthy study? Launch of a product?
- The place: where you are and where the news is happening
- A strong lead: This is wherein one sentence you describe your newsworthy research/content.
- Body: This should be easy-to-skim information given at declining levels of significance. It’s a very good idea to put in quotes across the body to back up the points.
- Boilerplate: A few terms that explain your business to the audience
- Press Touch: The PR executive’s name and contact information. Typically, someone who can get in contact with the reporter to get more details.
Note: While your press release doesn’t have to use any specific font, it’s a good idea to stick to a standard font like Arial or Times New Roman.
A Strong Media Pitch
Working with the media is not just about getting a decent list of contacts and emailing them your press release for the campaign for their consideration.
Your presentation of the news story is what matters most. This is as valid for getting a local news item or getting attention from the national media.
You must explicitly and succinctly express the importance of your campaign and why it would be of interest to their audience, whether you email or call journalists. Make your email targeted and personalize it all. Reporters dislike spam. It will help you get to the right person quickly by using a PR tool such as Answer Source.
Respect deadlines and be prompt to respond to the media at all times if and when they contact you. You need to build confidence in the relationship that implies you are capable of giving them what they need when they ask for it.
Media Friendly Images
Almost all modern media outlets are image-led, so make sure you have a high-res library of professionally taken, and properly styled photographs to tell the PR campaign story.
Prepare them in advance to ensure that you have a range of available portrait and landscape pictures. Save them to a Dropbox or similar folder so you can share them with reporters quickly. Don’t forget the logo to be included too.
News platforms of all kinds are now willing to, and some even prefer, to incorporate video material into their stories. Shoot a short video that summarizes the story you are trying to tell and, in a short span of time, gives the viewer the headline points. It can be as little as 30 seconds.
The video can be a mix of images, infographics, interviews and videos of events to explain why the campaign is vital and what action the viewer can take. It does not need to be a Hollywood level production, but it does need to look reasonably professional.
Add this video – or videos – to the same Dropbox file as your images so that everything can be accessed in the same place by any journalist interested in making use of it.
To build an emotional bond with the viewer, the most impactful PR campaigns are made up of human voices.
So for your campaign, you’ll need spokespeople. That may be business representatives, influencers, local celebrities or case studies with real consumers or people impacted by the problem you’re discussing.
Human voices add individuality to a story and make it more important to the viewer.
You can improve engagement by summarizing the key points of your campaign story in an enticing infographic since it is easier for the viewer to understand.
Consumers in the digital world are not only flooded with data, but they have extremely short attention spans, so use infographics to stand out and make your campaign as available to them as possible.
What is a Media List and Why Do You Need One?
A media list is essential to your PR strategy since. Done right, it will be an accurate and dynamic database of the key contacts that may be involved in your stories and are best positioned to share them with your target audience.
Your list must be specific, extensive and personal with no spamming.
Don’t be tempted to add individuals who only have a vague link to your field or niche to your media list. Good PR is far smarter than that.
It is a waste of time to keep wildly flinging news out to unrelated contacts. Stick to journalists and content who will probably be interested in what you have to say because it will resonate with their audience.
Identify the Target Demographic and Where They Hang Out
You need to determine the publications your target market reads, what they watch and where they spend time online for every decent public relations campaign.
This knowledge is the foundation of your media list, as you can start assembling the list properly once you do.
Questions to ask yourself at this stage include:
- What kind of demographic are these individuals in?
- Do you know what their hobbies and interests are?
- In which media form are they most likely to consume your product or service information(blog, newspaper article, podcast etc.)?
Imagine you are the owner of an outdoor wedding venue and you would like to promote more summer wedding bookings at your venue.
Target markets of yours are:
- Bride, Bride and Grooms
- Families of those getting married (those who may be financing it)
- People who enjoy activities outdoors.
Your media list should include:
- Bridal magazines
- Lifestyle magazines for women
- Regional websites, magazines and newspapers serving your city
- Influencers and bridal bloggers
- Wedding websites
- Travel publications containing outdoor adventure features in your region
Only when you make sure that you know who your target really is and what they are interested in will you be able to figure out the media that they are likely to read or watch on a regular basis.
Creating Your Media List
A good media list is straightforward, succinct and updated regularly.
You can pay big bucks for services such as Gorkana, Cision and Meltwater (these guys are among the best services out there for media monitoring) and use their expensive channels to build a list.
However, there’s no reason why you can’t build your own if the budget is a concern.
Here’s an example of a fantastic media list that can be built in a simple ten column Excel Sheet, laid out step by step
1) Publication / blog / website name
Identify the exact name of the media source and include it in the media list’s first column.
The reason this goes first is that reporters are going to travel around and change jobs, so you want to make sure you are focused not only on the touch, but on the publication itself and, in particular, the readership.
2) Website address for publication
This is a convenient shortcut to have on your media list because if you need to, you can conveniently refer to this media outlet’s online presence.
3) Full name of Reporter / Blogger / Journalist / Broadcaster
Don’t even try to contact [email protected] or similar email addresses with press releases or stories. It’s journalism’s trash can. You need to be intimate and accurate. A little later, we’ll run through how to find this stuff, but for now, you just need to find exactly the right person to contact and their full name.
4) Job Title
Keeping a note of the role the contact occupies in their publication is a smart idea as it may become important to your media pitch.
It would make sense to send it to the news editor if you have any breaking news about your business and note that it might be a story fitting for their news section. This is the best opportunity for a reporter to help out.
Journalists are impressed with this kind of detail because it indicates you have paid attention.
5) Email Addresses
Obviously, for press release dissemination, you need the email address of your contacts (make sure the subject lines have an attention-grabbing headline).
6) Phone Number
Get their phone number because you might want to ring up and chat about a story with them, or chase up a pitch you sent to see if it’s relevant.
7) Data from social media
Much of the time, journalists are most easily found on Twitter. Getting the contact’s Twitter handle and any other social profile addresses to hand is a really good idea, particularly when you may want to develop a relationship with them by communicating on social media.
Keep a note of how this publication goes out – daily, weekly, monthly etc. daily. Care of monthly magazines, weekly newspapers, daily newsletters. This can have an influence on the stories you pitch them.
For example, it’s not a good idea to send a pitch to a daily newspaper a week after the story you are covering hits the headlines with a powerful news hook.
A monthly magazine, however, could welcome a pitch that follows from a major story with a new angle to offer their audience a new take few weeks after it first came to light.
9) Suggestions for stories
This is your opportunity to match the stories you plan to send with the right individuals.
You can put them into this column if you have a list of various articles or angles, so they’re connected to the most important reporters or broadcasters.
10) Notes (Notes)
To keep track of crucial details that might prove valuable in the future, use this column.
Finding the Contact Information You Need
Next up, for each media source, reporter, publication, platform or influencer, you need to find out all the information to fill out your 10 columns.
It’ll take a bit of time to do this, but doing it right pays dividends. All the following are good ways to do this.
Check the contact page for the publication you have selected.
There should be a contact page when you head over to a publication’s website that gives you the specifics of each section, who runs it, and their email address. Here’s part of the list offered on the London Evening Standard’s website.
Did we mention that Twitter is loved by journalists? They really do and for a good reason.
Through the micro-blogging website, many journalists are able to monitor case studies, feedback, stories and experts, so it’s very rare for a journalist not to be a heavy user of Twitter.
For instance, you will be able to scroll down and find the writers for certain publications if you search for a publication in the search tab and then filter the results by individuals. This kind of search will also often uncover more journalists and content creators in the same niche who may be very helpful to you as well and should be added to your media list. Here’s an example for
Some Twitter journalists will mention in their bio their work email, and some will have their messages set to open so you can DM them.
Check other social media sites
When you want to track down reporters, Twitter is not the only game in town; it’s just the most useful one.
When you want to find contact information, you may also refer to LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
In particular, LinkedIn has helpful search features that can assist you in locating the reporters you are searching for.
Simply type in the search bar the name of the media source to find out if they have a company website.
Keep Updating Your Media List Regularly
So, you did the hard work and got a media list full of media contacts that are important. But your job isn’t over.
Journalists job skip and assignment jump a great deal. You will discover that by November, an email list made in September could be out of date.
In particular, information for the magazines, podcasts and blogs that are most important to you need to be reviewed regularly.
Any time you send a story out, a good rule of thumb is to double-check each one, and if you get any bounce backs or automated responses that tell you the reporter has moved on, take the information out immediately.
Keep track of where they went next, particularly if you have formed a good relationship with them, so you can update their information and add the new position to your media list.
Now you have a great media list; it’s time to move on to the next phase of an effective PR campaign.
How to Maximise Media Coverage For Your PR Campaign
It’s getting more and more competitive to win media attention for any PR campaign. Journalists are overwhelmed with PR questions, but in their cluttered inboxes, you must stand out.
To help you rise to the challenge, here are our top five tips:
- Have an insightful story
- Commit to meeting deadlines
- Think in visual terms
- Make your spokespeople easily available
- Be consistent
1. Have an insightful story
The first thing you need to do if you want to receive serious amounts of media attention is package your message into a newsworthy story.
Journalists don’t care about your campaign per se they just care about whether you have news that their audience would be interested in. In a nutshell, a newsworthy story is something that is important, topical and makes individuals sit up and take notice.
The news can be about creativity, innovation or behavioural changes that impact people en masse. At this point, often business owners get imposter syndrome. Does my company have a story, do I have newsworthy content to share?
We always respond a resounding YES. Every business, entrepreneur, charity, community group or individual has a story that you just need to know where to look for and how to present it.
2. Commit to Meeting Deadlines
Remember that we stressed the need to schedule your campaign in the second section of if you want to achieve the success your company deserves?
All forms of media work against editorial deadlines and you need to organize the launch of your campaigns with their deadlines in mind to gain the most attention.
It also helps to consider the difference between a news story and examples of feature stories while preparing your media outreach. — one has different deadlines to the other, so you’re going to have to know what they are and include them in your PR campaign plan.
But one thing is for sure: you need to work on their deadlines and send them stories when they want them if you want to secure media attention.
Here are some general timeframes for your stories to be pitched:
- Magazines: about 3-6 months in advance
- Newspapers: between 1 day and 1-3 weeks
- Influencers on social media: 1-2 months
- Podcasts: 2-6 weeks
- TV/Radio: 1-2 days
You need to make sure these deadlines are understood by everyone who is involved in the production of your story.
3. Think in visual terms
For the success of your PR campaign, impactful photos and compelling video content are hugely important in 2020, so it is vital that you think visually when preparing and creating the story of your public relations.
Your story might sound good on paper, but what does it look like on camera? Prioritize which stories should be pitched to TV/video/image sites through their visual appeal if you have a multi-story campaign.
4. Make sure that your speakers are available.
This can sound simple, but make sure your speakers are available to give interviews with the media.
We have collaborated with organizations who are launching great projects, but their speakers let them down when it comes to media work.
If your speakers are not available for a 6 am interview, do not pitch to the breakfast news. If you don’t have anyone who can appear natural and relaxed on tape, don’t approach the TV outlets or video podcasts.
You can’t be late for live broadcasting, and make sure they have transport available to get them to the studios, or the tech to get them on that Zoom call on time!
5. Be consistent
You also need to ensure that, for however your PR campaign runs, whether it is for a week, a month or a year that your message remains consistent. This holds true for everything you offer to journalists, everything your printed materials state, everything your videos convey and everything your spokespeople say is the same and stays on message and stays on brand.
How to Include Influencers In Your Campaign
In many public relations campaigns, working with influencers or micro-influencers is now an important tactic; we call this influencer marketing.
Influencers have an organic and dedicated audience that want to know more about the life and experiences of the influencer. So if you and your campaign can create a genuine partnership with an influencer, one where your product or problem is really important, then the benefit can be immense.
But be wary of insincere alliances. If the campaign does not mesh well with the ideals of the influencer, their fans may be offended by the idea that the sponsorship is disingenuous, there can be a backlash, for both the influencer and your brand.
How Incorporate Social Media Your PR Campaign
An important aspect of any PR strategy in 2020 is the successful use of social media.Here are five ways you can use social media to expand your campaign’s reach:
- Tease your campaign to build anticipation around the launch
- Use live broadcasting from campaign events
- Share your campaign content
- Share your media coverage
- Use social media advertising to boost interaction
1. To create anticipation around the launch, tease your campaign
Offer exclusive preview content to create anticipation before a PR event launch and warm-up audiences. Have a call to action, e.g. pre-book or sign up for launch deals for your products etc.
Creating a dedicated list that awaits the promotional content would help create momentum from the get-go, enhancing the ability of the campaign to go viral.
2. Using live-streaming from events in the campaign
Take advantage of social media live-streaming opportunities, which are increasingly an established and accepted way to increase interest in your content.
Just as you would do if they were on TV, film the launch case, interview participants, get spokespeople to speak to the camera. This material will be beneficial so that you know how to write an event press release.
3. Share your campaign content
Maximize the engagement of campaign content by spreading it across all the social media channels that are appropriate for your brand. The material may have been developed for mass media, but that does not mean it can not be used elsewhere.
4. Share Your Other Media Coverage
If you have a story in the media, then be proud and post it on social media to broaden the reach of the story to new people that may not have seen it. If you have been featured by a reputable media outlet, this will also help to create trust in your brand
Try @ing the regional media if you win national attention so that they can cover it as well.
5. Use ads in social media to improve engagement
If one of your stories gains more attention than others or has been featured in the media and gets a really positive response, then maximize its effect by putting spend behind it and giving it a boost.
This will help it reach new markets because you will be able to be even more focused on your investment because you already know that it is of interest to those demographics.
How To Evaluate the Success of Your PR Campaigns
Instead of leaving it all until the end of the campaign, we recommend evaluating, and if needed, updating your campaign as you move along.
Set your review period (a few days, a week, etc.) and then be agile and respond as quickly as possible to the data and any feedback. Did you produce the momentum you’ve predicted? Is your message being well-received, or does it have to be tweaked?
Examine the Data
Traditionally, due to the very nature of public relations, there have been difficulties in quantifying the effect PR campaigns have on a brand.
PR is about persuading and nudging people to take action, and so the outcomes of a campaign will sometimes be delayed and difficult to quantify. We’re not busy with hard selling here, so the results are much harder to put into financial terms.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help in that effort:
- What was the reaction to your particular campaign call to action in numbers?
- Has there been a rise in the amount of web traffic over time?
- Was there a rise in social media followers and engagement?
- Have there been more sign ups?
- Has the opt-in rate for your lead magnets improved?
- Have you seen a sales boost online or offline?
Qualitative data, when it comes to brand positioning and managing the image of a brand, is as critical as quantitative. Look at the various ways in which the PR campaign has given your various brand elements added value.
By answering these questions, you can do just that:
- Has there been some change in the way that target markets view your brand?
- How have your main messages been received and what reaction have they received?
- Were they trusted?
- Have there been any negative replies?
SEO and Public Relations
Many major media platforms have a rule that they do not use links in their reports to companies that they feature. You’ll need to include smaller influencers, blogs and more niche news sources in your campaign if you need your PR to help improve your SEO.
Such sites do often offer such links though, and they will be perfect for SEO as long as the sites have good domain authority.
Don’t forget about the strength of outbound links. You should also have a link to the coverage on your blog, even if you do not get a link from the media. The quality and quantity of outbound links from your site are also reflected in SERPS placements.
If you are constantly tracking your SEO, then you will be able to measure the positive effect of your media coverage easily using your usual metrics.
Now it’s your turn to launch a public relations campaign.
Defining your mission, nailing your message and targeting your media. Launch an effective campaign for public relations, and it will be rocket fuel for the growth of your company, propelling your business to the next level. And if you need help, the experienced Pearl Lemon team is just a phone call or email away.