We do a fair amount of public and media relations at Fusion Marketing Partners. And I did tons of PR throughout my prior life on the client side. While there are lots of moving parts to PR, I believe that there are a few unassailable, always-to-be-followed rules that can help ensure a successful outcome. Here are four of the most important:
- Base your outreach strategy on a BIG IDEA. You don’t want people saying “So What” when they read your release. The big idea doesn’t have to be earth shattering but it should be better than “ABC Company’s CEO believes their product is the greatest thing since sliced bread.”
- Remember that the word “public” is part of public relations. It isn’t just about the media and analysts. While media and analysts can certainly influence buyers, they seldom make a purchase themselves. The availability of many types of online and social media makes it possible to reach a far larger constituency, including prospects, customers and partners.
- Align your PR efforts with the rest of your pull marketing strategy. There are lots of leverage points if you look at PR as a component of a coordinated B2B marketing strategy, instead of something apart and different. As one example of how to do this, make sure all your social media messages are similar to, and synchronized with, your latest media outreach. Multi-channel marketing is much more effective than single shot efforts.
- Have a goal. Public relations is considered by most B2B marketers to be a “soft art” rather than a hard science. However, it is always best to have a goal for your PR efforts, particularly if the goal (or goals) is part of an overall pull marketing campaign. One of the pillars of Fusion Marketing Partners is creating a strong website presence and we prefer to work with companies who use their website as an important selling tool, particularly at early stages of the sales cycle. So a key objective for the PR campaign is not only driving awareness (somewhat tough to measure) but also driving traffic to the website (easy to measure). If you have an optimized website you will create leads and revenue from this extra traffic. If your website is not optimized, now is a good time to start.
Those of you who practice public/media relations can add other important rules for success. But I do believe that the four I mentioned above can give you a solid foundation for ROI-Based PR.