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[By Sanjay Kulkarni, Marketwired Vice President, Product & Marketing]
If you’re in public relations, investor relations or marketing, you know that the way people find, consume and share information today is vastly different from the way they did just a few years ago. Although the focus is still on establishing and fostering relationships, it’s no longer solely directed to a finite group of members of the media or analysts who control the news and content that consumers, shareholders and other stakeholders see.
Now, influencing how people think is anyone’s game. A new breed of PR and IR influencers – e.g., bloggers, subject matter experts, social media mavens, key customers – has risen to the top in virtually every industry and they’re holding sway on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, news sites and on dozens of other online venues. When one of these pundits says something, his or her followers pay close attention and regularly share the information with their own networks. Companies are increasingly embracing this new paradigm with their wallets as shown in the 2015 Tomoson survey of marketing professionals:
In a webinar Marketwired recently hosted on influencer relationship management, panelists (all influencers themselves) Shonali Burke (@Shonali), Gini Dietrich (@gdietrich), Jeff Domansky (@ThePRCoach) and Deirdre Breakenridge (@deirdre) helped attendees understand how to tap into their influencer networks, turn influencers into advocates, and generate insights and leads. Following are few of their tips.
You Can Never Do Enough Research
Step one is to find the people who sway opinions in your industry, and for your type of company, products or services. The time you spend putting keywords together, testing them to see what influencer-generated content matches turn up, and digging into an influencer’s online profile and social footprint – these activities are key to identifying the right influencers. Time spent on that research is critical – give it the respect it deserves.
And look beyond the expected. You may find influencers on Twitter, but they might also be on SlideShare, Instagram, Vimeo or YouTube – and on many other platforms. Don’t limit yourself to journalists, bloggers or known analysts. Consider anyone who is active in the conversations going on in your industry, such as content curators or blog editors.
Think Quality over Quantity
Influence is about how trusted and respected someone is by his or her network of followers and the level of engagement between them – it’s not about how many followers someone has. Sure, you can find a celebrity to endorse your product or service and you’ll get a lot of attention. But unless that celebrity also happens to be a respected influencer in your industry for your type of product, he or she won’t carry much weight as a credible resource. A tip is to look for micro influencers who are trusted in their niches. Find out who’s already talking about your industry and look for their visibility and engagement scores. Then assess the content these people are sharing and get familiar with what they’re talking about.
Relationship-building comes First
Once you find the influencers you want as your brand advocates, make them aware of your brand: what you do and how you excel, and why they should get to know you and recommend your products or services. So before you go for the ‘ask’ it’s critical that you establish solid relationships. A couple of good ideas: Hold expert roundups. Choose six influencers in your field, feature them on a weekly blog post and share their content. Conduct weekly ‘inquisitions’: interview up-and-comers as well as known influencers, and then write and share regular recaps of those interviews.
Craft Your Hook
What content do you have that an influencer – and his or her followers – will find valuable? Why would someone need it, care about it and want to share it? Before you reach out, determine what assets you have and how you can make them appealing to the conversations that your influencers are engaging in. Offer real solutions, relevant research, case studies, quality information – anything super easy for them to share and use. Include photos, charts, graphs, infographics, slide presentations, videos – don’t just think about the printed word. Consider developing a menu of assets that are easy to share on different platforms.
Nurture and Maintain
Don’t forget to thank your influencers. Get in the habit of going through the mentions you received during the past week, and on Friday send those influencers a tweet and say ‘thanks for the share’. Whenever possible, talk up your influencers in your posts, and link to them on your blog and other social media platforms. These are great way to strengthen your relationships.
Bottom Line: Cultivating Influencer Relationships is a Must
Building and managing relationships with key influencers is essential for virtually any business today. Although the traditional press is still influential and must not be discounted, the playing field has widened dramatically. So much so, in fact, that ignoring all those other individuals out there who shape opinions about brands and their products and services is a huge mistake. In essence, the public relations – and investor relations – functions have evolved into influencer relations functions.
About the Author: Sanjay Kulkarni leads Marketwired’s product and marketing teams in driving the success of the Marketwired brand and its flagship product Marketwired Resonate, an integrated news release and social communication platform that features leading-edge tools to identify, connect and engage with influencers. Sanjay hails from Deloitte and ADP Canada where he was responsible for product strategy, pricing, product management and marketing, and product P&L.
[By Kait Fowlie]
The best way to make the most of your summer? Conquer a set of goals that will advance your professional development and land you in a better position to find a job in PR and rock it this fall. Here are 13 suggestions for getting active in the industry this summer.
Host a Twitter chat
If you’re a blogger or already have an active social community you chat with regularly, hosting a Twitter chat can really grow and strengthen that community. If you don’t feel quite ready to host your own chat, find some you want to join in on, mark them in your calendar, and make a point to take notes on what you think makes a great host.
Take a coding workshop
Chances are, your job will require you to co-create content with other writers, marketers, and / or developers. Having a basic understanding of each part in the process will make you a more versatile and valuable employee.
Clean up your Twitter following list
Declutter your Twitter feed – follow only the people you care to see tweets from. Gini Dietrich recommends creating a list of bloggers and journalists you’ll want to connect with this year. “This will make it easy to follow them, share their work, and start conversations (which lead to relationships.)”
Find a mentor – or 10
It’s always important to have a mentor to look up to and learn from – and you don’t have to recruit an official mentor by formally reaching out to someone. Benefiting from the support and wisdom of an influencer in the industry might look like subscribing to their YouTube channel, reading everything they’ve published, and reaching out to them on social media in the ways you see fit. A rock star influencer can teach you tons without ever meeting you.
Conduct a personal audit/SWOT analysis
Jason Mollica recommends conducting a personal audit to take a critical look at your career. “The SWOT analysis is something I love to do. It forces you to pick out your weaknesses. But, it also shows where you may be missing the boat on something.”
Get journalism experience
It never hurts to know how to write clean, crisp copy like journalists. To get some experience, pitch an idea for a guest post on a blog you like, or even write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper.
Learn your way around Google Analytics
Learning your way around Google Analytics will help you with measurement, reporting, and seeing the “big picture” in your next job.
Make a YouTube video
2015 has been called “the year of video marketing,” which means if you haven’t thought about your video know-how, now is the time! The best way to learn is by doing – try your hand at making a video. Check out James Wedmore on YouTube for some practical, actionable advice.
Revamp your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is an underutilized tool for making professional connections and engaging with important content. We’ve got a few tips to help PR pros (and aspiring pros) use LinkedIn better.
Write your personal mission statement
In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey recommends writing a personal mission statement as a way to focus your sights on what you want to be in terms of character and what you want to achieve. He suggests starting a collection of notes, quotes, and ideas you want to use as resource material in writing your personal mission statement. Like a career goal, your personal mission statement likely won’t be created overnight.
Buy your name as a domain
If you’re hoping to make a name for yourself in PR, claim your online domain now. Your website will be the main hub where people can go to learn about you, read your work, etc. It’s the best way to take control of what people see when they search for you.
Become a confident networker
Take every opportunity that you can to network this summer. The best networking happens when you can be present and genuine – the more comfortable you feel while doing it, the more effective you can be at it.
Define your idea of success
When it comes to your career, you define your own metrics of success. Come up with some long term and short term goals and benchmarks, and map out the route you’ll take to get there. Without knowing your indicators of progress, you won’t know how far you’ve come!
As Zig Ziglar said, “you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Remember that as you push your comfort zones while networking, listening, and learning this summer. No matter how small the progress you make, conquering goals always pays off.
[By Lisa Davis]
Podcasting certainly isn’t new, but the wonderfully affordable and portable medium continues to see a steady rise in popularity and subscriber volumes: There are more than 250,000 unique podcasts available in the iTunes store, and Americans listen to approximately 21.1 million hours of podcasts per day (Source: Edison Research).
With an incredibly diverse and niche list of topics to choose from, there is a podcast for everyone. For marketers and PR pros — whether you’re new in your career or a seasoned veteran — there is a long list of podcasts worthy of your listening time, each one of them informative, educational, and downright enjoyable.
Here are ten fantastic podcasts guaranteed to make you think more creatively, communicate more clearly, and keep you connected to our fast-paced industry.
“As the marketing world shifts from a century of overt one-way messaging to a new-world order of two-way dialogue, we leave the age of persuasion and enter the era of influence,” says host and marketing guru Terry O’Reilly. The show highlights the indelible impact of marketing on our culture and economy, and tells incredible (but true) stories of some of the biggest hits and misses in advertising and branding. From hyper-targeting consumers to “giftvertising” and product placement, Under the Influence is a master class in marketing. More than a podcast, each episode is one of the best stories you’ll hear every week. So make some popcorn, put in the ear buds and enjoy every word.
Mignon Fogarty is more than the host of this must-have podcast; she’s every writer’s best friend and security blanket. The Grammar Girl podcast is “your friendly guide to the world of grammar, punctuation, usage, and fun developments in the English language,” and lest you think there really is no connection between grammar and fun, think again. Fogarty’s presentation style and lessons are as witty as they are informative. Where else could you learn the difference between “deep-seeded” and “deep-seated” with a reference to Game of Thrones? Grammar Girl teaches us to embrace our inner word nerd, write a proper sentence, and be better business communicators.
At “The Intersection of Technology and Marketing,” hosts John Wall and Christopher Penn jam-pack every episode with trending news and current events, and pull best practice from their professional and practical experience that cover a wide range of topics, from email marketing and multivariate testing, to social media marketing and “old-school” offline marketing campaigns. With episodes like “Microsoft Owns Your Face” and “Simon Sinek on Leadership,” the information is practical, usable, and highly engaging.
Hosted by accomplished business strategists B.L. Ochman and David Erickson, the weekly show is a fun, funny, and fast-paced look at how marketing and social media are affecting business, brands, and people. It covers must-know news and current events, highlights the best and worst marketing stories of the week, and looks at shiny new tools. Though delivered in an irreverent style, the hosts dive deep into big-brand hits and misses and provide great insight into why some campaigns work, and others don’t. Enjoy.
This isn’t a single podcast, but a collection of business-focused podcasts, and is the creation of communication professionals Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz, ABC. Each has its own style and content focus, and it’s impossible to list a favourite here. Some of the highlights within the FIR Network include:
While not included here, each of these podcasts has an associated newsletter (hint: subscribe to these) and social media presence (hint: follow these podcasts).
Which podcasts are on your must-listen-to list? Tell us in the comments section.
[By Aaron Broverman]
Sometimes a mundane product or service sells itself. Sometimes the publicist hired to promote it can practically go on autopilot.
That’s when you get lucky.
More often than not, it’s a lot more difficult than that. On their face, some industries seem obscure and boring. One that comes to mind is the medical field and the difficulty some doctors have marketing themselves, their procedures and devices. That’s particularly true when it comes to the more mundane elective procedures like dental implants, hair restoration or laser eye surgery.
A lot of these industries need image doctors, so we went out and found one.
Scott Lorenz, president of Westwind Communications in Plymouth, Michigan, is an expert at marketing medical technology and procedures. His claim to fame is organizing the first laser eye surgery seen in America.
“When laser eye surgery wasn’t yet legal in the U.S., patients used to cross the border into Windsor, Ontario, which is just across the river from Detroit, to get the procedure. The Detroit television media could be seen in Windsor, so any coverage in Detroit would benefit this Canadian doctor immensely,” says Lorenz.
“We did one of the first laser eye surgeries ever seen on TV in the country. After that, this doctor’s phone and fax machine were going berserk and this is when he charged five, six, seven grand for the procedure.”
Show, Don’t Tell
If the first laser eye surgery on television confirmed anything to Lorenz, it was that in order to get any publicity for a medical procedure you have to be able to show it to an audience.
“People want to see products and medical devices demonstrated. They don’t necessarily want to be the first to have something done, but they want to see how it’s done,” he says.
That means you’ve got to have patients – you can’t just have the journalist sit there and let the doctor describe the procedure – and they need to be patients who are good on TV.
“These are patients who can articulate their problem and describe how this problem was resolved by the surgery,” continues Lorenz.
Often, in the press releases he sends to journalists, Lorenz will include a link to a password-protected video demonstrating the procedure he’s marketing. This came in very handy when he was promoting the VeinViewer Flex, which uses infrared light to see veins inside a person’s body in real time without opening them up.
“Honestly, you have to see it to believe it. You can see the vein clearly, so when a doctor has to draw blood he’s not stabbing you 25 times trying to find one. The potential of that nightmare situation is what scares many people away from needles, and now it doesn’t have to be scary.”
Build a Story
The VeinViewer Flex is a marvel of technology, but Lorenz insists you can’t just rely on that. You also have to build a story around what you’re publicizing. He did this when his client needed to generate patients for a dental implant procedure.
“There’s a guy who played guitar in a band and drove The Salvation Army Truck to help the poor on the weekend, but his smile had disappeared because he had no teeth, so my client Dr. Kosinski offered to do these dental implants for him,” he says.
“We called the local news station and it ended up being the ‘Pay It Forward’ story of the week.”
The stories don’t have to all be human interest stories, but there should at least be a patient at the centre of them.
“You’ve got to have a good story all the time,” says Lorenz. “Some people put spam out there – I’ve had clients who have done that – and they can’t get anywhere with it because they just send out millions of press releases about how great the doctor is as opposed to, ‘Here’s a patient who I’ve helped and solved their problem.’”
For most doctors, the problem is they don’t know how to sell themselves, let alone their technology or procedures.
“Doctors typically are not salesman. They are not salesman any more than I’m a doctor,” says Lorenz.
Though he wouldn’t reveal his technique for attracting attention from the journalists who receive hundreds of press releases a day because, as he said, “that’s the secret sauce,” he did say if you’re not getting a response by phone or by e-mail – you can always just show up.
“You do whatever you’ve got to do within reason,” says Lorenz. “Some of the best stuff we’ve ever pitched is right there on the street when we see the news crew on the street doing another story. I’m not kidding. It’s hard to throw someone out of your office, but you definitely can’t throw someone off the street.”
[By Karen Geier]
You’ve seen desire in action. It’s the kids waiting in line for a waterslide. It’s people camping out overnight to buy a new phone. It’s people tweeting about an announcement of a movie based on a book they loved. We see desire in many forms every day. It’s only an elite group of brands and campaigns that seem to be able to capture and leverage desire, though. What do these brands do differently?
What Desire is
Desire can loosely be defined two ways: one way is the anticipation of something really good coming in the future; another is a preoccupation with an object, service, event, etc. It’s important to understand the mechanism that drives desire in order to plan for how to incite it.
Desire is really the unquestioned “want” feeling for something. It is a preoccupation. Most of us feel this pull at many points in our lives. Usually we feel this pull for one or more of the following reasons:
If you can find a way to connect one or more of these feelings to your brand, you’re on your way to tapping the desire of your customers.
Everyone has certain levers that motivate them to take action. These levers are either driven by fear or desire. What makes something desirable is unique to the person and circumstances, but the basic desire levers stated above are the ones that make a person interested in your product.
How to Decide Which Levers to Concentrate On
You likely can’t make the case that your product hits all the major desire drivers, so you should concentrate on the levers that fit best with your brand and aren’t too big of a leap for your brand.
Objectively, you should know whether your product has aesthetic appeal. If you don’t, walk out on the street and ask strangers whether they like the look of your product. If you get mixed reviews, your case isn’t strong enough for leveraging visual appeal.
Visual appeal is the easiest to leverage. Focusing on beautiful photography and videos will help communicate how covetable your product is.
To assess the experience lever of your product, you need to go back to what is unique about it. What makes it stand out? Is that experience enough to be coveted and be highly sharable? Is it an experience someone cannot easily get from a competitor?
If you have a unique experience, you should create campaigns around the immersion into the experience. This could mean creating videos that convey a point-of-view format, leveraging influencers to experience your offering firsthand, using testimonials in your campaigns, or simply allowing potential customers to try your experience for free.
Status is a fairly easy lever to assess. It often comes down to the price of a product, which puts it out of reach for many.
Leveraging status is fairly simple. By making your product exclusive, available by invitation only or through an influence-ranking system, you can make it even more coveted.
Sex is a hard lever to assess unless your product fits firmly in specific types of industries. This is best assessed by asking people who are unconnected to your business for their opinions.
Leveraging sex appeal is fraught with danger, as the line between one person’s “sexy” and another person’s “vulgar” can be difficult to tread. Consider leveraging this either with humour or in very subtle ways. The days of bikini spokes-models are over. Consider working with platforms that have some edge or a sexy history to them like Snapchat, or bloggers who push boundaries to communicate your value-add.
Values are easy to assess, because you have to purposefully implement them into your brand. To leverage values, you could partner with charities and nonprofit organizations, or you could have your employees participate in values-based activities and blog about them.
Desire is the holy grail of marketing. It is possible to leverage the main factors that cause people to feel desire by looking for connections between your brand and what motivates people. Once you find the correct lever, you need to communicate that connection in places where people you’re trying to target naturally live and are primed to hear your message. Desire isn’t something you can manufacture, but you can lead your desired audience to it.
Whether you’re an aspiring PR pro or seasoned one, chances are you could use a quick hit of inspiration on the job every now and again. The cure for a mental energy lag? Some new insights from a fresh perspective.
Enter: the branded YouTube channel.
These 6 professional channels stand out for their quality content, engaging delivery, and most important of all, their sheer helpfulness for PR insights and tips. Subscribe to these value-packed channels for a dose of PR motivation during your hectic days.
Emmy Award-winning media entrepreneur Natalie MacNeil offers a “weekly daily dose of soaring inspiration and practical advice for your business and life.” With videos like This Is Why You’re Not Getting Press and Do you Need Certification in Your Field? her channel holds many gems for professionals across the communications industry.
This multi-talented entrepreneur and internet personality is well-known for The #AskGaryVee Show, where he provides no-nonsense answers to questions about marketing, social media, entrepreneurship, and more. His personal channel goes deeper into his own topics of preference – always within the context of superior communication and branding on social media. But we’ll let him explain why you should subscribe to his channel.
If you haven’t heard – 2015 has been called “the year of video marketing,” which means if you haven’t thought about your brand’s YouTube presence yet, it’s time to get up to speed. Wedmore can help with that. His channel offers practical, actionable advice for creating YouTube videos and effective video marketing campaigns without spending a lot of time or money. Just getting started in video marketing? Get introduced with How to Make A Video That People Want to Watch.
Young PR Pros is an Ottawa-based weekly podcast for young (and young at heart) PR pros looking for new ways to advance their career. Hosts Kristine D’Arbelles and Julia Kent interview students, young professionals and influencers in the industry to get the best advice on nailing a job interview, portraying a personal brand on social media, and networking.
The YouTube home base of Gini Dietrich, founder and CEO of the Chicago-based integrated marketing and communications firm Arment Dietrich, this channel is a one-stop shop for all things PR and marketing. Dietrich and her team at Spin Sucks create videos that will help you navigate the PR world with grace and savvy, from how to deal with the age-old “can I pick your brain?” question to handling angry clients, so you can glide through to the toughest parts of the job.
This channel showcases video interviews conducted by TopRank Online Marketing with digital marketing professionals on topics ranging from Social Media to Influencer Marketing to Online Public Relations. An eclectic mix of influencer insights, this video selection is as entertaining as it is informative.
Marketwired recently hosted a webinar, “Influencer Management 411: How to Make the Most of Influencers, Advocates and Ambassadors in Your PR and Marketing,” featuring subject-matter experts and influencers Shonali Burke (@shonali), Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich), Jeff Domansky (@ThePRCoach) and Deirdre Breakenridge @dbreakenridge as moderator.
At the June 11 event our panelists shared their insights on why it’s important to align your influencer strategy with your overall campaign objectives and gave us great advice on how to build a symbiotic relationship with your influencers that moves stakeholder relationships to new levels of loyalty and advocacy.
In tandem with the webinar, our panelists contributed their top influencer management advice for our Influencer Management 411 Infographic. Take a read through. You’ll find valuable tips that you can use to build and manage your own influencer relationships.
To receive access to the archived webinar, register here. Keep the conversation going on Twitter at #Influence411.
[By Jason Mollica]
There are two new kids on the social media block that are making many swoon. By now (hopefully), you have heard or used Meerkat and Periscope, the live streaming video apps that link to a user’s Twitter account to broadcast and watch video from around the world.
Both of the apps allow viewers to comment on the video they’re watching, see how many other viewers are currently viewing alongside them and indicate your approval through a “like” on Meerkat or “heart” on Periscope. Everyone from regular folks to the media are using the apps to show behind-the-scenes updates to their dog playing fetch.
Of course, the big question for PR pros is: How can we use it for clients? I’m glad you asked! When it comes to new platforms it’s important for our industry to learn as much about these platforms as quickly as possible. As we have seen, brands want to be on new channels before the competition. Here are a few ways PR pros can use both to their advantage.
Brands and businesses can demonstrate products and services, as well as talks by a CEO. Say that you represent a series of restaurants. You could recommend the executive chef do a live cooking demonstration. It’s also a great way to show speakers at a conference, especially if the keynote is particularly noteworthy.
Marketers can build suspense by revealing new products in stages and giving behind-the-scenes sneak previews.
Promotions and deals
I love this, especially for small- to medium-sized businesses. Marketers can offer consumers exclusive promotional codes that are accessible only through Meerkat videos. These types of offers, only through Meerkat, will help build audiences and brand loyalty.
We’ve already seen this used by some sports networks. MSG Network, television home of the New York Rangers, used Meerkat to give fans between-period analysis, as well as some Q&A, since the games were on the NBC Sports Network in the U.S. It’s a great real-time tool in this instance.
Image replacing the “old” website FAQ page with a more appealing video FAQ. You could do that with Meerkat or Periscope. A business or an organization would post video answers, which also would give the appearance that the brand is really listening and not just posting a generic page of text answers that do not always help.
Let’s be honest: our clients all have a story to tell. Why not make it easier for them to tell who they are and what they do? Both platforms can help advance the story of the organization’s history, give a tour of company headquarters, introduce the public to employees, and relate a day-in-the-life of the organization.
What is becoming clearer each day is that live streaming apps are not going to go away. As a matter of fact, there will most certainly be more. The question for PR pros is how you can put this new series of tools for content marketing and communications to use properly. Amplify the positive!
[Concept via Gini Dietrich, Founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich and Founder of Spin Sucks Pro]
Audiences today get their news and information through a variety of channels, and in many different formats. According to a 2014 Nielsen Digital Consumer study, “Eighty-four percent of smartphone and tablet owners say they use their devices as second-screens while watching TV at the same time.” It’s obvious that we’re living in an omni-channel world, where we expect our experiences to be continuous.
So what does that mean for PR professionals? In order to truly stand out and make a greater impact with your audiences, you must offer different types of media experiences. Consumers today are consuming content both online and offline; reading magazines and watching their favorite TV shows; participating in their blog communities and sharing photos on popular sites such as Instagram and Pinterest.
Unfortunately, as the number of channels and choices goes up, our attention span for any one of them in particular goes down. The bottom line for PR pros? You have to be where your audiences congregate – and use a mix of earned, owned, paid and shared media — converged media — to make sure you get their attention. Here’s what you need to know about each type of media.
PR is best known for earned media or the credible third-party endorsement. When someone else talks about your company’s products or services, his or her comments carry much more weight than when you try to convince others of your company’s worth. Earned media can be editorial coverage in print or online, reviews and ratings, comments resulting from your media, social media “buzz,” and blogger and influencer relations work. Earned media serves a specific purpose: it’s a great way to build credibility and trust for your brand.
When your company creates and hosts its own content, you have total control over it. This content can run the gamut from your website, blog, and social media posts to brochures, eBooks, white papers and tip sheets. Your owned content allows you to tell different types of stories to see what resonates with your audience. Since you have complete control over it, you can use an array of content aimed at a variety of audience interests in an effort to interact with and more deeply engage your stakeholders.
It’s always been important to integrate PR and marketing for brand and message consistency; now we have a renewed focus on paid media. For example, traditionally, we used to work with marketing on advertorial opportunities in print publications. Now, there is sponsored social media content (think: sponsored tweets and selfies on Instagram) and and many digital publications are offering companies the opportunity to create stories that are paid placements with an editorial look and focus. Paid media also includes pay-per-click advertising, display ads, influencer marketing programs, and social media promotions.
Here’s where your organization’s social media channels come into play. Whether it’s your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn properties, your shared media is a collaborative effort with your customers who are commenting and participating actively in your communities. They are openly giving their ideas and feedback to you, and having conversations in these shared communities, which is partially yours and partially theirs. Shared media is a great opportunity to interact, learn and forge deeper relationships, while building trust with the people who will advocate on your behalf.
To find out more about turning your PR content into shareable, clickable and search-friendly stories, and to read more about Gini’s experience creating effective PR content, access our tip sheet.
[By Jason Mollica]
In the (not too distant) past, public relations professionals measured news placements and distribution of press releases in a very different way. You could open up the daily newspaper and see if your release was printed or if your story pitch turned into a local television news story. The distribution window was smaller and the audience was relegated to print and electronic media.
Thanks to the internet and social media, the digital landscape has now overtaken the importance of just using the old school channels. Bloggers must be considered when pitching. You may email and, then, follow up with a print reporter over Twitter. Finally, instead of a television station coming to you to shoot a story, you may chose to distribute video over YouTube by your in-house PR department.
All of these examples highlight one very important topic: It is integral for PR pros to properly measure the results of their news distribution.
These days, with so many avenues to have your news viewed, what are you doing to measure these placements and, in turn, campaigns? As part of your initial strategy, you most likely have thought about the targets for your release. In putting together this blog, I wanted to take a look at the successes some of Marketwired’s clients have had. A good example I found is what Jennings Social Media Marketing did for Twentyseven Global.
JSMM made sure that their PR and marketing plan included targeted and consistent releases that provided information that was valuable to the right businesses. You can blast news out to release services all you want. But is that really effective? Will you see the results you want? By understanding that a news release is still very important in your strategy, JSMM made sure to target where they wanted the release to go and who would see it.
When evaluating release effectiveness against your set PR goals and objectives, the results will be concrete. For example, did your brand awareness reach desired levels or did fall short? It is also integral to test results at varying time intervals to see the effect of time on the success of a campaign. Measuring at varying time intervals can help show the difference between short- and long-term results.
Depending on the type of result, a quick, short-term campaign may be most effective. An example would be a company that had inaccurate news released to the public that is untrue. A PR campaign that targets a set group of influencers for rapid impact would be measurable. Conversely, a newer company would prefer long-term results that gain steam as it helps the company grow and establish a positive image.
Lastly, measurement can help you assess the overall campaign picture. How did the company change as a whole as result of this campaign, both internally and as viewed by the public? Perhaps a campaign helped change the culture of a company internally and, in turn, boosted its image.
Without the proper campaign evaluation, you will not be able to see what parts of the process were beneficial and what parts were detrimental to your success.
Measuring the impact of your news distribution should not be a difficult task. If you have the proper strategy in place, you’ll see results that you can build upon.