How A Great PR Strategy Can Grow Your Business

In today’s world of rapid technological advancement and globalized commerce, startups and Fortune 500 companies alike are searching for new ways to build their business, gain visibility, and stand out amongst the competition.

 

When it comes to building and communicating the credibility of your service or product to the world, PR is, hands down, the best strategy and can be one of the most cost-effective ways to raise brand awareness and increase sales.

 

Sharing your entrepreneurial story in national business publications, getting product placements in popular magazines, participating in expert interviews on industry topics, and earning positive social media “shout outs” from influencers have the power to significantly impact your business and your brand.

 

Here’s how a strategic, well-thought-out, and well-executed PR campaign can help your business grow:

 

Increase brand awareness.

One of the biggest and most obvious benefits of PR is that it can gain exposure for your brand. A great PR strategy will include securing media stories about your company and its products or services. This can be much more effective than traditional brand-building techniques like paid advertising because people don’t relate to advertisements – they consume them. Storytelling is the way people attach meaning to products and services, and it’s the reason they want to belong to a brand.

 

For example, a potential customer is more likely to feel a connection to your business when reading a feature story about your company in a reputable, national publication like the Wall Street Journal or Inc. Magazine, than glancing at a banner ad at the top of the web page.

 

Improve SEO.

Another great benefit of a strategic PR campaign is that it will improve your online presence. Media stories about your business in national, local, and industry-specific digital publications will improve your company’s search engine optimization (SEO). But a great PR team doesn’t rely solely on articles written by reporters. PR professionals can create their own content that can be pitched to and placed in publications.

 

For example, byline articles or op-eds on topics relevant to your target audience, case studies highlighting your own clients’ success using your services or products, and optimized blog posts for your own website can help you move to the top of the search results page, increasing your online presence and building your credibility.

 

Build credibility.

Whether you’re looking to gain new customers, find new investors, or maybe even get noticed by larger companies for a potential buyout, credibility is a must. Similar to how a great feature in a top publication can help build brand awareness, it can also build your credibility. A positive endorsement from a third party generates much more credibility than advertising.

 

Create a press page on your company’s website to showcase all of the great press your PR team has secured for your company. It’s also important to proactively share media coverage across your social channels and in your email marketing content.

 

Generate new clients and new business.

The main goal for most companies is to increase sales and generate new business, and if a PR team’s campaign is strategic, it can do just that. Media outreach should be targeted to a specific target audience.

 

For companies selling a consumer product, securing coverage in top consumer magazines and national morning TV shows, as well as working with social media influencers and bloggers may be the best approach to take. But, if you’re selling a B2B service, then coverage in industry trade publications, as well as national business outlets, may impact your business more than a segment on the ‘Today Show.’

 

To measure PR efforts, your team should have access to a variety measurement tools such as Google Analytics and social media metrics through platforms like Sprout Social or Hootsuite. This allows your team to see what types of media hits result in increased website and social media traffic. A great PR agency will also invest in their own PR analytics software tool and can track KPIs such as total media mentions, share of voice among competitors, engagement, sentiment, and social media amplification.

 

Recruit top talent.

Last, but certainly not least, a great PR campaign has the ability to attract top talent to your company. Stories on company growth and innovation, as well as your culture and philanthropic initiatives help to position your company as a desirable place to work. Touting award recognitions for your business and announcing new hires and promotions are also great ways to solidify your organization as a top workplace in your area or industry.

 

Securing media hits and increasing your online presence is important but is not always the end goal. At Dittoe Public Relations, we recognize and understand the value of translating those PR efforts into real business success for our clients.

 

We are not simply media relations specialists. We are business consultants. We pride ourselves on becoming immersed within our clients’ businesses and industries and thrive on helping them grow through our strategic PR campaigns.

 

Ready for us to put together a custom strategy for you? If so, contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com.

Best Practices To Use on Social Media During a Crisis

Let’s face it. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, we use social media more and more to digest our news rather than traditional media. Nearly 67 percent of American adults rely on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat for news. So, when a crisis strikes, the information is at our fingertips at lightning speed.

 

News coverage 24/7 has transformed the way we seek and share information, but what does that mean for brands? If you ever find yourself in a crisis, take a deep breath, buckle-up, and get ready for the ride. Here are a few social media best practices when dealing with a crisis:

 

Have a plan.

Hopefully you’re reading this before disaster strikes and have time to proactively create a crisis action plan. This plan will help the team understand their roles during a crisis and allow them to be prepared for every scenario that could possibly go wrong with your brand. Don’t wait until something blows up; brainstorm with your team and list out any and all possible problems that could arise. You then have time to create well-written responses and a good plan of action no matter what comes your way.

 

Be quick to respond.

When crisis strikes, response time is everything. If possible, responding within the first hour of inquiries will help minimize confusion or speculation. Reference your crisis communication plan and draft a statement immediately, individualizing when possible. It’s easier to change the course of the conversation with a timely, heartfelt response rather than staying silent and looking suspicious.

 

Monitor in real-time.

Whether the entire team or just one person is in charge of the task, it is important to have someone dedicated to monitoring your social media 24/7. You can’t deal with a possible situation if you don’t know what is happening in real-time. Create Google Alerts for your company, product(s), and keywords related to your industry. Hootsuite and Sprout Social are also good tools to monitor social media mentions and engagements in real-time. Stop havoc before it happens, or turn your crisis into a win like Reese’s did with their #AllTreesAreBeautiful campaign.

 

I’m sure you’ve opened a Reese’s Peanut Butter Tree at Christmas and its looked a little off. Well, instead of shying away from the backlash, Reese’s launched its #AllTreesAreBeautiful ad campaign. With a bit of hard work, the ad campaign received more than 1 billion impressions. Their emotional and cultural relevance as a brand took off and made a huge impact.

 

Speak your audience’s language.

You use your brand’s voice on all forms of social media every other day of the year—don’t turn into a robot just because you’re in crisis mode. Be professional where it’s called for on platforms like LinkedIn and use a lighter voice with more imagery on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Each social media platform has its own tone, as does each brand. Adjust it with your audience in mind but stay true to who you are.

 

If you don’t already have a plan in place for handling a crisis of any magnitude, now is the time to create one, and Dittoe PR is here to help. Request a consultation with us today!

Tips for Securing National Media Coverage

“No thanks.”

“Not at this time.”

“I appreciate your persistence, but I’m not interested.”

 

If you’re in PR, you’ve more than likely received a response similar to this from national media journalists. In my five years at Dittoe PR, I’ve heard this, well… too many times to count. While it can be discouraging to get so many rejections about your story idea, especially after you’ve spent hours coming up with the strategy and writing that perfect pitch, a PR professional must never give up. Hearing that “yes” makes the flurry of pitches worth it—for yourself and for your client.

 

National media outreach is often perceived as the most difficult kind of pitching. But if your client’s preferred coverage is a story in Forbes, The Today Show, and USA Today, or if you want to thoroughly impress a new client, you need to know how to become an expert in landing outstanding media hits in national outlets.

 

Using the below tips to secure national media coverage will help to blow your clients out of the water:

 

Do your research.

 

As with all media pitching, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re reaching out to the right journalist. Study their beat. Tailor your pitch to make it about what they typically cover. Personalize the intro of your email by expressing how much you loved their recent article on the best way to earn a college scholarship, and THEN share your story idea about caddying for a full ride to college.

 

My client, Aardvark straws, was interested in national consumer media coverage about their NFL paper straws, as they are the only paper straw company that has the rights to print NFL team logos. I recall finding an editor from Southern Living who had shared that her favorite NFL team was the Dallas Cowboys. Well, did I have the pitch for her! I offered her samples of Aardvark’s Dallas Cowboys paper straws to use for a Super Bowl party, and she replied not even a minute later with interest. A week later, Aardvark earned coverage in Southern Living!

 

Don’t underestimate the power of newsjacking.

 

Newsjacking, or taking advantage of current events or news stories in such a way as to promote one’s product or brand, can really help your client steal the spotlight. It’s always good practice to pitch a story idea that is timely, so newsjacking works well if you pitch your story as soon as possible after the news breaks.

 

Our country was so divided after the latest presidential election that even employees were affected at work. Another client of mine, Culture of Good, guides other businesses on engaging their employees properly. Immediately following the presidential election, I took the opportunity to pitch national journalists about fixing employee morale and keeping everyone together, which resulted in interest with Fast Company.

 

Make your email worth opening with a catchy subject line.

 

A dry, dull subject line such as “New wireless retail partner” is not going to get you anywhere with national media. A PR pro should make their subject lines catchy and succinct, while getting the point of the pitch across. Using Emojis adds creativity, and often, addressing the journalist’s name in the subject line helps the writer know the pitch may be personal.

 

A subject line that worked well for one of my clients, Redux, grabbed the attention of Mashable, The Today Show, TIME Magazine, New York Magazine, Digital Trends, and more: SPLASH! How to revive a wet phone in a flash this summer

 

And, when following up with media, change up the subject line to see if it peaks their interest.

 

Add images when applicable.

 

If you’re pitching a consumer product, this is a given. What better way to help a national reporter visualize your client’s product than with a photo? But even if you aren’t sharing info about a consumer product, images can add flair to an email.

Who wouldn’t want to stay at Ironworks Hotel after seeing one of their suites?

 

Be persistent.

 

Persistence is key! It’s not uncommon for a reporter to accidentally miss your first email… or your second… or your third. Follow up emails are often the ones where I receive the MOST media interest from—local and national alike. As mentioned before, refresh your subject line, add new information in the follow ups the writer may be more interested in, and keep up the determination!

 

And you may need to become a bit of a stalker.

 

Not really. But kind of. Okay, you do.

 

It’s great to find the ideal national reporter to cover your client’s story, but it can be confusing as to why you aren’t receiving any responses.

 

Look at writers’ Twitter accounts to see what they have been up to. Maybe they are on vacation or maternity leave. They could also be at a conference or tied up with a big story angle. It might be nice to use that bit of information in a follow up once you find out when they’ll be back on the grind.

 

And if you can’t find a national reporter’s email address, you may be able to find it on social media, personal websites, or otherwise.

 

Calling both local AND national writers can be nerve wracking. So before picking up the phone, try to discover if they’ve blatantly told publicists not to reach them via phone. You don’t want them to blacklist you. But I’ve called plenty of national reporters who simply didn’t see my initial emails and have indeed been interested in my client’s story. It’s definitely worth a shot!

 

Most national journalists receive hundreds of emails daily. Make yours count by sharing a lean and impactful pitch with the appropriate writer who won’t want to miss your groundbreaking story.

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