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.

Is Your PR Working? Four Measurements to Consider.

For many companies, there’s no better feeling than seeing positive media coverage about your brand. Not only is it a powerful way to build credibility and raise awareness, but it’s also a great way to further your business objectives. That is, if you know which elements you should value and measure.

analytics

While some PR agencies use publicity value as the be-all, end-all factor in determining the value of PR, we try to stay away from this as much as possible. Why? There are two main reasons. For one, the way that agencies arrive at this number is nebulous at best. Secondly, we’re much more concerned with the actual business results driven by PR versus an ambiguous publicity value that doesn’t tell us any key sales metrics, such as the number of leads produced or sales closed as a result of the media placement.

With this in mind, here are four factors you should always consider when measuring the effectiveness of your PR campaign.

Calculate share of voice beyond just your competitors

We measure results not only by the volume of media coverage, but also through the share of voice relative to both competitors and keywords. Understanding how often your brand is mentioned compared to your competitors is important to track over time in order to gauge the success of your PR efforts. Keyword share of voice shows how your brand has (or has not) earned its place among a certain set of keywords or topics relevant to their product.

Evaluate the quality of media placements

Another metric that can be taken into account for PR measurement is the quality of a media placement. When gauging the quality of each story, we look at a variety of factors, including whether a brand spokesman is quoted, if a link to the website is provided, if the story is a more in-depth profile versus a brief mention in a story, whether the sentiment is positive, negative or neutral, and if the outlet has shared the story on social media.

Is it influencing business results?

We also evaluate which types of media placements drive the best business results for our clients. Especially for b-to-b companies, there are many instances when a placement in a specialized trade publication can be far more impactful than a top-tier national media outlet. By analyzing our clients’ Google Analytics, we can determine which media placements drive the most qualified sales leads.

In fact, when recently doing just that for a b-to-c client, we discovered that the top referral source to its website was not The Today Show, Good Morning America or one of the other top national media hits we obtained for them. Instead, it was a very niche website with a much smaller audience that generated the most traffic to their website. Sure, the bigger marquee pieces of media coverage are phenomenal to have from an exposure and credibility standpoint, but ultimately the smaller, more targeted media outlets may result in better business outcomes.

When evaluating the traffic our PR efforts are driving for clients, we’re also looking to Google Analytics to determine if it’s high quality traffic. If our PR is effective, we should be seeing the bounce rate decrease, while pages per session and time spent on the website increase.

Track the behavior of sales prospects

Website user behavior also offers a trove of information for measuring PR efforts. For example, you can track behaviors such as how many people downloaded a content item (such as a whitepaper) and how many of these downloads turn into a sale. This tells you if the leads that you’re bringing to your brand’s website using a PR tactic are qualified leads that have a substantial impact on the bottom line.

Above all else, we stress to clients that PR is a sales function – rather than an extension of marketing. We’re distributing content and information about their brand that needs to have a measurable sales impact, not just regurgitate marketing messaging.

Would you like us to conduct an audit of your current PR results? If you’d like help in determining the effectiveness of your current PR campaign, give us a shout here.

In PR: Act Fast, Like the Flash!

One of my client’s, the one and only Senario, informed me earlier this week that they would be attending the C2E2 convention this weekend (April 17), which is the Chicago Comic and Entertainment show. I think it sounds like a total blast! The convention spans the latest and greatest from the worlds of comics, movies, television, toys, anime, manga and video games. How could that not be fun?!

In public relations, you have to be able to act fast. Sometimes, I physically and mentally move so quickly to get things done that I seriously feel like The Flash, c’mon you know him, from that TV show in the 1990’s. Here’s another analogy. Sometimes, I feel like Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell in the “I’m so excited” episode. I know you have to know that one!

On Tuesday, Senario said they’d be going to the convention and would love to meet with some of the press attendees to give them a one-on-one demonstration of their new mini R/C robot, Zibits.

On Wednesday, Dittoe PR was able to track down the media list, which was nearly 400 media members long!

And, by Thursday afternoon, we had booked their entire day full of press meetings. Literally, the entire day – from start to finish.

The moral of the story – in PR, you have to act fast and give the client what they want. That’s what makes Dittoe PR one of the best PR agency’s around. If a client tells us they want something, you can be darn sure they’re going to get. And, they’re not going to have to wait. We’ll make it happen as fast as we possibly can!

In fact, just this week, I had another client tell me, “It’s refreshing working you, because you just get things done.” I consider that to be a huge pat on the back for our entire company, because that is truly how we all operate.