If you are part of a business that practices an effective brand strategy, chances are you probably have some knowledge of PR services. With the prolific amount of businesses present in almost every niche market, building up your brand with PR work can make a huge difference for your company.
To preface the importance and benefits of public relations, this article by Mashable points out some interesting statistics. There is an estimated sum of 1.4 million apps in the App Store and 300 million people starting businesses worldwide. These significantly large numbers do more than speak volumes of how fast the digital market is growing. With the limits of technological space versus the seemingly unlimited growth of new businesses, it can be difficult to get your business noticed from the rest.
That’s where PR steps in. And as a marketing tool, public relations might be one of the most challenging campaigns to manage. To understand this, it’s essential to note that public relations (PR) work is not the same as advertising. There is little to no control of the impact that your PR efforts might bring, and this can be attributed to the fact that PR content is usually in the hands of a third-party intermediary, such as a reporter, analyst, consumer, or blogger. In another sense, a number of different channels that exist to release PR information through is extensive, and the results that you can get from each medium have their own set of differences.
But while trying to get your feet wet with PR campaigns might be a bit overwhelming, the benefits far outweigh the initial skepticisms. Content campaigns give you the chance to get your story told to a potential audience. The narrative that you create through PR has the outreach potential for investors, partners, and clients to generate interest in your brand. And while the process can be labor intensive, taking a quick glance at these guidelines can be helpful to minimize efforts and maximize results.
Know Your Industry
Understanding the industry that your business is in is crucial in determining your PR work. Before you create any type of content to be sent over to intermediaries, get familiar with your fieldwork by asking these questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- Who are your competitors?
- How does your company or product match up to the public’s interests?
- What does the audience want?
- What are the key components of your company or product that you want to convey?
Having an answer to these queries will help you gather the most important bits of information that you want to include in your PR publications. Remember, the results of your PR work are only as strong as the content you send to your influencers. Your brand’s identity is best formatted by someone knows the brand’s values and business model inside and out—it’s not up to your intermediaries to produce effective PR content. On the other hand, if you are planning to hire a PR firm it’s a good idea to review these pointers with them as well so that they understand what you want to communicate to your audience.
Building credibility of your brand is one of the benefits of public relations. Because your brand identity will be facilitated through intermediaries and third-party channels, audience interest in your business will pick up. Entrepreneur explains this process by coining the term “third-party credibility.” Collaborating with influencers such as press coverage, word-of-mouth, and endorsements can earn you that credibility by having your service or product be a topic of conversation.
Don’t feel pressured to land that interview or press release over a feature on a well-known blog—depending on your business, you should always opt for a channel that you believe will fittingly showcase the message of your product or service.
Create Effective, Curated Content
When it comes to the actual content of your brand’s PR work, try to market your business’s message in an appealing way. While this may be an obvious tip, it’s important as a reminder that PR is not an advertisement. For starters, try not to be too verbose or include too much unnecessary fluff to your PR content. A newsworthy content is a style that you might want to stick to because then it will come off less like an ad and more like an informative business model that people will actually want to learn about.
As Entrepreneur advises, use PR services as an opportunity to establish and humanize your company’s core values that are relatable to the public. Focusing on the “why’s” of your brand essentially make it easier for your consumers to engage with your content.
If you decide to submit PR work through multiple intermediaries, it’s a good idea to curate them accordingly. Choosing the right tone to use for press releases as opposed to casual blog posts is an effective strategy to engage the right type of audience.
Similarly, you can also pull different types of information to use for specific PR platforms. Mashable recommends framing the interviews that you would conduct of the founders of your company through different angles of questions. This way, you can easily apply your gathered information to various narratives of any messages you are trying to pitch.
Use your Social Network
With the bounty of today’s social media possibilities, pinpointing a channel or influencer for PR services isn’t an impossible feat. Take some time out to skim through your options and explore popular blogs, news sites, and forums—you just might be surprised at how many casual social media networks generate an authentic readership. For example, Reddit has been used by many major publications to source their stories. Similarly, Twitter and Facebook hashtag trends have become a familiar method of coverage by news outlets, and it’s becoming more evident that social media sites can play a part in contemporary journalism.
If your brand has any existing social media handles, it’s not a bad idea to include relevant links or statistics to your online presence. Having a hashtag attached to your business is a fun way of connecting with your audience while staying trendy. Hashtags make it easy to keep tabs on any business-to-consumer interactions that you might encounter, and the public will generally appreciate how accessible your company is.
The best PR tactics are performed not only by staying in the know of the digital marketing field, but also making an active effort to connect with the audience. Take an informative approach to your PR services, and try to set the goal of telling a story of your brand instead of selling it.