3 key points for maximizing the effectiveness of your PR strategy
Having been in the public relations game for nearly two decades, I’ve found that one question continues to plague our industry: How long will it take to see the value of public relations? Everything we do in business should net a return – that’s the whole point, right? PR has most certainly transitioned into a business of measurement. Where once clip books and impressions marked success, we must determine today’s campaign success by precise metrics and established goals.
In just about every new-business meeting, clients want to know how fast their name, brand or product will appear in the trades, national news media or digital press outlets. Understandably, they want to know what they’re paying for, yet PR requires specific methodology in order to earn an expected result.
- Hone your expectations.
While many companies believe a single phone call can get a TV news crew to their doorstep, the reality is that media doesn’t work that way. In fact, we’re regularly educating clients about how media works. For example, if you want your product included in a holiday gift guide, you’d better prepare with photos, product and descriptions months before – in the summer – when media outlets compile their gift guides. If you don’t have a company amid crisis, expect it’ll take some time to build narratives and awareness. As one of my mentor’s once shared, “PR is a process, not an event.”
- Arrive with specific goals in mind.
What exactly do you hope to accomplish by hiring a public relations agency? Are you exclusively interested in media hits or in shifting mindsets? Do you dream of cover stories and TV network appearances, or do you hope for increased traffic to your website or brick and mortar store? If you know what you want, a PR agency can outline a program tailored to your exact needs, and it will also place deliverables and metrics in place so that you can analyze program outcome.
- Look at the big picture.
Agencies worth their weight will be able to easily share the ROI for incumbent clients to showcase their creative, talent and abilities. Did these shared examples span various media (digital, print, broadcast and social)? Did the results include detailed analytics and methods of measurement to prove PR success? If the answer is yes, then the next step is for the agency to outline a 12-month plan for supporting your company in similar fashion. This doesn’t mean you’ll wait a year for results; it means that your PR agency is investing in a process-driven strategy that will unfold over a period of time.
This timely piece by Axia Public Relations founder Jason Mudd outlines the reasons why traditional PR no longer works. Just like many other things in life, change is certain. Technology, a 24-hour news cycle and desire for instant gratification have all stimulated an industry evolution. Download Axia’s complimentary Inbound Marketing Guide today to learn how to move beyond old-school marketing tactics and achieve results using an updated PR strategy.
Wendy Bulawa Agudelo has nearly 20 years of experience in technology, business, consumer and nonprofit public relations. She serves on the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress PR Task Force and is a culinary enthusiast and champion for the special needs community. Wendy has worked for Axia Public Relations since September 2014. Learn more about Wendy Bulawa Agudelo. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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