With the new year already started, many of us are looking at ways to improve our PR efforts and get more leads into the top of the funnel.
There are plenty of tools available to make this process easier – from SEO to content creation, to landing page optimization – but none of these tools can make up for lackluster PR strategy. If you’re looking to grow your influence and gain more traction with your PR efforts, then you need to take a hard look at your current strategy and plug the leaks. Let’s dive into the top 10 PR tips that can help you start the year successfully.
1. Plan your press releases strategically
The very first step towards effective PR is to plan your press releases strategically. This means you need to consider the channel that you’re going to use to publish your press release, who your target audience is, and what type of content will be most effective in drawing the right type of attention to your story. When it comes to creating content for digital news platforms, it’s important to keep in mind that your goal is to generate as much interest and engagement as possible. To achieve this, you need to use the right type of language and the right type of media to attract the right type of audience. In other words, if you’re writing for the Huffington Post, you’ll want to use words and phrases that they’re interested in and that will generate the most engagement. When planning your press release idea, start with what’s happening in the world that’s exciting you. Then, ask yourself these questions:
- What problem are you solving?
- Who are you solving it for?
- Why should someone care?
- What makes your product special?
- What is your unique selling point (USP)?
- How much effort is required to enter the market?
- How much effort does your product save users?
- Is there an approved number of words/phrases you can use to describe your product?
Once you’ve got all the answers to these questions, you can start to map out how you’ll communicate your news.
2. Identify the publication’s demographics
To determine the demographics of a publication, you simply need to look at the audience that comes to their site regularly and evaluates new content. In most cases, this is going to be people within your target audience. However, if you’re writing for a general audience, then you should also include specific demographics in your analysis. Knowing the demographics of the publications you’re writing for will give you the chance to tailor your message to reach the right audience. Remember: you’re not just dealing with demographics, you’re also dealing with the personalities, the emotions, the interests, and the problems of specific individuals in each demographic.
Once you’ve got your demographics identified, you can take the time to find out more about them. What are their interests? What makes them passionate? What are their pain points? Having this information will give you a better chance at connecting with your target audience and prompting them to take action. When you put all these individual pieces of information together, you can start to craft the perfect public relations plan to gain maximum traction for your product.
3. Know your audience’s metrics
To determine how effective your PR plan is, you need to know the metrics that track its success. Without these metrics, you’ll never know if you’re on the right track or if you need to make some changes to your strategy. The first step in this process is to determine your target audience’s size and to find out how active this audience is when it comes to your product or service.
Many businesses don’t take the time to determine how many people they’re actually reaching with their PR efforts, which leads them to over- or under-estimating the success of their strategy. By knowing your target audience’s metrics, you’ll have the chance to adjust your strategy and figure out whether you’re making the right progress or whether you need to change directions. For example, if you’ve got a smaller target audience than you’d estimated, you might need to switch to a different demographic to draw the right attention – or you could try increasing your PR activity to reach more people.
4. Measure your results
To determine the effectiveness of your PR efforts, you need to look at the results of your strategy. This will require a bit of research into the metrics that gauge the success of your strategy and a bit of ingenuity. The first step is to look at the number of articles you’ve generated and the amount of press clippings that mention your product or service. To determine the impact of your efforts, you can then compare this number to the amount of media coverage you’d been receiving before you started your campaign. Compiling these numbers into a single metric gives you an idea of the progress you’re making as well as the need to change gears or try a new strategy.
5. Use multiple channels
While many businesses only use one type of channel to communicate their news, the fact is that your product or service likely has the potential to appear in many different places. To get the most out of your PR strategy, you need to use as many channels as possible to promote your product or service. To determine the effectiveness of your strategy, you need to look at the metrics for each individual channel. If you’re active on social media, then you can track the amount of engagement (likes, retweets, and comments) posted to your content to get a sense of its success. If you’re doing your writing for an online publication, then you can measure the amount of traffic they receive to their site.
6. Measure your time
To determine how much time you’ve spent on your PR strategy and what type of return you’re getting on your investment, you need to track your time. This means recording how much time you spend on each task and keeping track of the activities you perform on a daily basis. To start, simply make a list of the tasks you perform and then break these down into more detailed tasks – such as writing a press release – and then into hours. Compiling this data into a single, comprehensive report gives you the opportunity to track the progress of your strategy and determine how effective it is.
7. Use a performance assessment tool
To get the most out of your PR strategy, you need to continually assess its progress. To make this assessment simple, use a performance evaluation tool. These tools will grade your PR strategy based on a number of key metrics – including the amount of media coverage your product or service has received – and then provide you with a clear picture of where you stand. By plugging your PR numbers into the tool, you’ll get a clear idea of the effectiveness of your current strategy.
8. Create a win-win situation
To create the best possible environment for your PR activity, you need to find a way to make your collaboration and connection with journalists, bloggers, and other content creators worth your time and effort. To determine the effectiveness of your PR plan, you need to look at the metrics that show the value you get from your interactions – such as the number of articles you’ve been featured in and the amount of attention your content receives. When you find a way to create a win-win situation for all parties involved, you’ll find that your strategy is that much more effective.
9. Use a content curation tool
To create an engaged audience and to get the most out of your PR strategy, you need to find a way to make your content work harder. One of the best ways to do this is to use a content curation tool. These tools will take content you’ve submitted and curated from various sources – including publishers, journalists, and bloggers – and repackage it for new audiences. When you use a content curation tool, you’re not focused on one piece of content, you’re focused on the entire publication. This is a great way to get your content in front of new audiences and to make your existing audiences engaged. When used effectively, a content curation tool can boost your visibility and drive engagement with your content. To determine the effectiveness of your strategy, simply look at the metrics that show the value you get from the process: the amount of attention your content receives, the number of times your content is republished, and the amount of link equity your content receives.