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When companies want to expand, they constantly buy advertising space in the hope of capturing the attention of the audience. But, when this is done without an effective PR strategy, money and resources are wasted.
Many business owners fall into the trap of chasing the latest advertising trends and neglect the basics needed for a successful advertising campaign. Targeted ads on popular social media platforms have advantages, but their effectiveness is vastly overrated.
According to Harvard Business Review, the effectiveness of Facebook ads is overestimated by 4,000% and the success of eBay ads is overestimated by 4,100%. Targeted social media ads can end up circulating the same pool of potential customers to the point of annoyance. Regardless, this is an increasingly popular strategy among businesses.
So how can your PR efforts break through the noise?
Related: Is Your Brand PR and Press Ready?
Start small, be patient and trust the process
Generating news for your business can start by securing coverage in smaller news publications, such as trade-focused publications or local news. This is a form of earned advertising, meaning the media reports on your business based on its merits and timeliness. Capturing this earned publicity is essential. It saves spending thousands of dollars on paid advertising and has a snowball effect on future coverage.
If your company’s story news angle has been crafted successfully, it will generate more and more coverage without spending a dime. With this method, your business content is more powerful and substantive.
Maintain a strong relationship with your PR team
To capture your company’s awareness, you need to maintain a relationship with your PR firm. PR firms excel at storytelling and have a unique method of generating a lot of coverage.
For example, marketing yourself as “customer centric” is generic. It’s a practical value to convey to your customers, but it’s not the hook that will generate coverage. A good hook can be something hyper-specific that sets your business apart from others. Perhaps this hook is entirely new, tied to a current news angle, or perhaps driven by a personal “human interest” story. A good relationship with your PR firm allows you to refine the idea.
Related: 5 Things to Look for in a PR Agency
Participate and communicate your wishes
Communicate your wishes and concerns openly with your PR team. An excellent PR writer has no ego and works for his client. They can give advice for or against an idea based on their experience of what works, but ultimately the customer has the final say. Together you will find an angle that represents your brand and generates coverage.
The success of your relationship with your PR firm depends on your involvement. Business leaders must stay engaged and involved in the process to facilitate the success of their vision. Contact your PR firm frequently to check on status, discuss strategy, or express concerns. If you are too busy with other areas of the business, assign the responsibility to an employee. Be open with your company and express anything that may be relevant to find the news angle. This will help them find the story you didn’t expect.
Business leaders must identify their expectations and set clear and achievable goals. This can be done early in the relationship with the PR firm, or perhaps discussed at an annual meeting. Having a communication strategy for each audience you want to reach is essential.
Objectives should be set in direct terms with the PR team. Once goals are set, short-term goals can be identified as quarterly or monthly plans. Ensure that the necessary resources are allocated to achieve the objectives. A results-based strategy with achievable milestones is a good way to promote and measure success.
Related: The 5 Golden Rules of Goal Setting
Have a press kit
Finally, companies will want to make sure they have all the essential information available to their PR team. Companies should create an electronic press kit available on their website. If a reporter is researching the company and doesn’t find the information they need, they could miss out on potential coverage.
An electronic press kit should include a list of services or products, company history, executive bios and headshots, downloadable company logo files, and any images or videos you want to make available. In the digital age, your company’s website is the main public impression you make on potential customers, investors and the media. Make sure your brand is represented effectively.
The digital world of marketing is crowded and noisy. A PR strategy is the difference between going unnoticed among endless content and getting someone to stop and click. Follow these steps with your PR firm to break through the noise and create memorable and effective impressions for your brand.