The way brands interact with customers has become completely fragmented. Digital, social, TV, content and print—all these channels are now competing for your audience’s attention. Traditional media relations tactics are no longer enough. It’s time to integrate your PR tactics with your advertising, content marketing, social media and search strategies. By leveraging paid, owned, earned and shared tactics to build a PR strategy, you’ll help drive brand awareness and reach your target audience—no matter where they are.
Here are six integrated PR tactics you might be overlooking:
- Guest Blogging/Byline Articles
Contrary to what skeptics might claim, guest blogging isn’t dead. It’s a highly useful PR tactic. And no, Google isn’t going to penalize you for guest blogging … as long as you’re smart about it. To do that, be strategic and identify high-profile contributor opportunities where your brand/subject matter experts can provide valuable insights to the blog’s audience. Look at the blog’s traffic. Who is their target audience? Does it align with yours? Do they have a large social following? How frequently are they posting content? The key to successful guest blogging is aligning yourself with strong content producers.
Is your company’s culture outstanding, do you have a star performer, or is your company an industry leader? If so, awards may be another great way to gain exposure for your brand.
Look for awards that make sense for your industry and/or your business. Awards submissions usually come with a fee, and they can be pretty labor-intensive in terms of the submission process, so make sure you spend time evaluating the opportunities. Ask yourself:
- Do you have a shot at winning? (Look at past winners and be honest.)
- Do recipients typically receive media coverage for winning?
- Do they receive recognition at an awards ceremony?
- Is work showcased online?
These can all be important considerations when evaluating awards opportunities. If you do win an award, leverage the win for even more promotional and brand-building opportunities. Highlight it on your website, announce it on social and share it with your employees.
- Speaking Opportunities
Speaking at events can be another great way to establish your experts as thought leaders in your industry. How do you break into speaking? First, you’ll want to make sure you have someone who is charismatic and good in front of a crowd. If you can check that box, then the next step is to identify key industry events. What events are you attending? What events are your target customers attending? Are there industry or professional organizations you can speak to? Do you have a skill that you can teach others? These can all provide opportunities to speak and gain awareness for your brand.
Once your expert has a few successful events under their belt, think about how you can leverage their content even further:
- Share the presentation on SlideShare
- Splice it up and create content for your blog
- Share their words of wisdom on social media
- Capture the presentation on video and share in a webinar
- Repurpose key points into a media pitch
- Trade Publications
Just as you wouldn’t spend advertising dollars buying an ad in a magazine that doesn’t reach your key audience, you shouldn’t waste your PR efforts focusing on the wrong outlets. Sure everyone would love to be on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and that might be great for building brand awareness, but is the target audience you’re trying to reach reading The Journal? Concentrate PR efforts on publications that really matter to your potential customers.
For example, if you’re in the health care industry and have B2B customers, you could go after trade publications in the health care industry. While they may have a smaller readership, their audience could generate better leads for your business.
Learn how to optimize all (and I mean all) the content you’re producing for PR purposes. Not only should your web content be optimized, but so should your press releases, media pitches, blogs, bylined articles and social posts. Understanding how content impacts SEO is key.
You don’t need to be an SEO expert. Simply knowing the basics can help your brand be discovered.
- Content Amplification
Everyone is producing content. It’s how you share it with your audience and distribute it that will get you noticed. Make sure you’re not just sharing your PR materials with the media. Work closely with your marketing team and repurpose, repurpose, repurpose:
- Have a high-performing blog post? Flip it into a media pitch (or vice versa).
- Have a blog post on 10 tips or tricks? Turn it into a SlideShare and then break it down into share graphics to share with the key influencers or on social.
- Byline article? Turn it into a speech for your executive.
- Case study from your sales team? Pitch it as a byline article.
The key is to be on the lookout for ways your PR efforts can sync up with other marketing or sales initiatives and think beyond traditional PR tactics. If you do, you’ll have a much better chance of reaching your potential customers.