Opinion

8 ways to make your PR activity work harder

Beth Hibbert

,

05.08.2021

8 ways to make your PR activity work harder

A great PR campaign builds awareness and improves public perceptions of your brand. When this activity is integrated with multiple channels, this is where a campaign really starts come alive, engaging your audience, improving performance and ultimately generating revenue. 

Brands with a multichannel presence make it easier for 72% of customers to stay connected. However, managing multichannel campaigns can be complex and many brands struggle to integrate PR into the mix. That’s why we’ve pulled together some simple tactics and examples of how to do this. Read on to find out how to supercharge your PR campaigns to accelerate growth and boost brand performance.

1. Pushing out PR content via social media

Typically, the more closely PR and social media teams work with each other, the better the brand performs. Social is a great way to amplify your stories and reach a wider audience however, often PR and social teams are sat separate and fail to share content and resources.

67% of consumers think that brands should talk about social issues on their platforms, going beyond sales and promotion. Integrating PR activity into your regular blog calendar is a simple way to widen your topic area, helping your feeds appear less promotional and more authentic.

  • Organisations that are working with a thought leader to give expert insights to press, could use quotes and sound bites of their commentary for social alongside headshots to bring the content to life. 
  • The same can be said for sharing research reports and other online assets you have created for PR purposes. Key stats can be turning into engaging graphics or gifs on social.

2. Email marketing that goes beyond promotions and product news

The number of brands who run an amazing PR campaign but, do not share this with their engaged audiences is astounding. Kinsta’s Must-Know Email Marketing Statistics reinforces how email marketing is about more than just converting leads, it needs to secure and nurture them throughout the consumer journey.

  • Think about storytelling, how can you build a more emotional connection? This could be by sharing content such as people led stories, customer case studies and testimonials. You could even engage with readers asking for case studies via email in return for discounts or other incentives.
  • If you have reports or research you’ve conducted, why not share this too? It’ provides value whilst driving traffic to your onsite assets such as eBooks, PDFs and blogs posts.
  • Share the faces behind the brand, from personal tips and opinion pieces to employee success stories. Let customers get to know you! 

Instead of just using this for social, you could transform this content into PR-able stories. A few simple examples of how UGC can be used for PR include:

  • Sourcing case studies from real customers. This is something we often do, reaching out to customers that have posted photos of our client’s products to generate natural case study content.
  • Case studies can also be used to provide website content that inspires your audience. A brand that does this well is Wren Kitchens who share real customer kitchen transformations online in their #wrenovation hub, filled with high quality, visual content and testimonials.
  • Collate content for press releases. By asking followers to send in photos or tips, these can then be repurposed this into a press release. For example, getting followers to share photos of the “messiest bedrooms” or “naughtiest pets” and then pairing this with stats or expert comments to create a news story.

3. Be smart with talent 

Using well known talent within TV adverts or video campaigns for digital can make your brand memorable however, well known faces come with a high price tag, so be clever with contracts. Thinking of additional ways to use talent and working this into their contracts at the start of a project can be more cost effective and easier to negotiate. 

Here at BBI often use talent who are featured in client’s marketing and weave additional elements into the work for PR and social media too. For example, 

  • Use downtime time whilst filming to host exclusive press interviews for print, online or broadcast media. This is something we recently did for a Euros campaign with Greene king pubs, utilising famous football faces for both digital ads and PR stories.
  • Ask them to share your campaign content on their own social media channels to reach a new and relevant audience.
  • Work with them to provide additional blog content for your website, for example a tips-based post, behind the scenes content or opinion piece.

4. PR and influencer marketing

Globally, Influencer marketing is expected to be worth more than $13 billion in, so how can you make it more cost effective? Integrating influencers into your PR activity can be a simple way to get more from your budgets. Tactics which work for press and partnerships can often be tweaked to meet the needs of influencers also. Why not try,

  • Using press events and product gifting to engage influencers too. Invite them to product launches, offering exclusive first looks, content and opportunities.
  • Engage influencers to contribute to your research reports or advice pieces. This is a tactic that works for both b2b and b2c audiences, with any featured influencers likely sharing the final assets with their own audiences too. 
  • TikTok can be a gold mine for influencer partnerships. Beauty brands partnering with influencers on TikTok have seen incredible success not only through the influencer’s social channels but, by re-using the content and buzz created to sell additional stories into press. Think… “This viral TikTok hack will make you want to buy this summer beauty must-have”.

5. Added SEO value from PR 

If your PR team isn’t thinking about how their activity can help boost your brands search performance, then they’re doing it wrong. Not every PR campaign has this as the ultimate goal but, it should at least be a consideration within planning. The rise of digital PR has seen this area grow massively in recent years, and there are so many simple ways that your PR strategy should be supporting search. Here’s just a few,

  • Gaining backlinks from reputable and authoritative sites is a positive trust signal for Google. This can help boost your website’s rankings in the SERPs, driving traffic via relevant key terms. As PRs we look to target these types of publications to share our client’s messages but, simply following up to gain a link in the placement goes a long way to helping reach your SEO goals too.
  • Links placed within PR coverage such as product placements and partnerships can drive traffic and sales directly through referrals. If you aren’t pushing a product, think about what additional content you can place on the website such as a relevant blog post. This will increase the likelihood of the journalist linking within the editorial. 
  • PR builds your brand – whether that’s through increased brand search or share of voice within the digital space. It can also help balance out negative news. When people search for a brand, negative news and reviews will put them off, creating regular positive PR content can help push negative news stories further down the Google results page.

6. Data capture within PR

PR activity can be used to generate real sales leads through data capture. As PRs we always need to be thinking about how to generate added value from our campaigns and audience data is massively valuable to brands. Whether that’s direct customer contact information or collating top level data to show trends and sentiment. For your next campaign, why not think about,

  • Data from online tools and interactive quizzes can give unique PR angles, helping to tell a story. We created an interactive quiz for Halfords brand Tyres On the Drive, which looked to test the nation, seeing if they know how to change a tyre. This was pushed out on their marketing channels and was highly engaging with however, there was an added bonus in that we were able to pull data from the back end, to create a PR-able story on how many Brits really know how to change a tyre. 
  • Reports are a popular format for PR campaigns, with both online and offline versions. When putting the report on your website, you could consider using email capture as a mechanic to download the full report. This is a great way to generate relevant business leads. 
  • Social listening is another useful way to find actionable data. Whether that’s finding the journalists and influencers who are talking about you or your competitors. Or analysing for trends, brand sentiment and feedback. 

7. Consider paid amplification and knowledge sharing

Paid media teams’ knowledge and skills can be invaluable for PRs, which is why working with an integrated agency can be so beneficial for brands. The data available to paid teams can help PRs from initial planning, right through until the execution and amplifications. Here’s a few ways PR and paid teams can work together to enhance the overall strategy.

  • Ask your paid team to share their data – this could be audience data that can feed into your brainstorming process or a list of high performing publications which can be added to your target media lists. 
  • Amplify your PR stories, which that’s your owned channels or through third parties Think outside the box to increase your reach. 
  • Or why not make the ad itself the news story, whilst targeting your competitors’ key terms. For example, remember when Samsung targeted the launch of the Apple 6s by using clever PPC copy, “Awkward You Obviously – Mean S6 – Samsung.com”.

8. Find the right resource and expertise

These are just some of the many ways brands could be maximising the results achieved by earned media through a multichannel strategy. It takes time to build good relationships and gain experience in any field, when the digital climate keeps evolving it can be challenging and expensive for brands to deliver all of this in-house. Partnering with a team of specialists that have the tools, resource and expertise is a great way to get the results your brand needs. We're BBI, an integrated marketing agency that helps brands to achieve their goals through creative, content-led solutions. To hear more about how we could help your business, request a specialist consultation or take a look at some of our work.