How to run a knock-out PR campaign

There is a new world of PR out there. It’s no great revelation that the old media, meaning newspapers, radio and TV are losing their readers, listeners and viewers as people increasingly switch to the big boys of new media via social networks.

And as most organisations have their own social media reach, they can blow their own trumpet by directly interacting with new and existing customers. This makes it much easier to run a great PR campaign. Powerful stuff!

However, get the message wrong or fail to make the most of all your channels and at best your message will fall on deaf ears and at worst your audience will become disillusioned and abandon your brand.

5 things to remember when running a PR campaign

Make sure you avoid these pitfalls with these 5 PR campaign tips.

1. Overt is over

PR in the new media age is certainly different. Where once a PR campaign might be overt propaganda and throw in all kinds of off-putting words and phrases such as “today announces”, “a global leader in”, “Ltd” or “LLP”, now campaigns are much more subtle. Offer your expertise, talk about industry issues, give away your time and knowledge for free, and just gently mention your services or link to your site.

2. Website wow

In the olden days, when a mobile was a flat-roofed, asbestos-ridden temporary school classroom rather than a handheld tech device, one might simply sign-off on a quarter-page advert and then not worry too much about the look and content of the newspaper it appeared in. Now, in the days of disintermediation, we are in charge of all our output, from the look of our website to the standard of the blogs we publish on LinkedIn.

Websites should be attractive and easy to navigate, while landing pages must be targeted towards the visitor. It should also be regularly updated to make sure it still fits with the products you are offering and reflects their success.

3. Email

As well as your site, which people have to visit, make sure your outgoing communications are also tip top in their appearance and content. Get an email right and you are on the way to more clicks, customer interaction and improved sales.

However, recent research by Sign-up.to found an email open rate of 24%, and a measly click-through rate (CTR) of just 4.2%. Their 2017 benchmark report found an average click-to-open rate of around 12%. The unsubscribe-to-open rate is 2.6%. Such measly results show that it’s imperative that you get your email campaign right, with a great subject/headline and a nice simple and easy-to-follow display. Get buttons, links, videos and special offers in there, and you are on the road to letting your customers know about your latest products and enticing them to click and, hopefully, buy.  

You can also use Gmail Sponsored Promotion (GSP) ads to offer your products to a potential target audience of more than one billion Gmail users.

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4. Content marketing

Content marketing is an increasingly important tool in the business world. In short this is editorial content, whether blogs, infographics, videos or audio. It can be sent out as a LinkedIn think piece or linked to a tweet. Often it is hosted on your site, and social media is used to drive traffic towards your site. Google searches give prominence to sites based on traffic, and based on the rich content that they possess. Lots of blogs crammed with text, tasty keywords and captioned images will deliver a healthy boost to your site’s SEO ranking. Use great imagery to illustrate your blogs and tweets, and aim for the highest standards of production for any videos you produce.

Content marketing and traditional PR both use creativity to publicise, generate interest and drive sales.

5. Don’t forget old media

While the number of people picking up a newspaper each morning is tumbling by the year, its reach is still there. If you run a B2C company that targets commuters, a jingly radio commercial might be really useful, as might an advert in the local paper. B2B companies should also still be looking at opportunities with industry magazines, perhaps in association with a website ad or newsletter sponsorship.

If you’re struggling to integrate PR elements into your growth strategy then get in touch and we’ll help you figure out how to conquer these challenges.