November 23, 2014

3 Surefire Ways You Can Achieve Public Relations Success

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Small Biz Technology

public relations success

The lines between advertising, marketing and public relations have always been a little blurred, with many firms providing a combination of two or more of the services.

But the Internet has almost removed the lines completely, as advertisers reach out to customers on social media and press releases begin to make appearances in search engine rankings. Here we are going to show you three surefire ways to find PR success.

How to Achieve Public Relations Success

Today’s marketers find themselves tasked with covering a wide territory. Ad placement, analytics, customer engagement, and pitching stories to journalists can all fall within the same campaign, requiring professionals to be a “jack of all trades.” This can often lead marketers to apply a tried-and-true approach in a new area, only to find it doesn’t work.

For marketers who deal with publicity, there are a few tips to help increase the return on your investment.

Personalize Your Approach

Press releases and personalized email marketing are both popular ways to reach out to customers. To save time, many marketers adapt a “spray and pray” approach to their efforts, but this can easily backfire and is generally a bad idea.

While it might be a great way to get your release in search engine results, it probably won’t win over any journalists. Many reporters’ inboxes are full of generic news releases on a given day. To stand out, supplement your PR blasts with targeted news releases to a small group of influencers.

Focus on Value

The world can tell you’re excited about your product or service. You want the rest of the world to be excited about it, as well. To find success with any campaign, marketers must create value by both knowing the customer base and finding ways to reach out to it. Simply announcing the opening of a new store in an area isn’t enough, for example. Marketers must provide information on how that business will benefit the local economy. Customers want to know how any given news item will impact their own lives.

Form Relationships

Instead of alienating journalists by spamming their inboxes every week, marketers can get further by directly reaching out to journalists in a way that helps them. Instead of sending a canned press release where the only personalization is the journalist’s name, consider pitching a story idea that meets that reporter’s needs directly.

Offer to help with an ongoing series the reporter is writing or let the journalist know you’re available to provide quotes or expert tips on an ongoing basis. The tips should be related to your industry, but they don’t have to be specific to the work your business does. A restaurant chain could speak about tips for dining out with children, for example.

Marketers and PR professionals have many tools available to help them reach out to both customers and journalists. By taking the time to do a little research before directly pitching a reporter, they can make a greater impact and potentially build the foundation for an ongoing working relationship. When combined with careful campaign tracking through analytics, marketers can quickly refine their campaigns to maximize ROI.

interview Photo via Shutterstock

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Small Biz Technology


Small Biz Technology SmallBizTechnology.com is part of the Small Business Trends Publisher Channel, and is all about helping “regular” small business owners – those who are not technically savvy – know what technology they need to boost productivity, save time, save money, increase revenue and boost customer service in their business.

2 Reactions

  1. Excellent advice. Using targeted focused emails in the place of “spray and pray” press releases has an additional advantage besides just being more effective. I coach small businesses how to pitch the media, and my clients find a huge cost savings by moving away from press releases. Press releases have fees associated with them for the writing and distribution of them and these fees can mount up fast for a small business. OK, thanks again, Edward Smith.

  2. That’s right. It’s quite surprising how people tend to forget that PR stands for ‘public relations’. This means that it is about relationship building and not just about talking to people in an organized fashion.

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