4 Tips: Turn Public Relations Into Business Leads
Public relations is an incredibly powerful marketing tool, but is often misunderstood and undervalued as such. So many times, clients say they want to see a bump in sales as a result of the media placements but aren’t necessarily using PR as a sales tool. In actuality, PR is much more than only media relations. At its most successful, it is an ongoing image-building process that can encompass a number of different things that raise visibility, credibility and reputation. In fact, if leveraged properly, PR — or image-building can yield a positive impact on sales, donations or membership.
1. Cast a wider net
Go beyond funneling news to the public via press releases alone. This includes posting news and substantive content on social media, email, monthly or quarterly newsletters, content marketing, earned media and even native advertising (“pay to play”) by compensated spokespersons. By casting a wider net, you are more likely to engage a broader audience – including business prospects – while at the same time building your organization’s reputation and notoriety.
2. Use PR to Generate Leads
Wherever possible, add a call-to-action message to publicity materials, so you can quantity the public’s level of interest. This may include signing up for a newsletter, blog, product sample or free webinar. If you use this tactic, make sure your website – the first place a prospect will go to for more information – makes it turnkey for them to take action.
3. The New Press Release
Instead of relegating the press release for product news, personnel and partnership announcements or quarterly earnings, consider using releases to promote branded content such as webinars, white papers, research studies and any other useful information your organization produces.
4. Watch the Stats
Each time your company issues a press release, use Google Analytics – the free or paid models – and/or another marketing software tool like Marketo or Hubspot to track who is clicking through to your site or social platforms. This kind of intelligence will help to hone in on who your audience is and what they’re most interested in so that future communication can be aligned to their needs. Measurement can often be an afterthought in public relations, but knowing how PR influences the bottom line will give you the ability to leverage it for all that it’s worth.