Six ways to get more PR bang for your buck in 2015
14 January 2015, Blog
So we’ve all made our personal resolutions for the year ahead, whether it’s eating and drinking less or getting fitter at the gym. But how are you going to make your business communications fit for purpose in 2015. Here are six tips to ensure you get the best payback from your communications activities over the next 12 months:
Ensure your communications activities link closely to your strategic objectives – whether it be penetrating new markets, supporting business development, acquiring high calibre recruits or attracting growth capital to name but a few.
Understand the target audiences you wish to reach out to, including the communications channels they use, where you’re likely to get in front of them and what will really resonate with them. Develop bespoke communications plans for each, including appropriate messages and communications and engagement activities.
Make sure you keep an eye on what your competitors are doing well and not so well and develop counteractive and disruptive activities. You can do this simply by using social media monitoring tools, viewing their digital media posts and looking at their website. See where they rank on google and what you need to do to get above them.
Be brave and different:
This will ensure your communications becomes a key differentiator for your organisation. Apps such as Vine and Instagram enable companies to create their own content and stand out from the crowd. Video is a great way to do this but ensure it is more corporate saga than corporate propaganda to attract viewers.
So, if you’re a security solutions company don’t just showcase your products with a voiceover, instead look at creating a compelling 007-esque series of clips where intruders are kept at bay thanks to the secure-proof solutions you have developed. Similarly, if you’re an express delivery provider you may wish to create storyboards which feature a series of ‘just in time’ critical deliveries – such as the wedding ring being delivered to the church before the vows are taken.
Make sure you maximise the use of such video content though email marketing, featuring it predominantly on the website and posting it via social media channels.
Be creative in your media pitches:
Include links to videos of experts and spokespeople within your organisation and send to journalists and bloggers via email or twitter. Heighten the chances of TV news pick-up by providing broadcasters with compelling b-roll video.
There is not a one size fits all communications approach for any organisation. You might be a business looking to attract investors and apprentices at the same time but they are very different audiences that will need different communications channels, tactics and messages. This will mean that you need to understand and embrace different elements of the communications mix – from PR to Pay Per Click.
However, it is important to demonstrate it’s the same organisation talking to different audiences so create an overarching campaign thread that can be woven successfully across all communications activities. Eradicate any ‘walls’ between communications and related activities including PR, digital media, marketing, advertising, sales and customer relations.
People buy from people or want to work with organisations that they trust and like. Therefore it’s vital that you convey what they can expect from you as an organisation. Video again can be deployed to bring out your personality and type of business you stand for. Establishing a distinctive tone of voice that underpins your brand personality is equally beneficial in positioning your organization to key stakeholders.
Be outcome driven and businesslike when it comes to measurement:
Communications measurements are fine as long as they provide evidence that they have supported your organisation’s business strategy.
Therefore create internal processes to measure perception of your business amongst key stakeholders and capture key business data relating to communications activity whether that be:
- new business opportunities (from engagement on social media, click throughs from email communications, capture of details on website forms, or calls to the business as a result of a media article);
- candidate interest in jobs (from prospective recruits clicking onto your job vacancies that have appeared on your website or Linkedin profile to calls made to the HR function as a result of a media article)
- strategic partnerships established (from presentations made to events hosted)
- generation of funds (from media activity to hosting an investors event)
Too often such processes are not put in place and no measurement takes place, and with it a lost opportunity to evaluate what has worked well and what hasn’t worked so well.
Good luck with your communications in 2015 and hope it brings a very prosperous new year!
Written by Managing Director, Chris Lawrance