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7 Strategies to Improve Public Relations in the Covid Era

The Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated the already established movement to digital communications and connections. It will have long term implications for how our businesses interact with their customers and generate buzz around their products and services. Here are a few strategies that may help your business navigate through the new normal in public relations.

1- Connect with Influencers in Your Industry

Influencer marketing is one of marketing’s new big things, in large part because it works. It is easier to get consumers to trust a new company if it’s received a recommendation from someone they know and respect. Public relations is noticing this trend as one the new pr strategies and is hopping on the bandwagon.

Influencer marketing now tops the list of the most cost-effective means to gain new customers. This is especially true when these influencers are active on social media. According to Tomoson, for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, businesses are making up to $20. In addition, more than half of companies surveyed have seen better results from influencer marketing than other marketing methods, including public relations strategy.

So your first of seven strategies to improve public relations is to align your business with influencers who your customers and clients are following and admire. It seems to be the cutting edge strategy for getting noticed and improving the ROI of your public relations plan.

2- Prioritize Your Blog

You certainly know how high quality blogs can help raise your business authority, brand awareness, and generate leads. But there’s also a public relations strategy behind leveraging your business’s blog.

There are a growing number of journalists who daily review blogs looking for interesting stories, perspectives, data and stats. They search the web for the latest information to enrich their editorial stories. When you publish quality newsworthy content on your blog, you can turn it into a direct pipeline for interested media outlets. For your efforts and information, your brand will receive credit, leading to a boost in PR ROI.

When producing your content it is vital for PR teams to work closely with the marketing department in order to strategically plan and carefully craft your high quality content. This cooperation will also help you base your content on a deep understanding of your target audience’s needs. Google Analytics is an excellent tool for helping you create your quality content. And make sure your content gets distributed through all your business marketing channels in addition to the PR channels.

3- Give Journalists Value

Journalists are constantly seeking credible PR sources and valuable information. Among your new PR strategies should be providing journalists with so much value that they will be compelled to give you the PR you want. This may mean providing them with expert opinions on industry trends, a compelling personal experience, proprietary data, or an infographic if they need visual content to enrich their article. If you scratch where they itch they’ll most likely reference your company in return.

Use a media intelligence tool to track which journalists are giving your business press. This way you can build relationships with the journalists who are already aware of your business. Another public relations team trick is keeping an eye on competitor’s PR activities to identify the journalists who are already interested in and covering your business niche.

4- Continually Research

In order to better understand your customer, your competition and the business environment you must continually research your industry, keep the pulse of your customers and know your competitors. Before you begin pursuing new public relations strategies, put your monitoring tools to good use. Dive deep into the research of the micro and macro media landscape related to the pitch you plan to make. 

Using your monitoring tools on the macro level will give you a good understanding of your overall brand perception, your competition, industry and customer. Using the tools on the micro level will help you research press and social media discussions concerning products or services that are similar to the ones you plan to pitch. It is really important to know everything possible about the media environment you will be wading into before you pick up a phone or send a single email pitch.

5- Define Your PR Campaign Goals Clearly 

This may be obvious but we still don’t always do it. In fact we all know pitching anything without a clearly defined goal is fruitless. But things happen so allow yourself to be reminded that all PR campaigns need a clear goal and take time beforehand to ask questions that will help you arrive at just the right one without too much difficulty:

  • Who is your perfect customer?
  • What do you want that customer to take away from your pitch?
  • What do you most want and hope to achieve?

When you have the answers to these questions, your next step is to develop a clear, one sentence campaign goal. This single goal will become the foundation of your campaign’s public relations strategy. When you know why you’re pitching and what you aim to achieve, the next steps of any new PR strategies follow suit quickly and easily.

6- Carefully Craft Your PR Message!

Okay, you’ve done your research. Now you understand your customer, your competition, your industry environment and you’ve set a clear goal. Now you are ready to carefully craft your PR message.

Keeping your research and your goal in mind, begin writing pitch messages that will have a newsworthy feel for your target journalists, that your customers will connect with and that align with your business objectives.

“At the end of the day, great insights provide opportunities to tell unique stories that resonate with target audiences.”  Youngstrom 

A carefully-crafted pitch is concise and easy to grasp. Your pitch should resonate with your customers and compel them to take action. After you have written a first draft, take some time to find its flaws and weak points. Share it with some colleagues and ask them for critical feedback. And as will all good writing, edit it, and edit it some more.  

7- Know Your Media Targets Inside and Out

The seventh of these strategies to improve public relations for your business is determining a distribution channel and identifying the journalists who will help you to reach your customer.

The question you need to ask when determining distribution is this: Is our message best suited for a broadcast approach (press release) or for a more personal approach (individual pitching).  This will depend on whether your message has mass appeal or whether it will get better traction if it is pitched to a more carefully targeted list of journalists? 

For example, if your message concerns a tech firm announcing a merger with another firm, that is a mass-appeal message that best entails a broad press release.  However, if that same tech firm is announcing an upgrade for a current product your message will have a more narrow appeal that is best covered by a select list of journalists and influencers.

Building your media list is vitally important and should focus on the journalists in your niche who are already writing about the targeted area of your PR messaging.  When you have  the right tools it should take only minutes to identify the journalists who have covered your competition, your industry and the specific subject. Add the list of those specialized journalists with all of the journalists you have already built relationships with and get your message out to the world!

Final Thoughts

Doing Public Relations really well demands a lot of your business’s time and resources. And it will never be your only business marketing need.  If you are a growing business that can’t invest a lot of time and effort into getting all of the PR and Marketing details in line you do have an exciting option. You can hire a full service marketing agency to cover a wide variety of your most pressing needs. These marketing professionals know all of the in’s and out’s of Public Relations as well as digital marketing, SEO, PPC, print, media, etc. They can work with your business to tailor an overall strategy that meets your needs for new PR strategies and marketing. 

Here at zo agency we work to build long term relationships with our clients. We call it Tribe! 

We will work diligently to discover your vision, your passion, your needs, your hopes and dreams for your business and then will create an overall marketing plan that meets your needs and fits your budget.  Visit us today at www.zo.agency

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