With everything that’s happening in today’s world, the constant tech innovations and the influence they have on how we communicate, it’s not a surprise that PR is changing as well. In recent years we’ve witnessed the emergence of social media and its growing importance for businesses, we’ve seen traditional media outlets get less traction and of course, there was the rise of ‘fake news’. This has greatly impacted the way we promote companies and has created great opportunities for those willing to embrace the changes. To help you stay ahead of the game, here are four current developments you can start using to your advantage today.
Everyone needs to tell a story
Companies selling directly to consumers understood this a long time ago: telling a story is a great way to build awareness of your business and get people to buy your products. Many B2C firms have perfected this art and crafted narratives generations of users have come to know and remember.
For B2B companies that’s a different story. The unwritten rules of PR would have you believe that B2B content should focus on facts, figures and benefits. This led to dry, boring materials becoming the norm in the B2B world.
Recently this has started to change though as brands realize that even if they are selling to another company, the decisionmaker is still human. And if there’s one thing marketing and PR professionals know, it’s that humans respond well to stories. This is why the art of storytelling in B2B PR and marketing is quickly gaining importance. Organizations who adopted this practice early on, are already seeing results such as boosted awareness, loyalty and sales.
In the B2B sector? Then finding and developing a story your brand can tell should move to the top of your to-do list.
Data-driven content is your key to media features
As traditional media took a huge hit in recent years, magazines and newspapers often find themselves with less staff to fill demanding editorial calendars. At the same time, they still get the same amount of pitches, if not more, from PR agencies and would-be writers.
To make life easier for journalists and increase your chances of getting a coveted feature, try submitting data-heavy content. With today’s abundance of ‘fake news’ and skewed opinion pieces, objective numbers and findings give your piece credibility and show you’re more interested in sharing facts and knowledge than promoting an agenda.
To get these insights, you often don’t even have to call up huge firms to do expensive market studies or long-term research. Many times, you can find plenty of interesting, data within your company. By looking at how demand for your services develops, how clients’ expectations are changing or by doing a case study on how your business reflects current industry trends you can create share worthy content full of facts, figures and even engaging infographics.
Monetary ROI is not the goal of PR
There you go. We said it. The goal of PR is not to increase sales. Not immediately at least. First and foremost, PR is there to get the word out about your business, educate your target market about your offering and why it’s important and build trust and credibility as a thought leader in your industry.
Looking at it this way will help you understand that PR is really a top-of-the-funnel activity meant to create knowledge of what you are doing and further draw in those who might want to buy from you. Moving prospects down the funnel and finally converting them is a whole other story.
Once you understand this, you’ll have an easier time knowing the role of PR in generating new leads and can focus on new, effective approaches to widen your funnel.
Internal communication is the new secret weapon
Obviously talking to the media and your target audience is important. But what about talking to your team? What do you tell them about your company, new developments and upcoming launches or releases? If you’re not sure how to answer that, consider this: if your staff doesn’t know what’s going on, they might share outdated information, or worse yet, no information. Neither is something you want.
With the rise of social media and user-generated content, everyone suddenly has an audience. This means your employees are an often-untapped opportunity to reach more people and build awareness of your brand.
Keeping them updated about everything that’s going on and providing them with share-worthy tidbits is a great way to keep your following up-to-date and can get you in front of people you might have a hard time reaching otherwise.