Finding the right PR partner to extend a business’ reach, build its reputation and increase its profile is a vital step for a growing brand. But linking that PR with marketing and sales may be the key to ultimate success.
So often businesses see PR as separate from core operations, something to be handed to an outside agency to handle on their own.
But the best PR companies want their clients to see them as part of the team - and to see the content they generate used not only for media coverage but also to inspire marketing and sales campaigns too.
Here are eight ways that marketing teams can help amplify the PR message and use coverage to boost both brand recognition and lead generation…
1. Joined-up use of social media
It goes without saying that social media is a key tool which brings PR and marketing plans together.
The demand for copy is growing all the time in modern business, whether to fill the company website or to feed social media – so it’s a no-brainer to re-purpose PR content.
Copy generated by PR for press releases and features can work far harder for the business if it is also edited and spliced to be suitable for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. A ‘top tips’ article, for instance, is perfect for releasing tip-by-tip on a business’ Twitter feed.
Don’t forget that articles can be published in their entirety on LinkedIn and will be visible to all your followers. Your PR team will be able to advise on whether articles need to be re-written for different channels but it’s down to marketing to harvest the benefits of coverage and spot when it could also be useful for the sales team.
Social media can also be used to extend the reach of published articles, to connect with relevant journalists, to monitor the competition, to instigate discussions on PR coverage and to interact with potential clients around industry topics.
2. Video content
Top PR companies are increasingly offering video services and that’s good news for marketing teams at a time when video is undoubtedly king on social media.
Younger audiences are more likely to click on video than text and current advice in the industry is that a corporate Facebook page should be made up of 70 per cent video.
Videos offering advice are particularly popular and the advantage of working with a PR team on a video project is that they can write the questions, provide advice on delivery and use the content to drive PR campaigns too.
3. White papers and eBooks
The best PR companies employ high-quality copy writers capable of turning their hand to any writing task; and that includes producing in-depth white papers or eBooks on up-to-date industry-related topics. The copy writer’s skill comes in his or her ability to take complicated subjects and make them accessible to a wider audience.
A white paper will be published in the name of your spokesperson or sector expert and can help drive potential clients to the company website (as well as raising the profile of the business amongst peers).
A marketing plan can be built around the white paper, too. Whether that involves collecting data from those who download the paper online, using it for presentations or sales material or for hosting discussions, it provides a real opportunity to bring in sales leads. A white paper can also help PR teams generate a string of press releases and speaking opportunities for the author.
A webinar, held online to host discussions on a key industry topic or to provide advice, is an excellent way to extend the reach of a white paper. It can aid lead generation by attracting potential clients to the discussion and emphasising the expertise and thought leadership of your business.
5 Round-table discussions:If your potential clients prefer real life meetings to virtual ones then a round-table discussion is good way for marketing teams to make a white paper or other PR-driven copy work harder for the business.
Consider filming it, however, to use on social media so that the impact is maximised. Your PR company may be able to help invite journalists to take part in the discussion and can also use the topics discussed to inspire future campaigns and press releases.
Challenge internal designers to use content generated by PR to inspire an infographic which will drive social shares and encourage potential clients to engage. This can work particularly well when your PR team has instigated a survey on your behalf and there are statistics to publish.
Entering industry awards can be a good way to spread the news about the success of your business. A PR company can help identify the right awards to enter, help with crafting entries and produce press releases to celebrate a victory. Awards ceremonies can be excellent networking opportunities, too.
8. Paid-for content
PR teams are experts in cracking even the most difficult magazines, websites and newspaper to get your message into. But paid-for content, including advertorial, still has a real value in supporting and amplifying earned media.