One of our favorite Public Relations thought leaders, Gini Dietrich, attended this year’s Cision World Tour for public relations professionals, and her learnings validate the need for strategic PR, measurement, and budget in order to be successful. The biggest takeaway? Public Relations efforts earn the most consumer trust for brands, and yet they have the smallest marketing budgets – a stat we’re committed to changing based on these three guiding principles.
Move Beyond Impressions
This is something we’ve done as an agency over the past two years by measuring PR efforts beyond impressions. We believe that PR value includes measuring how many times a branded placement has been read, how many people clicked through to a company’s website, and how many people opted into the brand’s database.
When we blast to every media outlet and influencer, we rarely reach a qualified consumer who is willing to engage with the brand. So, we must take a much more targeted approach to public relations, finding the right publications and writers who will not only publish our brand in a story, but will help encourage action through powerful storytelling and recommendation.
Rely on the PESO Model to Drive PR
We’ve been advocates of the PESO model as an instrumental PR tool for years, and know its effectiveness in supporting other areas of content creation and marketing activities. When you use owned and earned media at the forefront of your communications program, versus waiting for events to trigger public relations efforts, you win!
Identify, Craft, Attribute
One of our favorite PR tools is Cision, which allows us to create targeted media lists that we use to send branded information to the people who want it. We’re able to see who’s listening to the topics we’re talking about and what each media’s audiences are looking for in order to reach out to a very specific group of influencers and media.
Then, we determine who receives what – a press release, email pitch, recipes for a specific story, etc. – and target individual writers based on their needs. What public relations teams often forget to do is attribute value to those efforts and communicate back to their marketing and sales teams.
If there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that public relations is underestimated as a key role in consumer purchasing behavior. What we’re committed to doing is helping this industry and other marketers strategize and measure appropriately in order to ensure that PR does not fall by the wayside in marketing budget planning.