Byline: Jessy Marshall founder of Hive HQ
PR can be a very grey area for some businesses and understanding why PR should be part of your marketing plan is crucial to building up brand exposure. Whether you have had PR before or are looking into investing in PR below are a few tips to help you understand their role in your business.
When looking for a PR agency… look for these key things:
- Ways they are going to get you coverage even when you don’t have something news worthy. For example, all businesses have peaks and troughs. One month you will have a new product launch however the next you won’t. Ensuring your brand is getting a steady stream of mentions rather than your product launch just being the sole driver is important.
- How hungry are they to work with you? We all like to work on fun campaigns and agencies who believe in the brands ethos and belief. These are who you should look to employ. They will always have your best interests at heart and know who to is best to align the brand with.
- Can they talk the talk? Look at the agency and what coverage they currently get for their clients. Is this something you are interested in? Is this the style of activation you think aligns with you and your brand? Do your research, an agency is always going to show off their best pieces of work or best campaigns. Look at ways they measure their success and question if this would be the same for you.
- PR is fluid and about creativity, ensure you have trust with your agency of choice. In the beginning stages the PR agency should provide you with understanding of the space to ensure there is no confusion, PR coverage doesn’t happen instantly but ensuring you have an understanding of what they are doing behind the scenes will ensure trust between the two parties.
Benefits of PR:
- PR is designed to create brand awareness, whether that be featuring in a magazine or online article or having social media exposure.
- Brand awareness gives you credibility and will allow a larger audience to be exposed to your brand. For example, if you feature in a magazine someone who wouldn’t normally see your brand might see it, then they see their favourite influencer using it or a brand collaboration. This then may convert them into a consumer of the product.
- PR allows the brand to be put into different arenas rather than your traditional marketing plan, for example it might feature on TV, Radio, Podcasts, whereas the brand is only focusing on social and online articles.
Maximising your PR coverage:
PR coverage and eyes on your brand is key and knowing how to maximise it to gain as much awareness as possible is what will benefit you.
- Sharing the coverage with your database is key, for example including in your EDM to customers, uploading to your social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Putting budget towards boosting the coverage out further on social media can also be a great digital marketing tool.
- Sharing with your stakeholders e.g. If you are a fashion or beauty brand and have stockists be sure to share the coverage with them so they too can share with their customers.
How to know if what you are investing in is worthwhile
PR as we know is hard to measure. For example, getting coverage in a magazine online or print may not initially generate ROI or not any you can physically measure but below are some ways to know if your PR agency is performing.
- Gaining mentions via social or media publications is a WIN
- Seeing a new brand more than 2-3 times is key to gaining a sale, so without the mention in a magazine or social media upload your brand won’t have had that exposure so ensure you maximise it when you can
- If you have constant contact with your agency – this too is a win as they care about you and your brand and will be in your corner every step
- If your agency is always proactive in presenting new ideas, exploring new ways to get you coverage that too is a win.
- Although getting coverage is what is key, your agency should be keeping you updated with feedback especially whilst you are awaiting upcoming coverage