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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Member Blog: Is PR dead, or ready for the 21st Century?

By David Wright at BSA Marketing


Is PR dead? If you mean long lunches shmoozing with editors and journalists then I think the answer is yes….

But has the pendulum swung too far into the world of Digital, SEO, Pay Per Click and Social Media?
I read an article on the CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) website recently asking if Marketers are focusing too much on digital?

My answer:

Good marketers are using digital to deliver real marketing benefit
- and that includes PR.

PR may have changed significantly over my years as a marketer, but it certainly isn’t dead and anyone who thinks it is might be missing an opportunity.

PR in the 21st Century

At its core, PR is still about getting your message out into the established media and maximising the number of people who see it. As ever, this involves engaging with the publishers who control that media, to convince them that your content has value and is worth including in their publication.

What has changed is the number of publishers and the ways you can engage with them. In our experience there are 6 things to consider when working on PR for your business:

1. Pick your media carefully. Anyone with a Smartphone can start an online publication, but that doesn’t mean it will get read! Do your research and focus your PR onto media (print or online) that has reputation and readership across your target audience.

2. Build a reputation for good content. You aren’t going to get everything published, but if you use your own blog to publish good, well written and relevant content, you can build a reputation for good writing. Publishers are more likely to take good, relevant writing seriously

3. Use social media to engage with publishers – Publishers use social media. They need  quality content and social media is a great way to find stories and content worth publishing. Make sure you identify and target content publishers as part of your social media strategy.

4. Don’t just push your own content – Look to engage with journalists and bloggers. Comment on their content. If your opinions and ideas resonate with them they are likely to remember you when they see your content.

5. Make your content easy to use – This particularly relates to using email to communicate with printed press. Make sure you give them all they need to publish your content (easy to use text, high-resolution images, byline information etc.). Generally, trade journals have few staff. If you give them content they recognise as interesting to their readers, and make it easy for them to publish, they are more likely to use it.

6. Don’t dismiss paid options and advertising – Although you should avoid publishers who will use anything from people willing to pay, we should accept that bloggers and publishers are running businesses and need to make a living! If you like a blog/journal, and believe that your target market will read it, then the idea of supporting them financially through sponsorship or advertising may well be worth considering.

Regular readers of our blog at www.bsamarketing.com will know how I stress the importance of marketing fundamentals and that even though marketing communication tools come and go, the essence of needing to communicate your messages to your target market doesn’t change.

PR and engaging with the press – both online and offline - definitely represents a valuable and effective marketing communication tool in the 21st century and any business who dismisses it does so to their detriment!

If you want to see how you can make more of PR in your business, drop me a line to davidw@bsamarketing.com

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