Public relations is, without a doubt, a very specialised branch of marketing and communications, and it’s always a good idea to trust the pros with your company’s public image and PR tactics.
That having been said, there are a few PR tactics that are so effective and so universally successful that nearly anyone can use them to gain traction in the marketplace and to make your brand famous fast. They’re quick, they’re dirty, and they get the job done! (Often free!)
Here’s our list of can’t miss PR tactics you can use today:
Focus on Relationships
In case you missed it, the age of the hard sell is over! The era of the relationship has begun, and it’s become the most important element of customer relations. Instead of telling your customers what you want them to know, switch your approach to asking what they want and need.
How do you know what they need?
Here are 20 Questions to Ask When Creating Buyer Personas from the awesome HubSpot blog:
1) Describe your personal demographics.
2) Describe your educational background.
3) Describe your career path.
4) In which industry or industries does your company work?
5) What is the size of your company (revenue, employees)?
6) What is your job role? Your title?
7) Whom do you report to? Who reports to you?
8) How is your job measured?
9) What does a typical day look like?
10) Which skills are required to do your job?
11) What knowledge and which tools do you use in your job?
12) What are your biggest challenges?
13) What are you responsible for?
14) What does it mean to be successful in your role?
15) How do you learn about new information for your job?
16) Which publications or blogs do you read?
17) Which associations and social networks do you participate in?
18) How do you prefer to interact with vendors?
19) Do you use the internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how do you search for information?
20) Describe a recent purchase.
Do Things That Don’t Scale
This is a very popular “new marketing” phrase for a very good reason – it works. Many of the world’s biggest startups used this exact idea to gain early traction. From personal invites to join Facebook back in the early days
Claim Your Expert Status
There’s a reason your customers choose you over the competition: you really know what you’re doing! But they won’t necessarily know that unless you prove it to them.
There are a variety of marketing tactics that can grow your personal and business credibility, and entrench your brand as the go-to in your field. These include:
- Write articles or blog posts about your knowledge. There’s something about having your knowledge down “on paper” that lends even more credibility and clout.
- Take advantage of speaking engagements. Even if it’s just a short talk in front of the local chamber of commerce, if you present your expertise to an audience well, you’ll make an impression!
- Use case studies on your website or in your marketing materials. Explaining what your other customers’ problems were (and how you solved them) goes a long way to building trust with prospective customers.
- If the media are looking for a professional opinion in your field, make yourself available to answer!
The more the public sees and hears you speak competently and
Pitch News Stories Like a Pro
The media is one of your best PR resources, but you need to know how to say the right things to the right people if you want to leverage this resource!
Start by looking for media opportunities in the right places. Journalists are under enormous pressure in the internet age. They need to get the next big scoop, and they need it fast. Registering for services like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) can be one of your best PR tactics because it helps you to find the reporters who want your news.
Keep it short, sweet and factual. With the rise of “fake news” it’s become more important than ever to make sure your stories and news are above question.
If you are considered an “influencer” in your field, leverage that status. Reporters will always choose to talk to the best-known voice in a particular arena, so become that voice!
Use email and social media to reach out. It’s quick, it’s instant, and it is the modern journalists’ communication method of choice.
You know Uncle Bob who tells those long, rambling stories at family gatherings? You tune him out around the ten-minute mark, right?
Uncle Bob doesn’t tailor his message to his audience, and he doesn’t stick to the facts. Make sure that your PR tactics are targeted to your ideal customers, and that you stay on topic.
Who are your ideal customers?
Again, this comes down to doing your homework.
For example, if you have an existing website you could follow the instructions in this post titled How to Create Profitable Buyer Personas in No Time to use Google Analytics to mine some very useful insights.
Once you’ve got started with that, you can start quizzing people in your target audience with the questions listed above.
Then you can tailor your messaging to helping your target audience to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.
It’s a winning combination that we use time and time again with our clients.
Images Do Speak A Thousand Words
When market research companies analyse social media accounts, they consistently find that status updates and tweets with images perform better in terms of retweets, mentions and clicks than text alone.
Articles, blog posts and marketing materials are no different, so make sure that your PR tactics include sourcing or creating relevant photographs, infographics or other types of visual media. Bonus points for using video!
Need help sprucing up your images?
Check out Canva, it’s an awesome tool!
There’s a very old saying about any publicity being good publicity. While that’s not exactly true, it is true that in some cases, doing something controversial can get you big media attention!
Examples of this tactic would be to ban something (often something seemingly unimportant, like ties in your office or the use of the word “no”), or to make a statement on a hot topic to get the debate going. Declaring your own “holiday” is another great way to do something controversial without stepping on toes.
Be respectful and steer clear of political hot potatoes, but having a bold take on something can get you a lot of press!
Be Available to the Media
Call press conferences when you have big news. Offer insider insights on big stories. Follow up with media contacts who have published stories about your company in the past.
The more available and approachable you are, the more likely journalists will be to contact you.
Manage Your Reputation Actively
The internet is great. It really is. Until people start saying things about you online that aren’t flattering.
The best way to manage your online reputation is to delight your customers, and ensure that every review you get is a fawning love-fest… but that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, someone drops the ball. Sometimes, a competitor posts a fake review. Whatever the cause, you need to know about it, and take appropriate action.
Monitor any pages where your customers can leave reviews, and react respectfully and with concern for their happiness whenever you get a less than perfect review. Respond quickly and helpfully, don’t get embroiled in a public argument!
Create a Google alert for your company and or product name, so that you get a notification when you are mentioned in the news. If your PR tactics are working, it’s likely to be a good mention, but if not, the sooner you contact the journalist to correct the problem, the better!
Learn from Other Peoples’ Mistakes
This one is pretty straightforward. Keep an eye on what’s going on around you and think about what worked and what didn’t work.
Things that did work – could you imitate the campaign in some way?
Things that didn’t work – don’t do anything like them!
Finally, when it comes to PR tactics, there’s one that always works, without fail: being kind and giving back.
Volunteering to help out a charity, walking shelter dogs or a Christmas party for local orphans is a guaranteed way to get a positive mention in the local news, and you get to do something great for the community while you’re at it.
Whatever your final PR tactics are, mix it up. Try a few, and monitor your results. Any of these tactics should get you rock solid results, but you should find that a few really stand out. Do more of those, and less of the others, and keep growing that brand!
If you are not sure how to get started with any this, or if you don’t have the time. We’d love to talk with you and see if we could help.
Get in touch! (We don’t bite. Much.)
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