Use PR Effectively in a Downturn
In a recession, many companies turn to PR to promote their products and services. In fact, according to our new study on marketing to SMBs, marketers will increase PR more than any other offline tactic in 2009. Likewise, newspaper and magazine articles – the results of PR efforts – are SMBs' most-preferred offline source of information about products and services.
Here's how to get more from your next PR campaign.
Have a compelling topic. Be sure the focus of your press release is newsworthy. Develop a release for major new products, significant customer wins, awards and client successes. Surveys are also effective since they provide reporters with original data. Many marketers, such as American Express OPEN, Discover, Intuit, Microsoft and Network Solutions, have ongoing small business surveys that are great PR vehicles.
Write an effective release. A good press release answers the "5 Ws" – who, what, when, where and why. Write a compelling headline and short, easy-to-understand sentences. Avoid passive voice and jargon. Use real-life examples with details and data. A well-written release makes the reporter's job easier, and improves the odds your story will get written up. Don't forget to include keywords that relate to your company in the headline and different ones in the summary paragraph so the release gets noticed by the search engines.
Be a reporter's best friend. Read the publications you want to target so you are familiar with the topics they cover, and their editorial approach. Email your release and call once or twice to follow up. Keep your pitch focused and include as many specifics as you can – reporters love data and case studies. If you really want to get into a specific publication or newsletter, offer an exclusive. Cultivate relationships with key journalists; they always need experts they can quote in trend articles.
Measure results. Thanks to the Internet, it's easy to show return on investment for your PR activities, whether this is in the form of increased sales, visits to your website or positive media mentions. It is also easy to set up alerts to monitor the publicity you receive.
BBI can help your PR efforts achieve the results you want. Learn how.