As most anticipate a better year in both health and in business, marketers will continue to face new challenges brought about by the pandemic.
A number of trends brought about by the coronavirus will most certainly continue onward well into the middle half of the year, if not beyond. Public relations professionals will have to maintain flexibility and adjust accordingly to help their employer, or their clients, reach their objectives.
Here then are five strategies to contemplate as you create your public relations game plan for the new year.
1. Build strong relationships with key writers and editors. Most experienced public relations professionals understand the value of maintaining solid relationships with key reporters who cover their or their client’s industry. Those relationships will have even higher value as print publications, TV and radio stations continue to scale back their staffs due to the decline in ad spending. Reporters and editors remain hard-pressed to do more with less and yet still put out a quality product in a timely manner. Establishing a strong relationship with a reporter can set you up as a solid resource, able to deliver valuable ideas and news items the writer can use to shape or enhance their stories. This high level of trust is now more important than ever, and can result in multiple articles and opportunities that benefit both your client and yourself for the long-term.
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2. Focus on clicks and hits. Media outlets are busily building digital audiences to grab their piece of the shrinking ad revenue pie. Reporters too are tasked to develop news items that can be optimized online and read by thousands. The goal is to not only get those stories placed on the publication’s site but also recirculated on social media to increase overall readership. PR pros should create and pitch stories in a manner reflective of that objective. Turning a run-of-the-mill news release into something with more meat and excitement will help to not only get the story published but get it optimized on social media for greater reach and market penetration.
3. Write for immediate impact. Public relations professionals need to pitch their stories where the most interesting aspects are at the top of the page, not buried in the fifth or six paragraph. As mentioned earlier reporters are hard pressed for time and have little wiggle room to spend trying to decipher a confusing news release, especially when there are hundreds of others to sort through. PR pros should deliver a hard-hitting first paragraph and then provide any support material below. That material should be easy to read and can even be broken out into bullet points to make it easier to digest.
4. Know how to reach your client’s audience, today. Key research about your client’s prospective buyers is paramount to generating top line results from your PR efforts. Properly targeting those buyers can make or break your campaign. This is true for any year but especially in the pandemic driven work-at-home environment. Are business to business buyers still reading industry publications, listening to podcasts and attending webinars? Can they be reached on social media or is their time focused on other areas? Determining the best ways to reach them will help you greatly improve results.
5. Think visually. Since so much of media now relies on photos and videos, PR pros should think about visual elements to go with any story pitch. A short video or a series of interesting photos (if possible) should accompany any news release, whether print or broadcast. Visuals are ideal for digital and social media, and help make your story pitch stand out above the rest. Small photos can even be inserted into the news release to peak the reporters interest and enhance coverage opportunities.
Ways to Make Your Online Public Relations Drive SEO
If you think PR is dead, then you are missing out big on the brand visibility opportunities that PR in this digital age comes with. Of course, times have changed. The old tactics of traditional public relations that find expression in strategic event coordination, crisis communication, reputations management, trade shows, sponsorship opportunities, outreach, distribution of press releases and leveraging on traditional media (Radio, TV, Newspapers) — have now given way to more digital approaches.
The strategies applicable to both old and digital PR converge at the point where connections are built and managed. However digital PR comes with the added benefits of Search Engine optimization and link building across the internet while also providing measurable and tangible results and insights and producing easily shareable content.
Why Should Online PR be integrated with SEO?
SEO and PR work together in more ways than one. First, creating premium quality content can earn you backlinks to your site. Then the more media coverage your brand receives, the more link back to your site you will get. Lastly, with excellent PR process, you get to build greater connections with influencers in your industry thereby getting more links from blogs and social media posts, leading to an increase in SEO.
Because the realm of online PR is more specified than that of traditional, it will help grow your brand visibility and patronage online. However, the integration between SEO and PR becomes a lot stronger when executed strategically.
Here are 6 top ways to drive search engine optimization with Online PR.
1. Unify your goals across SEO, PR and other Marketing efforts
Each of these marketing concepts has their unique workability styles, yet their aim is the same. While SEO leverages on digital channels to connect with customers and generate more leads, PR relies heavily on media relations to generate more media coverage of the brand. In the end, their target is to reach customers – and that’s the part you should focus on the most. Only then can you harness the capabilities of the different channels.
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2. Use data gotten from researching both SEO and PR to create an overall persona.
While SEO relies on audience research to create a brand personality, PR focuses on Media research to find out the kind of publications that appeal to a brands target audience and search for reporters that cover topics relevant to the brand. Combining both results will create a strong, unified persona.
3. Coordinate Content and Keyword across all digital channels to project a unified brand identity.
All your social media and blog posts, e-books, newsletters, landing pages, video ads, media messages and press releases should project the image your brand is trying to communicate.
4. Use your PR Expertise as a Guide in Crafting Content.
With proper research, PR experts get data on the kind of content their audience will find consumable, valuable and shareable. Let this expertise guide you in creating high-quality, SEO content. While SEO professionals are creating high ranking content, incorporating the most appropriate keywords and sharing them across social media channels, PR experts on the hand should be busy pitching this content and drawing as much attention as possible to it from high-quality links.
5. PR can Leverage on SEO keyword strategy
The keywords used in press releases can trigger reporters to use those targeted keywords when describing a brand, thus increasing the likelihood a business appears in searches for those specified terms.
PR needs to harness and extend SEO keyword strategy – for example, keywords and keyword phrases should appear in critical statements, press releases, media interview, FAQ documents, Social media bios, Website Meta titles and descriptions and website copy.
6. Connect with high-end influencers in your industry
Influencer marketing is non-negotiable in integrating SEO and PR efforts for your site. Connecting with influencers can earn you high-quality link backs from the media, other businesses, and pages with high traffic. Establishing connections with these influencers increases the chances that they will share your content with their audience and even link back to your site, making such content more visible, linked to and of course share.
SEO is a crucial aspect of building a sustainable online presence, but it performs better when it joins forces with PR to create strong results, A link back from Forbes for instance, even if it’s a text link carries a heavier weight than mere blog comments. So you should focus on creating high quality, shareable content. You also want to make your content is adequately and proportionally stuffed with keywords added to the fact that they have to be relevant to a target audience.
Curate and Control Your Online Reputation
Shakespeare, in Act 2 of his circa 1603 play Othello, said it best: Reputation, reputation, reputation. It is the original personal brand and one of the defining realities of our lives. For Solopreneur consultants and other self-employed professionals, reputation governs the number and quality of projects made available to us and therefore, reputation impacts our income and the kind of life we’re able to live. It pays, in more ways than one, to cultivate a peerless reputation and guard it vigorously.
In the internet age that is especially so, in both the personal and professional sectors. Mistakes and mischaracterizations made in digital formats are extremely difficult to dodge, ignore, deny, or correct. One’s online reputation is the ultimate flypaper. Take steps to ensure that what sticks to your name is all good.
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Along with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest are the sites where images of you are most likely to be posted, by yourself and others. When cameras are around, meaning whenever anyone has a cell phone, which is about 24/7, make sure that your behavior represents you and your brand well.
There’s nothing wrong with being photographed in an obviously casual gathering. Just make sure that you (or others) are not in the midst of activities that could be misconstrued and reflect poorly on you sometime in the future. If you regularly appear in photos that you know or suspect will be posted to social media sites, counteract with a photo of your own that shows you at work, paid or volunteer. Balance your accounts, so to speak, and show that there is more to you than non-stop partying.
Create and regularly post original content that makes you look smart, professional and successful. On your LinkedIn account, announce when you will attend a symposium, serve on a panel, teach a course or workshop and definitely broadcast the good news if you’ve recently earned a professional certification or advanced degree.
If you’ve presented a webinar, request the replay and turn it into a podcast for your website and YouTube. If you write a newsletter or blog, link it to your website and LinkedIn. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, produce streams of high-quality feed and images that convey the competencies and values that you want to be known for.
Twitter, Instagram and Facebook can feature glimpses into your personal life as well and it could all be for the good, as long as you are strategic about what is revealed. Your volunteer work is always a safe bet. Training for a marathon or even a fun and casual volleyball or softball league would be excellent. Your parent’s wedding anniversary party would make another good personal aspect to include in your online narrative. Be aware that narrative is the operative word. Create the story that you want to be told, in a manner that makes you look wonderful.
About every three months, search your name and your company name in engines such as Bing, Google and Yahoo and see what comes up in the first 50 listings. Are you happy with what you see? Try keywords related to your business along with your city and check your professional reach in a more profound way.
If you find that your business has been reviewed in a negative and inaccurate way, contact the reviewing site and request that the offending post be removed. If customers have offered criticism that just may be constructive, address the matter. Apologize and offer your side of the story. Make amends if possible. By doing so, you’ll add to your credibility and customer service reputation.
It’s been reported that 70% of U.S. employment recruiters have rejected potential job candidates when something about them that was considered unsavory appeared on social media. Solopreneurs should assume that prospective clients will do the same. Maintaining and monitoring your online reputation has never been more important.
Key Trends That Will Affect the World of Public Relations
With technological advancement and digitisation at its pace, the world of many industries including that of Public Relations (PR) is changing rapidly. With this rapid pace of changes taking place here are the 3 main trends that will have an impact on PR professionals, especially those working in Public Relation companies:
There are changes happening all around the Public Relation firms. While traditional below the line agencies are providing the social media and digital services, creative agencies, on the other hand, have hired digital experts, creative folks and sponsorship strategists. In totality, PR companies are indulging deeper into brand strategy as well as in offering new services such as creative, design; video and digital Public Relation. Convergence of a variety of services is also a threat to Public Relation firms. Because the more the company expands its service offerings, especially in technology, more are the chances of clients and potential clients moving in a conflicting space. PR consultants are need to handle this as the accountancy and legal practices have.
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2. Video- the new star element in storytelling
Public Relation professionals are the storytellers. They tell the target audience stories about their clients through selected media. However, as the way of how people consume media and stories have changed so has changed the pattern of storytelling in PR industry. Many recent reports and studies suggest that people watch at least one video every day and by 2020, 75% of mobile traffic will be video driven only. This leads to the fact that live videos are the trending topics racking up billions of views on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. With such a high inclination towards video, it is obvious for the Public Relation firms to start using video and other visual tools- such as infographics, images and slideshows in their Public Relation campaign.
3. Reputation is the key concern
Reputation management will gain its prominence as a PR service offered by PR companies. The service has already been there, but in such a volatile and negative world, its importance is ever increasing. From media coverage to political changes to cyber-attacks to online reviews, businesses, governments, organisations and individuals will rely on PR professionals to build, protect and enhance their reputations. PR firms/companies need to enhance and improve their skillset to provide deeper and more accurate reputation auditing, management and recovery services, in a coherent and sellable way.
About Communication And Press Releases
Communication is a crucial human way of informing and staying connected. There are various communication channels such as news, press releases, writing and blogging among many others. All major companies and organizations rely on media to channel their report and statements to the public and their employees, but, without the great PR and an excellent press release channel this targeted audiences might miss out.
A great story or an impressive press statement begins with a great writer, a person who can articulate the thoughts and turn them into a great piece of writing. This written article must be precise in a way that the audience gets the message direct and must be delivered in the simplest of words to a greater audience.
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The Purposes of Spreading Information in a Company Setup.
· The first reason as we have seen from above is to communicate and inform whereby news and press briefings are of great importance in achieving this. A company might need to hire new staff, and they always rely on getting the word out there or even when they want to inform of managerial or personnel changes in the company.
· The other purpose is to advertise products and services of any given entity. The proper channel can ensure that an organization goes global by posting and availing the adverts on worldwide platform where everyone can learn about them
· The other is to create great public rapport. Publicly traded companies and those that intend to gain public trust, opt to have their affairs addressed carefully and openly to the public. This is significantly done through a press release by the company’s organization hence safeguarding the company’s image.
Information spread is what stock markets relay on as any news can mean a change in the share prices, it is, therefore, essential that a company hires a firm to deal with this channel of communication. PR officers are tasked with the maintenance of a tremendous public relations between workers and the clients, but without a dedicated channel to get the information right, things could go wayward.
Whenever one is looking to hire a great press release firm, ensure that you go for those that have an experience at it and will offer you the best. Matters such as the audience range of their services should be considered, how extensive or how fast can they get things done for you. A company’s brand and image rely a lot on the press release, and therefore only the best can be trusted with it.
Medical Technology PR Strategies for a Successful Product Launch
You have produced a medical technology that is a breakthrough in the field of medicine, the next thing to do is to let the world know about it. The best medical technology will be of no use if it is not being noticed by the right people. Employing the aid of a professional medical technology PR service provider is the first step to reach the right people and be noticed by the public. This is crucial, especially for a successful product launch. Here are a few tips for an effective medical technology PR prior to a product launch.
Value your PR
For startups or businesses that offer new medical technology, the role of PR in a product launch should not be underestimated. In the current marketing scenario, the effectiveness of advertising decreases, the value of articles and quality content increases. Relevant and fresh PR enables your company not only to gain visibility but also credibility among important persons such as investors, industry peers, and customers.
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Write a high-quality press release
PR experts know the importance of content creation and press release in medical technology PR strategies. A high-quality content and relevant press release offer a perception of an actively growing company. This also opens opportunities for acquiring investors and financers due to the increased local visibility of the brand. By producing share-worthy stories for social media, you can increase your brand awareness and gain followers. Consistently relevant press releases can also open an opportunity for your company to be an expert resource for journalists. However, despite the numerous benefits of press releases, not all companies are diligent enough to write them.
For you to maximize the benefits of PR prior to a launch, it helps to produce a high-quality press release to help you boost your brand reputation. If you are able to come up with a cutting-edge medical technology, you are certainly capable of producing a buzz-worthy press release. Expert PR companies can help you identify newsworthy topics from your expertise and share them with the public in the most informative and interesting way.
Look at different angles
If you are wondering what to include in your press release or if you want to write several press releases prior to your launch, there are several topics for you to explore aside from the launch itself. For instance, you can describe the process involved in the initial testing or the work being done with a prototype. You may also share the approval or quality certification you have acquired for the current technology side by side with the awards and recognition you have received. You can also discuss new or updated documentation about your product as well as emerging applications for your technology. You can write a customer case study or share the milestone of units sold and plans for expansion or investments. These are just some of the things you can write about in a press release so you don’t miss the opportunities that may come by simply writing one.
Keep up to date with the current events
One way to produce a relevant and timely content or press release is by tying it up with a current event. Some topics related to the medical field include flu season, soldier safety, returning veterans, healthcare reforms and costs, mobile tools for disease management, disaster relief, etc. Just remember that when mentioning a current event or a crisis, your content should include ways on how your company or product can help in addressing the situation. Avoid including trending stories that are unrelated to what you do since this will not be helpful to you and can possibly harm your reputation.
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