Online Public Relations: Messaging is Key!
Part six — Please see part five as well
As with other forms of content marketing, messaging is key in online PR. We want the messages about the company to be consistent with what we are saying in other venues and it all needs to drive to the ultimate value our client offers to their customers. There need to be regular planning meetings to determine what topics we’re going to cover in our press campaign and that usually revolves around an editorial calendar that dovetails with the other activities our clients are engaged in throughout the year. Surprises happen – when one of our clients buys another company, for example, we need to interrupt scheduled programming to bring out the big news. But, generally speaking, we follow a schedule.
When you’re working with a marketing company, by the way, it’s a good idea to meet regularly with the team assigned to your account. There are a lot of details involved in running a marketing program and much as you feel a great deal of trust for the people who are running your marketing programs (and we hope you do!), it’s important that a clear communications channel exists to ensure messaging is as powerful as possible and problems are avoided. Plus it’s true that marketing can be very complex and the more you understand about what people are doing on your behalf, the more control you will have over the outcome. Nobody knows your business the way you do and the challenge for your marketing team lies in ensuring they communicate your priorities in as powerful and enticing a way as possible to the people with whom you want to do business.
A public relations program can be a lot of work and it can take a lot of focused effort to ensure that your message is crafted and broadcast in ways that will be heard by your ideal customers. But it’s a very practical tool and, done well, it’s an opportunity to create an impact that far outweighs the cost of developing a program around its maintenance. PR has been around for a long time now. And although it might adjust to the changing platforms for its use, it’s going to be with us for a long time to come. And it still represents a great opportunity for your business to shine.
Here’s Some Action You Can Take Today to Support Your Company’s PR Profile:
- Make a list of 10 news or industry publications where you would like to see your company’s news appear.
- Check out each one’s “Submission Guidelines” for press releases.
- Make a list of five potential topics around which you could write a press release about your business. Make sure they focus on real “news.”
- Ask your marketing manager or, if you don’t have one, hire a writer, to draft a press release.
- Send the release to the publications you’ve selected.
- Track whether or not your release was posted – follow up with an email or telephone call if desired.
- Rinse and repeat.