Blame it on Nashville’s batty winter weather patterns, but the Bradford Group has seen its share of illness over the past two months. And any time a sickness spreads, it’s a reminder that the sooner you identify the symptoms, the sooner you can treat the problem.
The same is true for public relations. A well-run B2B PR plan gives your company exposure and credibility among your potential customer base. But often, company execs are so busy running their businesses, it’s hard to devote time to analyzing PR strategy and results.
To make it easier, look for these signs that your PR strategy is ailing and may need some outside help:
1. Your company isn’t aligned on key messages. The first rule of a solid PR strategy is to have a story tell. And that story should include key messages that are consistently shared through team members, marketing collateral and media coverage. These messages should explain what your company is, what it does, and why it matters. Otherwise, your brand gets diluted to the public.
Ask employees to share their elevator pitch and take a look at media clips and marketing materials. Can you find a consistent message? And is it a message that distinguishes you from the rest?
2. You don’t have a personal relationship with local media. Reporters call sources they know. If you, or your PR agency, don’t have relationships with key members of the local media, chances are those reporters aren’t Googling your phone number and forging past administrative assistants to get you on the line. They call people they know they can reach right away. If you’re not one of those people, your PR strategy may be weak.
3. Event coverage is slim to none. Events show off your involvement in the community, highlight your staff’s expertise and help you leverage key company news. If you have a noteworthy event but the media is a no-show, it could be a sign your PR strategy is failing you. A few key things to think about:
- Did you invite media with enough advance warning?
- Does the timing of your event conflict with media deadlines?
- Are you reaching the right reporters?
4. You only use wire services to distribute news. Press release services like PRWeb and BusinessWire are excellent tools for digital marketing. They pump keywords into the cybersphere, which fuels your website’s search engine optimization. But don’t expect that wire release to land in the inbox of a journalist. The media is used to having press releases sent directly to them—with an explanation of why they should care about it.
And remember, blasting out press releases can be a good resource for distributing real news, but it’s often not the best way to tell your company’s story. That takes a more targeted media strategy.
5. You exclusively court top-tier media (and get radio silence). I know, I know—who doesn’t want to be featured in the New York Times or USA Today? No doubt, national media exposure is an important tool for widespread brand awareness. However, if you’re not getting results, it could be a sign you’re telling a weak story, reaching the wrong contact or that you’re not catching people’s attention in the right way.
Also, if all efforts are spent on top-tier national media to no avail, you may miss out on other opportunities to specifically target key customers through local or trade publications. Like a good meal, a strong PR campaign needs to be well balanced.
A PR firm works with the media day in and day out and understands how to build brands through publicity and marketing. So if your strategy could a use pick-me-up, consider outsourcing and leave it to the pros.
What made you revamp your PR strategy?