What does a modern PR Strategy look like in today’s world?
Like many industries, PR is ever-evolving and having to adapt to a changing digital world. With the arrival of modern-day marketing and advertising techniques such as video advertising, social media campaigns and digital creative, PR has had to pivot to keep up with the times.
In addition, the combination of changing budgets and quickly shifting demographics alongside these modern day trends indicate that traditional PR means of double page spreads in broadsheets, distributions of company brochures and billboard advertorials may be less effective than they were 20 years ago.
That being said, PR can still pack a punch of done correctly and a savvy way. The industry is still growing after all, with an average of 30% growth across PR agencies over the past five years. With the shift to online, digital PR has emerged as a crucial ingredient in branding and reputation management. The traditional skills in the field of PR are also readily transferable if businesses are in the know.
In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the modern PR techniques and thought processes that businesses, agencies and freelance PR consultants have had to employ to keep on top of the trends to ensure maximum brand exposure and lead generation in the digital age.
Link Building and the relationship of SEO with PR
The emergence of a variety of digital marketing and advertising techniques in recent years has seen PR need to shift its gears. This doesn’t mean that PR should feel under threat by these growing digital marketing channels however: there is certainly an opportunity for mutual cohesion.
Take SEO for instance. One of the key facets of succeeding in SEO and improving your keyword ranking is the practice of link building. Link building is the method of reaching out to online publications such as newspapers, industry-leading blogs and magazines, with a view to getting valuable referring links back to your site through content placement and collaboration. While the SEO element of the technique refers to brainstorming data-led content with a view to acquiring referring links to your domain from high-authority sites, there is a clear PR aspect at play to the art of link building.
This involves building relationships with the right journalist or writer that writes about similar things that your target content is hoping to achieve. Building a relationship with said journalist or writer includes reaching out to them to pitch the initial idea, getting feedback and buy in, and eventually landing the content piece (or link within an existing content piece) back to your website. All of this entails the use of traditional PR skills of relationship building and brand management, albeit with an SEO twist.
Social Media Influencer Marketing & Key Opinion Leaders
Forging relationships with journalists with the goal to obtain a TV or radio interview is a staple of traditional PR that if done correctly can put you in front of millions of potential customers, partners or investors. It certainly still has its merit and, industry dependent, can be the most efficient method of achieving your PR goals.
However recent years have seen the emergence of leveraging influencers or key opinion leaders (KOLs) that are affiliated with certain industries and social media platforms, with arenas such as Instagram proving rife for opportunities for exposure to millions of engaged, tuned-in followers.
The benefits of influencer marketing are well documented. Once you’ve identified an influencer or KOL that is relevant to your brand niche and demographic and is on the right platform, you can expect to benefit from a highly engaged following that yields a high interaction rate. Getting an influencer on board who identifies with your brand and can push out focused content to a loyal, engaged following in any particular industry niche can be incredibly cost efficient with regards to brand exposure and potential new customers.
Costs models can be very different depending on what “tier level” of influencer you approach, though for many small business (and even SMEs) you can find influencers with a solid, engaged following in the tens of thousands who may charge as little as £500 per post.
This certainly has its appeals when considering the costs, efforts and grey areas around measurability that comes with TV, radio and broadsheet coverage. From a PR perspective, the branding possibilities are fantastic, particularly if you bring on an influencer for a long-term engagement with the view to obtaining brand ambassador status further down the line.
So what are you waiting for? Explore the PR fruits of Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter now! You can start by hiring a social media consultant to steer you in the right direction.
Using Analytics to Feed Modern Day PR Strategies
One of the recurring pangs of frustration that has come with traditional PR over the years has been the measurability and tangibility of what any given marketing activities have achieved. Getting a billboard up is great and will put your brand in the face on a lot of people, but its very hard to tie the spend back to actual tangible return on investment.
This has made getting buy in from senior stakeholders harder in the last few years, particularly when there is so much emphasis, understandably, on forecasting and ROI justification.
Thankfully, there are plenty of tools out there to help us gather data on previous campaigns, competitor activity and future trends to present a wide array of key performance metrics in order to get the relevant buy in.
If you’re looking for ideas on PR content marketing strategy, then you can turn to Google Analytics to discover what types of content perform best on your site. There are also plenty of social media analytics tools out there such as Buzzsumo, which can enable you to discern what type of content is currently performing well across the web in any given vertical or medium.
In today’s PR world, it’s vital to do your data and analytical research both before your consolidate your PR strategies. The same goes for post-project analysis, when you’re conducting your reporting and retrospective takes. This can be put in the perspective and presented in the context of web traffic, followers, impressions, conversions, keyword rankings, advertising value, conversions on site and so on. Not only can this put you in good stead with getting your PR ideas bought into by key internal stakeholders, but also makes journalist buy in a lot easier.
Keep Your Finger on the Pulse
We’ve listed a few techniques to consider that may help spruce up and pivot your modern PR strategy, but of course there’s plenty more out there. The beauty of modern day PR is that it maintains its relevance insofar as it blends well with and be applied to many recent marketing and advertising techniques.
Keep an eye out for more of our guides and read our blog to keep tabs on new developments in the world of PR and beyond.