Content is King in PR

In PR, Content is King but He Has Many Crowns. Think Beyond the Press Clip.

While good content still reigns in PR, Content Delivery Must Go Beyond the News Release

Getting the right press coverage and building brand exposure is important, since third-party endorsements, such as earned media from trusted publications, carries a lot of weight in the minds of potential buyers. However, our definition of media and the ways in which we can ‘be in the media’ have changed dramatically in recent years with the explosion of niche publications, social outlets, mobile technologies, and a huge movement towards brand publishing. No longer are we solely reliant upon a traditional news media gatekeeper to earn that sought-after third-party endorsement. At the same time, decision-makers are also placing increasing value on educational and informative content created by industry and company thought leaders, even on branded channels. It is clear that content is still king, even if the delivery format has expanded.

  • 80 percent of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Roper Public Affairs, 2012)
  • 75 percent of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago. (Demand Gen Report, 2014)
  • The average B2B buyer has completed 57 percent of the purchase process before engaging a vendor’s sales team. (CEB/Google, 2012)

Because there are so many ways to get content in front of your audiences, it’s crucial take a broader approach to your PR strategy that includes traditional media relations, self-published content including articles, social content, blogs, case studies, infographics, and videos placed on non-branded channels, and branded content on owned channels. Afterall, public relations professionals are storytellers, we are your brand’s reporters. So when considering expanding your content arsenal, you need to look no further than your PR partner.

When identifying storylines that would generate interest from media as well as your target audience, here are some key story elements  we keep in mind:

  • Timeliness: News, by its very definition, is ‘new’ information. How can you contribute to cutting-edge discussions in your industry?
  • Relevance: How is your product or service different? What makes it stand out? What problem does it solve and for whom? and What human, relatable, characters and events are involved?
  • Novelty: How is the particular angle or argument unique? Are you saying the same thing as everybody else? How can you make a strong case to be heard in the crowd?
  • Passion: What struggle does this solve, what challenges were faced in its development? Where are the tension and resolution?
  • Proof: How can your story be supported and proven by statistics, data, testimonials, examples?
  • Scope: What segment of the population is affected? Does it relate to a national trend? Can it be localized?

The next challenge we tackle is to tailor the story according to each channel we will publish it in and, in the case of media relations, to personalize your story to the interests and audience of the journalist we plan on reaching out to.

PR professionals can take a good story and give it many lives through different forms of content. This broadens awareness of your brand with a consistent message to ultimately grow engagement, generate leads, increase traffic, encourage customer loyalty, influence behavior, and demonstrate leadership. When developing your PR strategy, think beyond the press clip and identify how many channels and formats your unique story can be told.

 

15 Tips To Maximize Trade Show PR

15 Tips for Maximize Trade Show PR Potential

It is nearly Spring and we are approaching trade shows and conference season. You’ve been there. The frantic rush to get your booth and materials ready, to prepare a presentation you have been asked to speak on, or to set up key appointments. We all know trade shows are a good place to put your goods and services on display and connect with sales prospects and other industry partners. Conferences also offer an opportunity to further your education within an industry or niche, make connections, and garner awareness as a speaker or exhibitor. However, with the sensory overload and many options in which to invest your time at the trade show, one can easily get distracted from the mission.

Once you, or your organization, have made an investment to attend one of these industry events, you want to be sure to maximize the PR potential of attending in addition to the business potential.

15 Tips To Maximize Trade Show PRHere are 15 tips for maximizing the potential of trade shows and conferences:

1. Pre-show promotion

About one month before the conference, you will want to call clients, prospects and media who may be attending to set up appointments and meeting times. Have a written purpose for each meeting and be sure that includes finding out how you can add value for them.

2. Prepare for long days

The convention or exhibit floor is often a long way from your room. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking. I often bring protein bars or a piece of fruit to calm hunger pains between mealtimes. You’ll also want to make sure to have your phone charger and a backup charger because cell batteries drain quickly at all day conventions.

3. Research the media audience and the types of companies/attendees that will attend the show

Review the conference website for an idea of who is going to be there and what types of networking and educational events would be important to attend. Ask the conference coordinator for a list of people/media attending, review last year’s list, and follow the conference on Facebook and Twitter to get a sense of who is attending and with whom you would like to connect.

4. Set measurable networking objectives for your team and check in daily

Set objectives for media networking, new business networking, and client relationship building. Determine with whom each of you should connect and map out a strategy to meet with these prospects and what you would like to accomplish with each interaction. Schedule nightly check-ins to give staff a chance to share experiences and capitalize on relational opportunities.

5. Assign roles and responsibilities

Assign individuals attending the show a specific task or role. Don’t assume team members know what to do on the floor. There is often a lot of down time when exhibiting. This is a good time to observe competitors and take notes.

6. Practice your message

Have your elevator speeches ready to roll off the tip of your tongue. What type of people might you connect with at the conference? What do you these people to know about you, your organization, your products and serves? What do you want them to do (the ask)? Don’t wing it. Write it down and practice.

7. Schedule the tasks/have an event run down

A detailed schedule and plan will help us get the most out of each trade show opportunity. Review the conference schedule and schedule time for breaks, potential meet up opportunities and outside events.

8. Train yourself

Become familiar with your organization’s equipment, products, and sales literature so that you can respond to inquiries as needed. If presenting, make sure you are familiar with how to connect your computer to the onsite technology, how to run the presentation and what your back up plan will be should you have a technology fail.

9. Set up early

Arrive early to set up your booth or table so you have plenty of time for an office store run should you be missing any key supplies. Visit the press room, ensure your kits are displayed at the booth as necessary. Double check you items are in the attendee bags. If speaking, test the technology twice!

10. Watch for VIP visits

Alert sales people to possible VIP industry & media visitors to the booth and make sure they have a protocol for handling these engagements. Train them in key messages or instruct them in what to say/whom to call should media begin asking questions.

11. Take Notes

Note the unusual and fresh ideas on the show floor. Qualify the attending crowd, are they your target audience? Take pictures of any display ideas or branding that inspire you.

12. Make the most of meal times

Use mealtimes as a way to connect with new people or further the relationship with a partner. Resist   the urge to escape and eat alone.

13. Attend vendor events that coincide with the conference or trade show

At many conferences, vendors host “after hours” parties and events. Make sure to attend some of  these prime networking opportunities or consider hosting one of your own.

14. Go beyond the trade show floor

Often the best networking is at the meeting itself. Pay the extra fees to be a full conference attendee  and go to the sessions that are most pertinent to your field. Arrive early and introduce yourself to the  speakers and other attendees.

15. Be active on social media

Conferences will likely have a presence on multiple social media channels including Twitter,  Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Pinterest is a great way to find out what to expect in the city you  are traveling to. Facebook groups often form in advance of a conference to plan and connect ahead  of time. During the conference Twitter is used to live Tweet presentations, promote booth contests  and conference events. Find out and use the conference hashtag to track what others are saying and  doing on site.

To help you prepare for your next trade show or conference, I created a Trade Show Networking Planner, which will help you think strategically about the opportunities that may arise.

Download here: 

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What would you add to this list?