how to select right PR channels — “Is there more to PR than getting stories published?”
One of the biggest misconceptions that many business owners and brand managers have about public relations is that it starts with a press release and ends when the story’s published. (See also PR myths and misconceptions)
PR is a very complicated practice–but one that, when done right, can do wonders for your business. And we don’t just mean awareness. Brand image, sales, customer loyalty. PR has the ability to influence all of these.
Your press release? That’s just 10% of the total work that publicists do to make PR work for you. Before you even arrive at the point of writing your press release, about 60% of the work is already done.
So what comprises this 60%?
There’s research, message development, and of course, creating your channel strategy. As with any campaign, working on your channel strategy happens after you’ve clearly identified your objectives, decided on the market segment you wish to talk to, and mapped out the role that you wish PR to play in your overall marketing framework.
For the purpose of helping you move forward with more confidence during this stage of your PR planning, we created a quick guide that you can use to better understand how each of these channels work and how they can help you reach your goals.
Trade and Retail Publications
Selecting the Right PR—Trade and retail sites mostly focus on new businesses, new products, and noteworthy entrepreneurs. It’s wise to have your stories appear on websites like this if you are trying to connect to a more mature, well-educated crowd–or if you’re a B2B business. Trade and retail publications can help you not only get the word out about what you’re offering or what makes you different, but they can also give you a reputation boost.
Lifestyle and Niche Websites
Consider lifestyle and niche websites as one of your best avenues to reach your target audience. Publications that fall under these categories usually enjoy higher traffic with readers who are very open to being sold to. Stories that you will want to publish on these websites include new product launches, promos, ambassador-centric stories, or trend-jacking features.
Pro tip: You will want to focus your efforts on websites that your target market reads. Usually, publishers include a clear demographic of their readers on their ‘About Me’ page.
Television, Radio, and Podcasts
Anything that’s broadcasted is a great way to introduce yourself to people (it helps if your audience has a name, voice, and face that they can attach to your brand). These channels are perfect for those who wish to position themselves as thought leaders. It’s also great for those in industries like skincare, fitness, or gadgets as the nature of these media allows you to better explain the technology you employed to develop your product or service.
It’s not uncommon knowledge that those who are inactive on social media are missing out on a lot of opportunities. Social media is literally where the battle is these days as it’s where people spend time the most.
There are two ways you can use social media to your advantage–first is of course by creating your own page with your own content and using that account as a way to send out messages and connect with people. The second way is by using the content development expertise and clout of social media influencers.
There are a million things to consider when doing the latter. Some of the questions you will want to ask yourself before engaging an influencer include: What kind of influencers do I want to associate my brand with? Do I go for those who have affluent lifestyles or the more relatable ones? Is it necessary for me to tap those who are known to be experts in the field? Will they be able to communicate the messages I want to convey to my audience? What kind of content do I want them to create for me? What works well for the platforms where they are present?
Product Review Sites
Product review sites are essential for just about every brand regardless of industry. Think about it. People may know about you, but unless they’ve read somewhere that what you’re selling is actually good, the chances of them doing business with you will remain low. PR after all is just an amplified, modern version of word of mouth. And for businesses, the best use of word of mouth is to generate recommendations.
Selecting the Right PR—PR is one of the most powerful marketing tools available out there. You can utilize it at every stage of your marketing funnel. But for it to actually work, it needs to be done right. Take the time to understand your market and learn about tools that may help make your life easier. Be brave. And after all of these, if you still feel like you’re not getting the ROI you expect, then consider calling in an expert or agency to help you handle this aspect of your marketing.