PR is important in every business. Just like many other corporate activities, it can be performed in a more or less efficient way. Today, let’s talk about how to make PR more effective by following some practical tips.
Don’t Rush Towards Major Publications.
Many business leaders believe that placement in TechCrunch or Forbes will solve all the company’s problems, but that’s a common mistake. In reality, a placement in major publications comes at a cost and isn’t really of much use.
Despite the large audience and the good reputation of larger publications, a placement in smaller themed publications is often more effective. And that makes sense — these resources do not have a large audience, but their audience is interested in your company’s activity.
Let’s take cryptocurrency and blockchain as an example here: all the world media publish content on it, following the hype. So, if you are preparing a ICO to get participants interested in the token purchase, then it would be reasonable to focus PR activity more on themed publications. At least, their small audience will understand how to participate in an ICO, in contrast with most of The New York Times’ readers.
Never Underestimate Native Ads.
Another common mistake is to give no credence to native advertising. Business leaders often believe that the disclaimer, "partnership material" on the content affects the users’ confidence. So, they prefer to chase "free" press placements.
This method has several disadvantages.
First, the idea of a lack of confidence in native publications has no solid grounds. According to statistics, 77% of online media users are unable to distinguish native advertising from a regular placement.
Second, the most influential online services’ customers’ group are Millennials (people born between 1980 and 2000). By 2020, in the US only, more than $7 billion assets will be concentrated in this generational customer group. The majority of this audience (80%) believe that native advertising has a positive effect on UX, and nearly half of them (44%) expressed their positive attitude towards brands and websites publishing such ads. So, it’s not good to distrust this promotional tool.
Marching With the Time.
Time is one of the most important elements of success in PR. If an inappropriate time is chosen to announce a promotional campaign or a partnership, benefits can quickly become disadvantages.
Many cases confirm this fact.
For instance, Uber once offered its UK customers to enjoy an ice cream from their partner “Cornetto” while "sunbathing" (quote from press release). The problem was that the campaign was launched on the coldest day of the year, so this was taken for a mockery.
Another case is Snapple, a manufacturer of soft drinks which launched its campaign on the creation of "the biggest Lollipop in the world" in order to get into the Guinness Book of Records. Candy was to be placed in Times Square, New York. The goal was simple: a newsbreak and record would be published by press and bloggers. But the promoters did not take into account the abnormal megapolis heat. As a result, a potentially good PR move turned into a failure — the lollipop just melted.
The same goes for a failed tweet by the Tesco retail network. It was about a meat burger sale offered in the midst of the scandal in Europe when horse meat was found in beef. It goes without saying that this promo was not welcomed by the audience.
In addition, the effectiveness of press-releases mailings depending largely on the weekday is no longer questioned.
Saves Time and Money.
New technologies eliminate the above-mentioned problems. PR companies can save time and resources by using automation tools. For example, PRNews service can automate the purchase of native advertising which is very effective, as noted previously.
These tools find themed publications which address the target audience and order placements without any time-consuming communications with the Head of the Sales Department of the publication. As the result of using this tool, a company may place more articles than its employees could by directly negotiating. Besides, the company would be able to optimize the PR budget right on-the-spot and analyze the effectiveness of publications, making the PR Department’s work much more effective.