We've had clients who – in the past – had spent a good chunk of money on public relations and had fabulous results with "landing press." Yet sales didn't increase. Clients didn't flock. When we talked to these clients about what they did AFTER they landed the press, many looked at us perplexed. "You mean having press isn't enough?"
This brings us to one distinct difference between PR and marketing. A good public relations company or publicist can land you an interview on a hot radio show or successfully pitch your company's story to a magazine editor. But what happens after the segment airs or the feature goes to print? That's where marketing comes in. The function of press is to land you exposure. Marketing's function is to maximize it.
Need a few pointers on leveraging your press successes through strategic marketing? Here are 6 things you can do right now.
1. Get article reprints. Post them on your website's press section (you have one, right?), as well as a blurb on your homepage, which will lead to the press section. Use the article reprints in your marketing kits. When you meet new prospects, send them a copy of your most recent article along with a brochure and business card. The editor of the piece thought you were worthy enough to be written about – now you need to share this information with all the people who may not have seen it. On a related note, ensure your press release content on your site is optimized with an appropriate keyword your prospects are typing into search engines. That way, your PR efforts could potentially accumulate some conversion assists in your funnel.
2. Cross-medium marketing. Did you land a TV interview? In your next eNewsletter, include a link to your segment. Place a prominent link on your website. Promote the piece on your company's social channels. So many mediums vie for our attention. You can't assume clients were watching that segment on the 11:00 news.
3. Spiffy up your e-mail signature. People like working with experts in their respective industries and what better way to boost your expert credentials than to add a line in your e-mail signature: "Read my expert advice in this Boston Globe article on mortgages" (include a link to the article). Or "Check out my monthly column on landscaping design in Publication X."
4. Be prepared for business. Sometimes press (think of what an appearance on Oprah does for a writer's book sales) can increase business fast, right away. Are you prepared? Make sure you triple check systems so that you can handle a sudden onslaught of orders or inquiries. Otherwise, the great exposure goes to waste, and unhappy customers may suddenly offer a different kind of publicity that your company wasn't looking for.
5. Learn to brag a little. Do you belong to an organization that puts out announcements, news, or kudos on members? Even your college alumni magazine may be a place to share some of the great PR exposure you or your company has been getting: "Bill Jones and his company Happy Campers were featured in The New York Times in May" is a great, non-intrusive blurb that these sections are usually more than willing to print.
6. Your PR Consultant and your Marketing Consultant are working for you. Introduce them. Just as you might have your accountant and financial advisor in the same room for certain discussions regarding your finances, consider introducing your PR person and marketing guru. If the two work in tandem, you're already a step ahead of everyone else.
Remember, your PR and marketing strategies should always go hand in hand. Try out some of these tips to make the most of your press coverage and increase those critical lead and customer conversions.