PR campaigns are missing opportunities by ignoring collaboration
Demand for PR is at an all-time high - but siloed thinking persists in the industry.
By failing to align marketing strategies like SEO and social media, PR campaigns are seriously missing out on better results, says David White, Content Marketing Director at connective3.
Over the past two years demand for PR and digital PR services has erupted, with recent stats from the Content Marketing Institute reporting that 46% of businesses want to increase their content creation spending in 2022.
As someone who has successfully built a global PR team over the past two years, I can say for certain that demand for PR services - specifically digital PR and link building for SEO - is at an all time high.
There are many reasons behind why this could be the case, but I would hazard a guess that the pandemic (and subsequent increased investment from businesses in online) is behind this trend.
The challenge businesses face now is not whether to run PR or not - it’s how to make the PR they do run work harder, and deliver more results.
As an industry we often treat PR and digital PR as a separate entity, making them work in a silo away from other disciplines such as paid, social media, content, and SEO.
This lack of collaboration with other marketing disciplines makes most PR campaigns missed opportunities.
In a world which is now more connected than ever before, we, as marketers, need to make sure the content we produce for PR can work harder, and deliver more results across more platforms.
But the question is how? How do we make our PR content work across more channels? How do we make our PR content reach a wider audience? And ultimately, how do we make our PR content deliver better results?
There are some common missed opportunities I can see when analysing PR campaigns across the web - with collaboration, they can easily be amended to deliver results.
A recent experiment at connective3 found that starting the customer journey with PR content rather than sales messages increased the performance of the subsequent sales ads significantly.
By creating an audience pool in Google Analytics on the PR campaign page, it’s possible to retarget anyone who engaged with PR content with native ads.
In our experiment, this decreased the cost per acquisition by 33%, showing a huge opportunity for marketers looking to turn PR content into leads and sales - all driven via collaboration.
The data that can be captured from social media via social listening can not only be the difference between the success and failure of a campaign, but also can ensure it works across editorial, on-site and social media to get you in front of the right people and the right time!
Social listening allows you to input a brand, topic, or social handle to see how people are engaging with that term or profile over social media. It opens a wealth of data such as similar topics an audience engages with, the influencers they follow, where they ‘hang out’ online and their likes and dislikes.
This data can be used to create a relevant PR campaign that gets a brand directly onto the feeds of the people they’re targeting. This data also allows you to create social assets for relevant social channels to improve your social media metrics while also delivering off-site PR.
Digital PR is the acquisition of backlinks gained from external sites pointing to your own domain. It’s one of the largest off-site ranking factors search engines use when determining where to rank a brand for keywords within its search.
When running PR, always try and include a link strategy. Create an on-site campaign page that journalists can link to. Make sure the press release you write covers the campaign information while also helping readers find out more via your on-site copy.
Many PR campaigns that have huge potential miss out by simply not having a link strategy. Those who include it within their campaign planning can support the visibility of their website, and subsequently the traffic that it gains.
On the other hand, those who have already considered a link strategy need to ensure the equity from the links gained benefits their key product or service pages. SEO landscape checks show which areas of a site may need more attention from a link-building perspective - and tools like Sistrix, Ahrefs and Search metrics are a great starting point.
The on-site content strategy many brands implement can also be used as digital PR assets.
This is a proactive PR tactic that can make sure that the content produced for a blog can work harder and drive backlinks, traffic and SEO performance.
I’ve seen hundreds of brands creating content which I know could easily be picked up by the media if it was simply turned into a press release.
Ensure you have a PR professional in the room when analysing your on-site performance. A brand which does that will be able to take existing assets and make them work even harder to deliver results.
When this tactic is complemented with other PR activity, it not only means brands get more media pick-up, but are also driving more relevant links to their domain.
These examples are just that. In reality, there are hundreds of ways PR and digital PR campaigns can collaborate with other marketing disciplines to drive better performance.
As marketers we now need to make sure that the content we produce for PR works harder than ever before. Those who fail to do this will be left behind as the competition and agencies supporting those brands get more clever in the way they work.
By connecting marketing disciplines, brands will see real growth across multiple platforms, and numbers that directly impact their bottom line.