People don’t buy into products, people buy brands. As consumers, we invest our time and money in brands that inspire, spark, and align with our values (even if what we value is a low price point). Brands resonate so deeply with us, we sport their logos like badges of honor. Walking around as free marketing because something in their message hit home. Bottom line, consumers buy because of brand stories. As a company, a PR campaign can help you write that story.
PR is a vehicle for brand awareness. As a strategic means to increase your business reach, a media campaign can act as the perfect tool to bolster your marketing efforts. B2B, B2C, CPG, and Lead Gen companies alike can enhance their reach with the power of PR. Whether you’re looking to highlight the release of a new product, shed light on company update, reach a larger audience, or improve your brand’s reputation, a strategic PR plan can do you wonders. If you’re not ready for a full-blown media campaign, summer is the perfect time to dip your toe into the pool of PR possibilities.
More than just a Press Release — The Benefits of PR Media Strategies.
PR is about sharing your brand story with the world. Whether they realize it or not, consumers are looking for messages and narratives that remind them of themselves. As a brand, it’s up to you to communicate your message. There are a few different channels you can use to start this conversation including owned, paid, and earned media. Let’s break it down.
Owned media is any content channel controlled by your team. This includes your company website, blog, and social media handles. Owned media is often the starting point of any PR campaign because it’s free to use, under your control, and a common form of content currency. From social media to blogs, your consumers are already actively participating in the owned media space. Here you can utilize a free channel to connect with your audience and share your story.
Paid media includes advertising tools you can purchase to leverage your reach. Social advertising, influencer marketing, display ads, and pay-per-click are all strategic paid media tools you can employ to connect with your audience. To ensure your message resonates with the right people, paid strategies also allow you to dial in on a target demographic.
Earned media, as the name implies, is won from your audience. Earned media includes customer testimonials, product reviews, and organic endorsements. Earned media has a high impact on your PR strategy, but is consequently the most challenging media to obtain. Positive reviews on industry blogs like G2 Crowd and Glassdoor are worth their weight in gold when it comes to earned media (and serve as a friendly reminder that your brand message is being received).
Marketing vs. PR
While marketing and public relationships work swimmingly together, they’re distinguished by their goals. Marketing campaigns aim to deliver revenue, while public relations campaigns aim to improve your reputation. At the end of the day, PR helps individuals connect with your brand and marketing helps them become your customer.
Seasonal PR and B2B
A summer PR program allows you to play the long game. A solid PR strategy is a surefire way to get your brand name in front of the right people, at the right time. In the B2B space, it’s important to build trust with your audience through valuable and authoritative content. Publishing informative, relevant, and in-depth resources for your audience, no strings attached, will help establish your name as a thought leader. When it comes to B2B strategy, it’s essential to think two steps (and two quarters) ahead of your competitors. Think about the upcoming fiscal year and quarters to follow. Do your clients need to adapt your product or service in time for fall, the school year, or the holiday season? This idle summertime is the optimal time to launch a PR campaign that builds awareness. Sharing your brand story through relevant content establishes authority, trust, and rapport with your community. Even if they’re not ready to buy immediately, when busy season rolls around, you’ll be top of mind.
Seasonal PR and B2C
As consumers, we see ourselves as an extension of the brands we buy. There’s a reason why B2C brands like Allbirds, Away, and Quip flourish in their market. They’ve mastered the brand story. As a B2C brand, summer is the perfect time to connect with your audience. If you have a new product launching at the end of the year, summer is the season to push it. By laying the foundation to generate demand for new and upcoming products, your fall self will thank you. A summer PR strategy can even solidify your spot in 3rd party blogs posts and summer roundups. When planning your summer story, play upon your consumer’s nostalgia and the longing for the endless summer they once enjoyed. The more relatable your message is, the easier it is for people to align themselves with your brand.
How to plan your summer PR program.
1. Establish your goals. First, you want to identify the goal of your media plan. From promoting a new product to reaching new audiences, changing your brand image, to reinforcing your existing one, it’s important to narrow down your campaign purpose. Once you’ve identified a big-picture objective, take it a step further to pinpoint a goal. Think about which new product you want to be received, what you would like to change about your brand image, and what you would like to reinforce about your existing one. Once your goal is laid out, identify a metric to measure success along with it.
2. Pick your audience. Before you can put pen to paper, you need to know your audience. Understanding your market is directly relevant to the channels you choose, the tone of your message, and the success of your campaign.
3. Choose your channels. Identify the media channels you expect to resonate with your audience and start to put together a content calendar. Think about the format that will illustrate your story best — whether that’s press releases, influencer posts, videos, or customer success stories.
4. Get creative. Don’t let your campaign fall flat from lackluster storytelling. It’s important to find a creative angle to relay your message. Need inspiration? Ask yourself why a friend, long time customer, or competitor would care about your storyline.
5. Deploy, optimize, and repeat. After your media campaign has wrapped, reflect on your measurable success, tweak it as necessary, and repeat. Your brand never stops developing, neither should your story.
Whether you’re looking to reinforce your brand image or introduce a new one, a summer PR campaign is the perfect seasonal ingredient to spread your story, build relationships with your audience, and reinforce your current marketing efforts.