New Year’s Day is as good a time as any to breathe fresh life into your public relations campaign – or, indeed, to embark on one if your business has not yet already done so.
Here are three resolutions – easy to keep – that will kickstart your 2018 PR campaign and help to get your message in front of the people you want to influence.
RESOLUTION No 1: Generate more content
In times past, the press release, distributed to appropriate newspapers and trade journals, was the only low-cost route to a large audience. Today, the same channels exist – but there is there is now the great alternative of guaranteed publication on your own website.
Whether you choose to publish items as news or blogs, you have the freedom to say what you like – naturally, within the bounds of common decency – but without fear of key nuggets of information bring edited out or misreported.
To make your website a successful news medium it needs frequent injections of new material, skillfully crafted to convey your messages and liberally peppered with relevant keywords and internal links to underpin your performance on the search engines.
Whether you are in the business-to-consumer or business-to-business market, the requirement is the same. With a business to run, you might find it difficult to find enough time to get your message across convincingly and simultaneously address the SEO (search engine optimisation) issues. Talk to a PR agency with experienced writers and editors: let them drive your campaign with powerful, professional copy.
RESOLUTION No 2: Use social media more effectively
It’s one thing having a brilliant website with plenty of SEO-rich material, but you still need a system to get people to visit your website more frequently. People will tend to click on the e-Bays and Amazons of this world more often, because they know there’s always something new.
You can provide a similar experience, but you may have to put more effort into reminding customers and prospects about your business. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn provide ideal channels for reaching a wider audience.
Post frequently and, wherever possible, include an eye-catching image. Always include a link to your website – if possible, to a specific page. But if that means an unmanageably long link, use one of the link shortening services, such as bit-ly.
Twitter has the most scope for high-frequency messaging, but avoid excessive repetition – it may not be to your advantage.
I share the view that the old-style 140-character Tweet is more effective than the new double-length limit. It’s amazing how much information can be crammed into 140 characters: the reader will thank you for brevity and clarity – by, I hope, clicking the link to your site.
You social media activity is also something to discuss with your public relations consultant.
RESOLUTION No 3: Try new ideas
We spoken of the press release – it’s the basic document of good PR – and self-publishing, followed by self promotion via social media. But there’s much more that a specialist PR practitioner can offer you.
Other options in the B2B and B2C arenas – as well as support services for in-house PR and marketing departments – include case studies, presentations, video scripts, newsletters and much, much more.
You don’t have to try them all, but let your consultant guide you towards the options most likely to meet your needs – and then develop a programme that fits your budget. Most of all, be open to new ideas.
Public relations is not a precise science, but it can pay handsome dividends. Make it your New Year’s resolution to take your next forward step.