You’ve earned a really great piece of media coverage – it reinforces your brand’s key messages, it promotes a new marketing initiative and/or it positions your executive as a thought leader in your brand’s space. Nice! Now what?
Getting the hit isn’t the same as getting the win. The true success is what happens next.
Inherently we know earned media builds trust and authority in a way an ad or a marketing video can’t. (This is the third party validation factor.) But how can you build that trust if no one sees the coverage? Your PR coverage competes for eyes within a world of infinite content. Consumers are confronted with thousands of pieces of content per day.
Because of this, it’s critical for companies to tap into owned and paid media channels to maximize the effectiveness of PR campaigns. Integrating a mix of social media, advertising and digital marketing increases influence and amplifies the power of coverage.
Having a solid and strategic plan to do this will not only help you get more eyes on your media wins, it will also help contribute to editorial decisions and attract more inbound coverage. Sharing and “boosting” stories generates more readers and clicks – key factors for media when determining what stories they should continue covering or which executives to reach out to for comment.
Here’s a few of our tips to create an echo chamber that maximizes your PR program:
Syndicate Coverage through Your Media Properties
Brands have largely moved into the role of publishers by creating and distributing their own content. Media coverage is great content to repurpose and share on your branded channels. This increases its reach to an already engaged audience. The benefit of syndicating media hits on owned media channels is that you’re able to control the messaging and measure its performance.
Next time you have a great hit publish it on your blog, record a podcast to talk more in depth about the topic, create a video, circulate it through email lists, share (and reshare!) on social media and have employees include it in their email signature lines.
Put Some Budget Behind Boosting Coverage
Brands are seeing a major decline in organic engagement, making paid promotions an important tool to increase reach and engagement with fans. Plan to allocate a portion of your advertising spend to boost Facebook posts or run a sponsored LinkedIn or Twitter campaign in order to promote your PR hits.
Paid social media boosts connect trusted third-party content to those that benefit from the information. For example, a great hit in the Wall Street Journal for a B2B brand should be repurposed on LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform and amplified through a Sponsored Update. (Consider this: 40% of B2B buyers say this platform is critical when researching technologies and services to purchase.)
Don’t let the word budget scare you. For Facebook or Twitter start with a small test of $100-250 to promote a great hit. (With an average cost per click of $0.27 on Facebook, that’s almost 1,000 more views on your story.) The cost per click on LinkedIn starts at $2, so plan to set aside a larger budget for Sponsored Posts. We recommend starting with $500. Determining the right budget for a campaign is driven by who you’ll target the content.
Don’t Make It an Afterthought
For major PR campaigns, have a “boost” plan in place before pitching media; then use it to continue the momentum of a great hit following the initial buzz. Phase out a mix of tactics to extend the life of the coverage.
Having a thoughtful strategy will also allow you to engage different teams within the company. Your sales team should be armed with a plan to share the hit with leads, your digital team should be prepared to initiate a social campaign and the communications team should have a plan to show off the win to your executives. Your plan should also outline how you’ll measure the success. Did you drive more visits to the website, generate new leads, increase email newsletter sign ups or boost search rankings?
Through all of this, the ultimate goal isn’t more Facebook likes or retweets, it’s all about getting more value out of your PR Program.