There’s a lot happening in the world today, so how do you generate media and get your story out there? Focusing your strategy and efforts on some of today’s PR and marketing trends can help get you the coverage you want and your clients demand.
We have all become accustomed to the virtual life with hybrid working and Zoom meetings galore. With all this technology at our fingertips, it’s important to focus on making personal connections with your audience as best you can in this virtual world. Social media still dominates, so you must create more engaging content that people want to share and comment on to feel that human connection. For PR and marketing, this mean engaging your communities, promoting discussion and providing richer content that offers more information and builds credibility to keep people coming back for more. For example, creating compelling thought leadership pieces through which audiences can hear directly from an organization’s leadership and can provide ways for the public to share what they think and interact not only with the content, but the author. Encourage your clients – internal and external – to interact with their own posts, share it on their social media networks and keep conversations going. It’s about cultivating relationships and meeting people where they are – in the digital world.
You also should focus on creating personal branding to stand out in the crowd and find ways to connect face-to-face digitally, but in a meaningful way. This can be done with video. And, thanks to the growth of video-first apps like YouTube and TikTok, there are plenty of ways to get your message out there. Look at other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and even Twitter for video, as well. Facebook reports that video posts receive six times more engagement than a photo or link post and Twitter has seen an increase in video views by over 160%. You’ll need more visually driven, high-quality images and videos to grab interest as consumers scroll their feeds.
DEI and credibility
Part of that personal connection will be creating culturally relevant-content and tying into current issues. This is where DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) plays a big role. Employees and consumers want to feel like they work for and are doing business with companies that make them feel supported in who they are and what they do. The key is authenticity. Organizations must walk the walk, not just talk the talk. People can see through “marketing and PR speak”. They want to see action. Sensitivity, honesty and strong ethics are non-negotiable for brands interested in maintaining a healthy relationship with their target demographics and for participating in media conversations.
Another way to create human connection is through trusted voices like social media influencers. You should look for influencers who have created followings because they are credible and because people trust their opinions. But this doesn’t necessarily mean celebrities or major influencers. Look for micro-influencers, who have a few thousand followers. Sometimes these influencers are more trusted because they aren’t celebrities or big names, so people trust that they aren’t just sharing things because they are paid to. In that sense, they can be more trusted and in turn, their followers will feel you are trust worthy as well. Micro-influencers can also help you connect with niche markets that aren’t currently part of your social media outreach plans. Finding the right influencer can take a little work. Start by looking at who is already following and posting about you and your competitors. Get to know their audiences and the type of content they post to make sure they are the right fit for your brand.
Data and ROI
Clients want to see ROI to justify their budgets and purchases and you can do that with data. You cannot put your content out there and just hope for the best. Use basic KPIs like social media engagement, brand awareness and opinion, number of media hits, etc. You’ll also see where you’re moving the needle and, more importantly, where you’re not, so you can adjust and improve.
Get back to basics
Finally, journalism has taken a hard hit over the past few years with newsrooms heavily understaffed. So, getting back to the basics when getting your message out there is key. Make sure you’re reaching out to the right journalists, at the right outlets, with the right pitch, and through the right channel. Journalists get hundreds of emails daily, so if you can’t access them there, try social media and even go “old school” – give them a call. Be sure to give them all the info you can up front and be sure to personalize the pitch. If you can give them a story angle that matches their interests, you’ll have a better chance of getting their attention and standing out the in the crowd. And give them what they need – hit the key points that will inspire them to act and let them know you can offer additional resources, like b-roll, soundbites, quotes and data. Don’t give up and keep working to build that relationship.
Generating quality media hits will always be a challenge, but all the craziness in the world today can make placing your story even more difficult. Leaning on these trends and relying on an experienced and savvy PR firm, like Novitas – shameless plug – to guide you through the process can help amplify your message, reach your desired audiences and achieve your PR goals.