It’s notoriously hard to measure the value of PR. You can look at the readership of a publication, the number of clicks on a website or shares on social media as a point of reference, but those numbers don’t get to the heart of what PR is for or what it can deliver. To understand whether your PR campaign is a success, you have to start with clear objectives which align with your business strategy.
The ultimate aim for most businesses is to grow their sales and although PR may work in some instances, it’s quite rare for a big leap in revenue to follow from press coverage. However, clarity over the nature of how that revenue growth will be achieved can demonstrate how PR contributes to the sales process. For example, if you’re looking to grow into new geographical markets, coverage in those areas will help raise awareness of your brand and give your sales team a head start when they introduce themselves. Similarly, if you’re introducing your product or service to a new industry segment, the coverage can help you build your name in this new market. PR coverage may not get a big deal signed, but it can help when you’re looking to get your foot in the door.
One of the challenges that many growing businesses face is that they can’t recruit fast enough to keep pace with the volume of work or the opportunities available. If you have plans for rapid expansion, some PR coverage about the company which demonstrates your values and the opportunities available within the organisation could help. PR can play a major role in making your company a desirable place to work. In addition, having control of the PR narrative also means you can attract people who will be the right cultural fit, which can ease further growing pains.
If your business strategy aims to position the company as an industry expert, the PR channel can be a great way to demonstrate your knowledge. Many publications welcome insider comment on key issues and contributions to special issues and features on specific topics. You can also demonstrate your expertise and innovation through case studies – and these can also be a great way to build strong relationships with clients as you can both benefit from the positive press coverage.
Begin at the beginning
Whatever your business objectives are, it’s important to start there and align those goals to any future PR plans. This will help you get the best value from your PR investment and also allow for a more strategic and considered approach which is likely to reap rewards further along the sales funnel. Once you’re clear on your own objectives, think about your target market and what they want to hear – and remember to think about whether this news is relevant for an outside audience, rather than just from your own perspective.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’d be happy to help. We have both journalism training (NCTJ) and many hundreds of column inches of PR under our belts. If you want to increase your exposure, find an angle, pitch your story and source opportunities to quote on industry articles, we’ll be happy to work with you on your PR plans. Contact us to learn more.