Now more than ever before, PR & communications is expansive, integrated storytelling told across different consumer touchpoints – ultimately compelling people to buy into you, and from you.
It’s why it is such a powerful commercial discipline. Ignite conversation, fans and advocates will follow – and your footfall and sales will grow.
To make your communications successful, with ROI at its heart, here’s some big hitting channels to consider in your PR strategy.
But first, as the bedrock of your strategic communications planning, it’s crucial to nail the big questions…
- What is the goal of my communications?
- What are the key themes?
- Whose hearts and minds are we trying to win? Do we really know our audience and their need states?
- What is my core messaging, and what’s the hierarchy of this messaging?
- What are the materials and tools to deliver my communications?
- Is all of the above built on fact or outdated assumptions?
Get your team on board
It sounds obvious, but your communications strategy needs to be aligned and connected across your business to make sure it’s cohesively implemented. Without this, you may take less effective approaches and lose time.
Think integration and amplification
PR and communications isn’t one approach. It’s about the right channels with the right tools all working in harmony, measured against your communications-specific goals.
Key channels to conquer:
- Media relations: People use stories to make buying decisions. You can’t pay to play in earned media, and that’s why coverage really counts. Journalists offer credible, impartial endorsement – and people are influenced by this.
For impactful media relations, think about your audience: what do they read, and target your media based on this.
Then ask yourself, do I have something new and newsworthy to say? This challenge sits at the heart of any story worth telling or writing about.
- Social: While reading this blog you’ve probably stopped to scroll through social – and it’s not all animal memes. Your feeds are spliced with branded content that’s carefully plugged into the owned, shared and paid media space.
Consider your platforms carefully, and this comes back to your communications goals and your audience.
Do you need a weapon of reach in Facebook? Do you want a two-way dialogue with your audience or industry peers on Twitter? Do you want to empower advocacy through TikTok? Is Instagram the shop window into your brand and products?
Go where your audience is; tailor your content to each platform, and to them.
- Influencers: A trend we see continuing to grow is ‘exclusive’ collaborations with brands and influencers as they seek longer-term partnerships. The days of influencer marketing as a ‘‘one-off’’ strategy are over.
We always tell clients not to just look at the numbers. Follower count and reach is important, but this should be complemented by a strong engagement rate and quality content.
Find your tribe for two-way loyalty and attention, nurture the partnerships, whilst building new ones for that fresh look, feel and relevance
- Digital advertising: This is a powerful tool for any brand and marketer. Primarily data-driven, you can access insights and, in turn, facilitate more personalised content and paid advertising. Check out our dedicated blog on digital marketing strategy – the what, why and how – here.
- Events: Looking for a brand fame? Events are a heavyweight opportunity showcase yourself to consumers, media, and influencers. It all goes back to your PR goals beyond just ‘sell more’. What’s your benchmark for success: attendees, media insertions, hashtag use, product sampling and sales? Your event should complement, and amplify, your overall communications plan.
Crucially, be realistic with lead times and budget – and build in contingencies.
Course correction and wash up
When real life, social media and the news agenda moves so quickly, it’s important to stay agile and course correct.
Build in ‘pause’ moments of evaluation throughout your PR strategy and campaign activation with the whole team. Test and learn to challenge yourself, what’s working well, what could be even better?