Mar 07, 2012

How Public Relations Tactics Can Drive Top Line Business Results

We use social media-friendly multimedia press releases to promote ebooks, white papers and events.

Public relations and communications pros are tasked at the highest level with keeping their brands visible, building mindshare and engaging their customers and prospects. But more and more these days, generating leads and driving revenue are the primary goals , which represent a real departure from traditional PR outcomes.

Reaching target audiences is essential to these efforts, and today’s PR tactics offer communicators the opportunity to develop traction with their audiences – and generate viral buzz – when used to create outcomes that traditionally have not been PR’s domain.   Here’s a look at some tactics, and examples.

  • Storytelling, with a purpose :  People share news and information voraciously on social networks.  Using a  friendly and informative storytelling approach when creating content enables brands to capitalize upon the opportunities to develop earned media credibility that viral sharing offers.  Embedding a specific call to action — such as offers to purchase items, download content or register for an event – within the content turns the from informative to transactional.
  • Multimedia:  We know that press releases with multimedia drive better results.  If you have multimedia assets available, use them to create a compelling experience for your reader.   In this example, PR Newswire used  a social media-friendly multimedia press release to promote an ebook.
  •  Press releases – There are times in the year when the press release editorial calendar dries up and you’re struggling to find new angles to promote to maintain visibility. White papers, webinars, articles on a website, blog posts and more are all excellent sources of ‘news’ when the editorial calendar hits that inevitable lull.  In the days of old, press releases were used simply to generate press; today, it’s a whole new world.  If you’re creating content for your organization, issuing a press release to promote a blog or draw attention to white papers  will keep your brand top of mind  on non-“news” days, bring you new audiences to engage with, and drive traffic to your website or blog, all while still helping you tell your stories.  We’ve been using press releases to promote blog posts, and as a result, have more than doubled blog traffic and subscribers.

PR is a cost-effective customer generation channel

It might be useful to look at this from the marketing perspective. Every marketer is looking for cost-effective ways to generate new customers.   Well guess what? Established public relations tactics – like press releases – are incredibly cost-effective when you think about the cost-per-lead (CPL ) .  For example, when we distribute a press release nationally to promote our own content, we see CPLs as low as $17.

And the bang for the buck doesn’t end with the great CPL – using press releases to promote content helps build your brand as a thought leader and expert in your particular industry or subject matter.  Maybe not as immediately quantifiable, but still worthwhile.

Creating a brand stream

Using content in marketing and communications is an effective means of building thought leader prowess within your industry.   It is also a terrific way to maintain control of your brand’s positioning in the otherwise uncontrollable Internet landscape.  But maintaining a stream of brand communications requires a constant flow of information that can be easily discovered, shared and acted upon.  Adding distribution as described above is a simple way to achieve this.  Whether it’s a white paper, a webinar, a blog post or simply driving traffic to your website, when you regularly issue a press release to drive visibility of this content, you will maintain a continual brand stream within natural search results, on thousands of websites, and numerous social networks.

So, even if you have no ‘news’ to share, consider how your organization might benefit from distributing content over an established online distribution network, and don’t forget to offer a meaningful call to action for your readers.

Author Rachel Meranus is PR Newswire’s vice president of marketing & communications.

Learn more about using PR Newswire’s online press release distribution network.  Utilizing the different options available from PR Newswire, you can  reach thousands of websites, search engines and social networks with your content.

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