So many businesses suffer from Business Attention Deficit Disorder (B.A.D.D.), a condition that can strike any part of a company when inattention, poor planning, indifference or taking on too much at one time takes focus away from mission critical operations and initiatives.
One of the bigger victims of B.A.D.D. is marketing and PR. With all that those words encompass today, many businesses wrestle with the wide range of PR and content marketing strategies that can enhance their brand and visibility via traditional, online and social media platforms.
The tools at your disposal to engage your audiences have grown precipitously: social media press releases; on-the-fly video; tweeting, liking, and linking via social media; blogging; and converting via landing pages offering advice and free content. The uses and combinations are astounding.
For some businesses afflicted by B.A.D.D., PR and marketing could indeed be more than just window dressing … more than “just send out a monthly press release” … more than that thing you or your agency does by rote without much regard to “why” or “what’s next.” To effectively capture customers and the media – and make your marketing department look good in the process – you need a game plan.
Don’t we all face more “business objectives” than we can work against in 24 hours? I know I do. I find that organizing a plan complete with objectives, strategies and specific tactics grounds my work, putting me on the right path of knowing what we’re producing is true progress against our client’s goal.
It’s not doing for the sake of doing – it’s doing with purpose. Taking the time to think your communications strategies through can also lead to some fun, new creative ideas for getting your message out there (but that’s a whole other topic).
PR with Purpose
To deliver value, you have to know what you’re trying to accomplish (starting with the business plan) and you have to think through all the possible strategies.
Begin with your set of business goals. Most companies’ number one business objective is growth.
E.g., Business Objective: Grow business by 10% in 2012.
Business goals then translate into marketing/communication/PR goals. How can PR affect that growth? What exactly should it accomplish (the more specific, the better), and how should be measured (in website/social media visits; leads; other metrics)?
E.g., Communications Objectives: Generate greater exposure among targets with goal of 20% increase in leads. Support sales outreach to direct prospects and influencers.
PR strategy (as well as strategies for using other communications tools) can then be built.
E.g., PR Strategies: Examine/expand on messaging to sales targets. Establish stronger voice in the industry with proactive outreach to traditional, social and digital outlets with contributed articles, participation in ongoing editorial coverage, guest columns, blog and LlinkedIn posts, white papers, etc.
Exposure is relatively easy to achieve via publicity, if you are committed to being proactive and available to participate in editorial coverage. And of course, the right content is king. The kind or flavor of exposure you plan depends on your objectives and PR strategies.
Next week, see Part II for the Five PR Variables you need to consider to better tie PR to your business objectives.