Is a PR Campaign Right For Your Business Right Now?
How to decide if a PR campaign is right for your business.
When is the right time to launch a new PR Campaign?
I get asked this question a lot.
I meet business owners all the time who know they need PR, but are unsure if now is the right time. Well, to answer that question, let’s think about why businesses use PR:
PR helps you manage, and build a positive reputation through various communication channels.
Used properly, PR helps you leverage all your other marketing — be it paid or organic, online or offline.
Today, smart businesses use PR as part of their overall marketing strategy. It doesn’t replace social media, for instance, or mean you don’t need to use paid advertising.
PR isn’t, and never was a miracle worker. So let’s flip the script for a second, and focus on when you shouldn’t use PR. Because a PR Campaign will not help you if:
- You’re looking for a quick fix to an otherwise failing business, or a way to get rich quick.
- You’re hoping to go viral, and in doing so, save your entire business from ruin.
- You’re not ready for an influx of publicity or exposure (you’ll struggle to fulfil orders, for instance, or your website could crash if you get too much traffic)
- You’re hellbent on doing it all yourself, and are unwilling to listen to expert advice.
A PR Campaign won’t fix a broken product. It won’t magically turn your business around.
So please stop reading if you expect miracles. I’ve worked at the forefront of the PR industry for over a decade, and helped hundreds of clients launch successful PR Campaigns.
I’ve experienced amazing results, but I’ve never seen a miracle.
And this is where I start with business owners who ask me if they need a PR Campaign. Often, they don’t even know what PR is. But once you know what it is, and know it to use it properly, a PR Campaign brings many benefits:
- It helps build credibility and authority, and provides massive social proof.
- It drives new leads and introduces you to new potential clients or customers.
- It expands your reach and exposes you to a completely new demographic.
- It allows you to build greater trust with your existing audience.
- It builds new connections with journalists, bloggers and other thought-leaders.
People who think PR has had its time are wrong. It’s more relevant than ever…
1. A PR Campaign Creates Authority
We live in a fast-paced online world, and it’s more important than ever for your business to stand out. One of the best ways is to become a “go to” authority in your industry, and a successful PR Campaign is one of the most effective ways to do this. PR is great for raising the thought leadership profile of a business/brand. This is great, if you’re great at what you do. Whereas if you’re still learning your craft and not a master of it, PR likely won’t help you as a thought leader. It exposes you to a new audience, and those first impressions count. So, if you’re a master at what you do, a PR Campaign will provide the authority you need. If not, let’s look at some other ways PR can help your brand
2. A PR Campaign is Great When Launching a New Product or Service
If you’re launching a new product, service or website, what better way to draw attention than to garner publicity.
The media LOVES new things.
This is especially true if what you’re doing is innovative, fresh and unique. But like many things in life, timing is everything. If you have a new website coming up, a PR Campaign is what you need. But don’t go too early. Wait until the site is live, because you only get one chance at a first impression. Same with your products and services. Wait until they are ready, because if you do you’ll get a lot more out of your PR Campaign. That’s not to say you can’t prepare your PR Campaign well in advance. I’m a big proponent of preparation, and ensuring all your ducks are in a row before your big day arrives. I work with clients for months in advance, creating connections and scheduling interviews or features. But we don’t launch until everything is ready. As I say, those first impressions count.
3. A PR Campaign Helps You Increase Your Conversions
People don’t tend to buy with their heads. They buy with their emotions, and one of the biggest things they rely on is trust. Building trust with your audience is always important But it’s hard to build trust with a new lead who’s only just found you.
So, how do you build it?
Through third-party credibility, which is one of PR’s biggest benefits.
A good PR Campaign helps you establish social proof, in a way traditional advertising doesn’t. If you’re the one bragging about how good you are, that doesn’t build trust. Just think about Ron Burgundy, and his “I’m kind of a big deal” remark around the pool. Nobody respects anybody whose biggest fan is themselves.
Whereas if it’s someone else singing your praises… that works wonders.
So if you have a validated product that’s ready to scale, a PR Campaign will help you increase conversions. Just make sure you’re ready for an up spike in sales/traffic, otherwise all your hard work is quickly undone.
4. A PR Campaign Complements Other Marketing
On its own, PR is good. But as I keep saying, it doesn’t produce miracles (nor does any other singular form of marketing, for that matter). A PR Campaign is always more successful when paired with other marketing:
- Paid Advertising
- Content Marketing
- Social Media
- Influencer Marketing
- Solid Branding!
If you do nothing but PR, you’ll only see so much success. But if you already have a marketing strategy, a PR Campaign will help you turn good into great.
So… is a PR Campaign what your business needs right now?
It depends. If you are ready, I encourage you to take the time to properly launch your PR Campaign. I see too many people rush this these days, and presume they can do it all on their own (or expect to see results in a week).
Yes, there are tools available to you to do your own PR. But does that mean you should?
Oftentimes the answer is no. The DIY approach costs you time and money. And because you likely don’t have the same skillset as someone who’s been mastering PR for decades, it will never be as effective as when you involve an expert.
So, if you’re ready to increase your exposure, build on your authority and take your credibility to the next level, a PR Campaign is exactly what you need.