5 Ways Smart Businesses Gain Real Value from Media Relations in 2018
As an SME business owner, media relations can be a bit of a greased pig.
Something which is always in sight, but can never be caught and pinned down.
Whether we like it or not, media relations is central to everyone’s business success. It covers all activities which build and protect your business’ reputation with journalists, media outlets and influencers.
And without a reputation, you have no business!
We have outlined the 5 most important tips to getting to grips with media relations. In turn, this will allow you to take real value from all your media appearances.
(1) Get The Right Media Coverage, Not The Biggest
With incredible advancements in technology, media consultants have far more ability to find precisely the right journalists and influencers who write about their clients’ very specific, niche topics.
Media relations must be treated as a fine art, not a rushed chore.
It is critical to get that brilliantly crafted Press Release to precisely the right journalist in the right publication at the right time for their deadlines. Otherwise, you risk shooting in the dark at a moving target.
An important rule of branding is that if you try to sell to everyone, you will sell to no one.
While it is tempting to go for major media outlets like the BBC or the Daily Mail, it is well known within the industry that their reporters often obtain their news from specialised media outlets who cover the same beat.
In other words, you must aim to obtain coverage from concentrated niche blogs and publications. In turn, this will increase your presence with online news aggregators, and on Google’s search rankings for keywords. This means you will get noticed by the biggest journalists and influencers covering your niche topic.
(2) Separate What You Can and Can’t Do
As a hard working business owner or marketing team, it is tempting to tell yourself you can do it all.
However, with a tornado of admin approaching, even the greatest work ethic cannot make up for a lack of specialist knowledge. Instead, before you go to a specialist isolate the key tasks that you want to be done to a professional standard.
There are several reasons to take this approach.
Firstly, who wants the embarrassment of being told by the larger PR agencies that your budget is too small?
Secondly, digital developments in the PR industry mean that we now have the tools to find precisely the right journalists for your niche topic. As a result, you are no longer obliged to commit time and resources in the hope that a journalist is interested in your precise area, within their broader scope of coverage.
“PR in 2018 is less about ‘how good is your wee black book’. More about how good are your digital tools and big data insights.”
For larger companies, they can easily afford these fabulous digital tools. They start at a minimum of £5,000 per year and all larger companies are now using them to source, track and nurture their target journalists and influencers.
For small businesses, those costs are prohibitive.
Under greater pressure than ever to deliver a better return on investment, many small businesses will try to DIY it. However, this will likely lead to a reputation for sloppiness, which does not do justice to their professional standards.
(3) Pay For What Is Quantifiable
One of the biggest put-offs around media relations is that the benefits can be difficult to quantify. How do you measure media coverage at a level that makes the bean counters happy?
It may be very prestigious to be featured in a major newspaper or glossy magazine. However, as an SME, it’s not best practice to invest money in something that you can’t measure in pounds, shillings, and pence.
Old fashioned measurements such as AVEs (Advertising Value Equivalents) do not adequately describe the value of an investment in public relations.
Although it is tempting to opt for a financial measurement which you can integrate with your spreadsheets, by relying on AVEs you are depriving yourself some of your best insights into the impact of the campaign on your brand.
There is more valuable data that you can quantify, with more direct influence on the performance of your business as a result of media relations activity.
For example, imagine you own a real estate business, and you want to lease office space to other businesses. Using updated big data searches then it is possible to establish which influencers are read by people concerned with business office space in your location. Then once the campaign has finished you can measure exactly how many people read your online coverage directly. In turn, you can also measure the views across social media platforms to measure your full reach.
If you work with a public relations, marketing, or advertising firm, make sure they allow you to understand what metrics are relevant to you and why. Also, ensure that those metrics are prioritised when they deliver reports to evaluate the campaign’s performance.
(4) Quality Indicators Awareness
With developments in digital analytics software, it is now possible to examine the quality of coverage. Media coverage is only useful if it galvanises the target audience to take a specified action, such as buying directly or making an inquiry which leads to new clients being signed on.
Therefore, you should be concerned specifically with advanced metrics such as Sentiment Score, because it measures the positivity of your coverage from journalists and influencers.
So in addition to measuring the success of the campaign, quality indicators can also inform your next public relations and business strategy. You can establish a better working relationship with journalists, influencers, and publications who gave you good coverage, and try and establish what would make a future story more attractive to others.
(5) Establish Relevant Business Key Performance Indicators
In terms of understanding the impact of what you are doing, it helps to see the big picture. Key Performance Indicators allow you to integrate your public relations and business aims more effectively.
To decide upon Key Performance Indicators you must establish the point where the two sets of objectives meet. As mentioned in the previous section, media coverage is only useful if it galvanises the target audience to take a specified action.
So if you want potential clients to take an action on your website or social media accounts, then a media and influencer report which has been integrated with advanced analytics data will show you which websites people clicked through from to reach your website.
The most common key performance indicators are:
- Increase in sales through the website or social media accounts
- Increase in enquiries which lead to new business
However, to get a better understanding of your performance, and inform future public relations and business decisions it helps to have secondary performance indicators:
- Increase in subscribers (to your social media accounts, or to your website if you have a blog or newsletter);
- Increase in original viewers (especially in the immediate aftermath of your campaign);
- Increase in repeat viewers (if traffic remains higher than before the campaign, but original viewers drop, that means you have more repeat viewers. In turn this means you are making progress in establish a real following);
In addition, analytics can inform your next media relations and influencer marketing campaign, because you can break down the areas where your campaign excelled and where you require improvement.
Over to You
Contact Supersize Media for a free Media Consultation to discuss your business goals and discover how we can integrate media relations with them specifically.
Sign up for a 6-month Media Relations Package before the end of 3rd September 2018 and receive a 50% discount on all fees for the first three months with an option to cancel if you don’t get any results.
Book here for a free online chat at a time and place of your choosing.
Keep building and watch the clients come to you.
Jack Mallon, ACIPR
“There’s no better person to ask than your actual customers. Send out a survey asking what they would be searching for or ask them in person,” Harry added.
Make them go from “OK, I know you now, I can see that you understand my pain, and you’ve reminded me what would happen if I don’t do anything … you’ve got me. I’m interested. But not interested enough to buy anything from you yet. I want you to buy me a drink, take me for lunch, offer me some flowers, meet some of my mates … before we get down to business, ok? Lmao!!!!!”
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