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Vivian Li/李雯雯

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Email:vivianli@genipluspr.com

5 universal PR truths
2015-06-23

Some PR strategies are applicable to any business.

They simply must be incorporated into your marketing campaign if you wish to see results.

Whether your organization is a large corporation, a startup in the tech scene or local small business, below are five PR truths that will benefit your company and your bottom line if executed properly.

A compelling story will grab attention. When used correctly, storytelling is a powerful tool that enables companies to communicate their key messages to their target audiences in a way that evokes meaning. Every employee has his or her own perspective on a company, meaning that every company has multiple storytellers. Look to leaders as subject matter experts. They can offer their own unique insights that will make them desirable to reporters as sources. Know that it’s okay to tell multiple stories as long as they convey the same key messages indicative to your company.

To identify what your company story is, ask these questions: How are we different from our competitors? What is our company culture? Where do fit within our industry? What are we doing that hasn’t been done before? Why should a customer choose to do business with us?

Take Warby Parker, for example. It sells glasses. There are many glasses companies out there, but Warby Parker connects with its consumers in a personal way through not only their services, but the way their storytellers describe the company. Take a look at its company history page. The writer has described the company as having rebellious spirit with a lofty objective. This type of verbiage makes the brand feel almost human, enabling consumers to connect on a deeper level with the company.

Video is king. Every company can benefit from the PR powers of video.

Videos are easy to digest and give your target audience a way to visualize the message you are trying to convey. As media professionals, we’re beginning to see more and more publications incorporate video into their reporting, making it more important than ever to consider it as part of your PR and marketing campaigns.

When you produce your own video, whether it be with an in-house team or by hiring an outside vendor, you ultimately have control over the finished product. We’ve found that a lot of reporters are eager to get sources lined up for video segments and this is the time to step up and take a seat on set.

This video from M&T Bank illustrates the emphasis the company puts on building relationships with its clients. Using the power of video, M&T is able to tell a gripping story of how it puts the community first and brings a personal touch to its business.

Expertise has value. It’s every company’s dream to be on the cover of Forbes, but what most don’t understand is that with the exception of a few very rare cases, that’s not going to happen so easily. It’s going to take work and time, so don’t hesitate to take what might seem like less-significant opportunities.

While you may not consider a two line quote in a trade magazine something to write to mom about, these kinds of placements are the building blocks for a foundation of press coverage. A strong foundation like this will not only strengthen your presence in the industry, but will establish your company and its subject matter experts, a credential Forbes looks for. A mention is a mention, no matter how large or small the article size or piece of coverage. Any mention of your company name, whether it’s a one-sentence quote attribution, or a feature piece, will improve your company’s SEO.

A great way to show off your key leaders’ expertise is through a company blog. Penn Mutual Asset Management’s blog has helped its CEO, Dave O’Malley, score opportunities with some of the top publications. He pens his commentary on the markets every Monday in a recurring blog series called Monday Morning O’Malley. His commentary here has landed him placements with the Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, CNN Money, The Street and MarketWatch, and has earned spots in multiple CNBC television segments.

[RELATED: Join us at LinkedIn Headquarters July 30-31 for our Content Marketing and Brand Journalism Summit.]

You must have a social media presence. News consumption has changed drastically over the last ten years with the advent of social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and now the next generation of channels, such as Snapchat and Periscope, all enable users to curate the news according to their own interests and tastes.

Reporters, customers and potential customers all look to social media as the place where news breaks. Be sure to add your voice. There is no more direct way to connect and engage with consumers than through social media. To use these channels to their full extent, proper social media policies must be put in place at your company.

Take a look at Forbes’ list, "20 Companies You Should Be Following on Social Media." Fortune also published a list of social media superstars for 2014.

Data is important. If your company is in the position to monitor trends and produce data, use it to your advantage. Check The Wall Street Journal and chances are, you won’t find many articles that don’t reference at least one statistic. These kinds of facts and figures are like the Swiss Army knife of a PR pro’s positioning tool belt.

Data that can be used to support almost any argument if positioned correctly. Using data draws readers in and motivates them to act as they relate the numbers to fact. Numbers intrigue reporters who need an extra oomph of conviction to stimulate their audience. To stay relevant during a drought of company announcements, compiling original data is a crafty way to keep your company in the news.

One company that has this down pat is Zoosk, the online dating site. Check out this article from Refinery29, the perfect publication for its target audience. It features results from a survey Zoosk conducted on the most common first date ideas in seven metropolitan areas across the U.S. The survey is titled, “The Date Index.” Study results are a great way to gain media attention. You’re basically writing the story for the reporter with your own data.

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Vivian Li

PR Manager

Tel: +86 010 8390 7451

Mobile: +86 13041030670