“We need more business.” It’s one of the first statements we hear from people considering partnering with us. Over the course of the conversation, they usually share a desire to build thought leadership, to secure more media coverage, and land more speaking invitations. A common hypothesis is that by cultivating thought leadership and getting more [PR] results, leads and business growth will follow. If only it were that simple.
We are big believers in the power executive visibility and PR can have on a business. But merely getting “results” in the traditional sense isn’t going to automatically lead to a new business connection. Like most things in life, you get what you put into it.
Don’t overlook the platforms best suited for your prospects
With expertise in partnering with B2B companies, we find many of our clients are looking to reach a C-level audience — the ultimate decision makers. Naturally when asked about their dream publications and platforms, they gravitate toward top brands such as The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, TED, etc. Absolutely, these are important platforms to reach those in the C-suite, but they aren’t the only ones. When developing your PR and business growth strategy, don’t overlook publications and events tied to industry and vertical markets. Some of the most impactful results can come from these hyper-targeted platforms that often provide the opportunity for more in-depth coverage.
Correlate PR success to tangible business outcomes
Traditional PR results – whether it’s in the form of a media placement or speaking invitation – can be a critical measure of a PR program’s success. They provide third-party validation and can help establish credibility. But these measures should not be viewed as an ending, but rather as a critical piece of your business development strategy.
Rarely does the proverbial phone ring as the result of one placement. To move customers and prospects from awareness to action, you must market and leverage that placement. Put it on social, creatively, email it directly to that prospect you’ve been working, consider how the topic could translate to a speech topic. If you land a speaking gig, your speech and the resulting video (if provided) can be repurposed for a blog post or white paper. If your talk is in-person, make sure to maximize your time there. We’ve seen many clients land multiple pieces of business by making the right contacts at a single conference. Their talks are generally well-received, but what often seals the deal is the conversations that take place in between conference sessions – meetings that can be arranged in advance if you check out the attendee list and program agenda.
One of the biggest communication pitfalls for companies is relying on PR results as a measuring stick for success. Unless you take action to integrate those results into your marketing and business development strategies, you could risk being disappointed with your ROI.
If you’d like to learn more about how to align your PR campaign to your business growth, I’d love to connect.