As the first month of 2013 winds to a close, we’re seeing a new attitude in the PR professionals we talk to every day. They’re excited, upbeat and ready to deliver results — and so are we!
Here’s our list of the five PR imperatives that will help all of us deliver the results we want this year. Some of them are tried and true tactics that have worked in the past, and some are new trends based on changes in the business climate.
Think Big, Spend Small, Act Glocal
If you’re a marketer who hasn’t heard it the phrase SoLoMo yet, you will soon. SoLoMo – Social, Local, Mobile – is more than a buzz phrase. It’s a fundamental shift in the way public relations works. And if you’re not ready for it, you’ll get left behind in 2013.
Just because you’re a small or mid-size business or entrepreneur doesn’t mean you can afford to think small. Today’s PR is “Glocal” — a global audience with the emphasis on local search optimization. Targeting your message is critical this year. There are times when you want to blast your story out to global and national audiences, and times when the message is intended for an audience in your own zip code. PR and social media — with localized search engine optimization — are the keys to delivering that story effectively.
Planning and careful audience segmentation are critical with a SoLoMo strategy. Mobile customers, in particular, want to know about businesses that are relevant to them within a very clearly defined geographic area. So do yourself a favor and make sure you have the geotargeting and demographic data in hand to segment your messages properly.
Focus your spending carefully this year. Invest in the correct marketing communications mix to reach your most viable potential customers. How? Again, focus on SoLoMo.
Do you have the marketing technology tools you need to create buzz — and then turn buzz into leads? In today’s competitive market, trying to cut through the clutter of marketing messages without the right digital marketing tools is nearly impossible.
At MyPRGenie, we’ve been delivering a one-stop PR and social media platform for marketers since 2007. The easy-to-use platform takes proven and time tested marketing tools for social media, search engine optimization (SEO), analytics, public relations, and email marketing and puts them in one all-inclusive hub – delivered at a price even a start-up business can afford.
If you haven’t tried our next generation cloud-based PR and social media marketing platform yet, visit www.myprgenie.com for a free trial and get started now harnessing the power of PR and social media marketing. But whether you use our products or someone else’s, you need a solid, on-demand set of tools that can help you maximize the time you spend on PR and digital marketing. Investing in your marketing infrastructure is a sure-fire PR win.
Monitor, Measure, Maintain
Any PR professional will tell you that monitoring hot topics in your industry is essential – if you let a trend slip by, you’ll miss the chance to get your business mentioned, involved and connected with new opportunities. Of course, you also need to monitor what people are saying about your company, your executives, and your brands or products in social media.
If you haven’t set up Google alerts – the free notifications that search giant will send to your email account when it picks up a mention – do that now. Go to http://www.google.com/alerts for instructions and account set up. As your business and social media presence grows, chances are that you’ll find that you need to move to one of the social listening products on the market – that’s a sign of success in today’s competitive environment where getting “word of mouse” about your company and your brand is an important measure of success.
Don’t forget to maintain your company profiles, and update them regularly. It starts with keeping your own website current and fresh, but it also means making sure that your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter home pages are updated and current, and that your company is accurately portrayed in all the directories, product listings, local search, and online forums that cover you.
How long has it been since you checked to see what the local Better Business Bureau has on file about your company? Whether you’re included in the directory for your trade association – and what that directory listing says about your product line? Keeping information like that updated can go a long way toward improving your sales!
Contacts, Content, Connections
One of the worse PR mistakes you can make is not targeting your message to the right audience. Journalists, bloggers, and broadcasters are inundated with releases every day. And more and more of them have adopted a “name and shame” tactic to discourage PR people from flooding their inboxes with irrelevant information. So if you’re still using an old contact list, update it.
Double and triple-check your copy for mistakes (no matter how small), and make sure that your content is error free before it’s published. If you do make a mistake, correct it. (No, that doesn’t mean sending out a corrected press release unless you work in a regulated industry where you must do so. But make sure that the copy of your release archived on MyPRGenie and other sites is corrected, and that your own website’s newsroom has the corrected copy on it.)
Last, but hardly least, build real connections with the media contacts you hope will help you promote your company. Follow them on Twitter, read their blog posts, and talk to them when you’re not promoting your brand or company. They’re human beings – not “targets”. Treat them the way you’d treat any other valuable business contact – it will pay off!
Search, Submit, Schedule
If your customers can’t find you when they want to make a purchase, they’ll buy somewhere else. SEO has never been more important – and neither has a mobile-friendly website and local search strategy. So if it’s been awhile since up updated the keywords you’re optimizing your content around, it’s time to make sure that they’re still relevant, and still among the highest value keywords for businesses like yours.
Don’t forget the local business and relevant trade directories. You don’t get listed in them automatically. Find out what directories are important in your industry, submit your contact information and profiles on time, and let them know if it changes.
Whether it’s the Dallas Bridal Guide, the Chicago Back to School Directory, or the Atlanta Holiday Gift Guide, there are probably important annual listings you want to be part of. It may be January on your calendar – but if you publish a monthly magazine or annual directory, it’s probably already July on THEIR calendar. So take the time to find out what the deadlines are, and schedule your submissions for 2013 and 2014 NOW.