Posted by on Jul 28, 2017 in Integrated Marketing, Marketing Channels, Marketing Tips | 0 comments

Raise Your Profile with Public Relations

public relations, PR, marketing

Public relations

Have you ever wonder how your competitors get those great article opportunities? Or why they are always mentioned in the press about their product/ service? It’s because somewhere they discovered the use of public relations.

Are you your industry’s best-kept secret? Or are you trying to break into a new market? Do you want to share your company’s expertise with industry journals?

What is PR?

Wikipedia defines public relations as:

pub·lic re·la·tions ˈpəblik rəˈlāSHənz/

Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public.[1] Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment.[2] This differentiates it from advertising as a form of marketing communications. Public relations is the idea of creating coverage for clients for free, rather than marketing or advertising. An example of good public relations would be generating an article featuring a client, rather than paying for the client to be advertised next to the article.[3]

 

There are a few important threads in this definition:

  • Managing the spread of information
  • Exposure to audiences
  • Different from paid advertising

Public relations comes in two main formats – press releases and article opportunities. There is an art to press releases and we have discussed them in these three previous blog posts:

  1. Why Editors Don’t Read Your Press Releases
  2. 4 Key Essentials of a Press Release That Gets You Noticed
  3. Why You Shouldn’t Talk About Your Product or Service

 

Why Use Public Relations

The purpose of public relations is to inform your audience that you do something. The goal is to develop a PR strategy that keeps your news flow consistent and provides information on what your customers need to know (which would be how your product or service solves their challenges.)

 

What Should Your PR Program Contain?

Your public relations platform should include press releases and articles- thought leadership articles. Most importantly, it should also have articles from your customers about how your product or service enabled them to do their job or solved a task they couldn’t solve without you.

Press releases need to inform publication editors not only about your company but how your company enables their readership. It can’t just be about your latest new widget – it has to tell them why this widget helps their readers. They can’t translate information to their audience if you don’t help them.

Thought leadership articles prove to readers that you understand what they do and how they do it. Articles like these show potential customers that you have experience in their industry and can help them get their job done. A great example of a valuable article is one that features a client. By having your customer tell their story you validate your understanding of your customers’ needs.

Public relations is the second stop on your journey to mastering the MarCom wheel. Learn to raise your profile as a thought leader here.

 

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Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Integrated Marketing, Marketing Channels, Marketing Tips | 0 comments

Why You Still Need Marketing Collateral

marketing collateral, Brochures, White papers, Case studies, Sell Sheets, FAQs

Marketing Collateral, Brochures, White papers, Case studies, Sell Sheets, FAQs

I’m often asked- are brochures still a thing to do? Or are they passé?

My answer to my marketing clients is this:

Customers are on a journey. Your marketing needs to provide signposts along the way, steering prospects down the path to your products and solutions. Collateral, like brochures, is the beginning step in telling a story about your product or service. In marketing collateral like brochures you don’t just want to tell your feature/benefit story, you want show the value that your product or service will bring to your customers.

Types of Marketing Collateral

Marketing collateral should be your platform to tell your story. This platform can come in many different forms:

  • Brochures
  • White Papers
  • Case Studies
  • Sell Sheets
  • FAQs (which are very helpful for a disruptive technology)
  • Tailored pieces for a specific application- letting customers know you know what their challenges are.

See Your Collateral through Your Customers’ Eyes

We are often so focused on our newest feature or benefit we forget to look at collateral from our customers’ point of view. Try looking at your latest brochure with these questions in mind.

  • Have you left enough white space so their eye gets a rest?
  • Did you deliver the “What Is In It For Me” in the first paragraph?
  • Did you forget to use great graphics that enable them to understand what you’re explaining?
  • Are you telling them why they want to look at your product/ service?
  • Have you mentioned what your product or service will add to their daily routine or how will it make their job/ task easier?
  • Did you tell them what the net return will be for their company?

How to Use Marketing Collateral

The next question I hear a lot is: “How do I use these tools?” Here are some ideas:

  • As follow-up to conferences/tradeshows or sales calls – use not just a piece of literature but a white paper and or case study as well.
  • Use public relations to let the press and community know that you have a unique application note or white paper.
  • Use eMarketing to develop a longer conversation with customers through a lead nurturing program.
  • Use your collateral assets in both print and digital advertising
  • Use it to update your website.
  • Incorporate it into your social media

Collateral should always be used as part of an integrated approach. We often tend to get siloed on a specific task and we forget to integrate into our overall marketing what we develop for that task. Using marketing materials will help your customers understand what your value is. They’ll see it in different formats that fit your brand and remind them why they should consider your product or service. And they’ll be reminded what value you bring to them.

Do you have questions about what marketing collateral you need and how to use it? Visit us here and learn more about how we can help you.

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