Companies work hard to get press. The public relations professional is
always busy: pitching story ideas to the media, cultivating
relationships with editors, setting up interviews, writing articles,
distributing press releases. In short, helping their company brand
stand out, be unique, get noticed.
When the media picks up your story, you need to make the most of it, to ensure your PR efforts pay off. A media hit is a valuable asset to your company, one you can package and merchandise in many ways to benefit your company.
Before you can do that, you have to be aware of when the media picks something up about you — when you get a hit. You should regularly read local and industry publications, especially after a press release goes out or an interview has been conducted. Public relations wire services that distribute press releases, such as PRWeb, PRNewswire and Business Wire provide clients with reports on publications that picked up your press release. You can also hire a clipping service that finds mention of your company in the media, or subscribe to Google Alerts to be notified about specific news information based on keywords.
Ten Ways to Use PR Hits
Once you’re set up monitoring and tracking PR hits, you can put them to work for your company. Here’s ten tips to help you out:
- Keep the list of hits fresh and current to today’s date. Later, you can analyze the list to see what stories get your company the most attention, and what media outlets are favorable to your message.
- Post them to your Web site — If an online publication mentions your company, put a link to it on your Web site (hint: have the link open a new browser window so the user still has your Web site open).
- Make sure all employees in your company know. Send an e-mail with links to hits or copies of articles. Every employee serves as a potential reference for your business; showing them recent press clips keeps them informed.
- Especially inform your sales team. When you push out clips and media hits to your sales team, include a brief statement on how to use the coverage as a lead-in with customers and prospects. Provide reprints or links that sales people can use with prospects as third-party validation of their offering.
- Send PR hits out to customers as a simple “FYI.” Again, third-party validation keeps your company top of mind with your customers.
- Decorate the CEO’s office. Your company’s best media clippings should be presented as framed copies and hung in the CEO’s office. Here’s where top prospects come to finalize deals — let them know they’re working with a recognized and respected industry winner.
- Use reprints of articles as collateral in direct marketing programs to targeted marketing segments.
- Compile PR hits into talking points for face-to-face meetings with prospective clients.
- Use reprints as brochure leave-behinds after a customer or prospect call.
- Use PR hits as content in your e-newsletter program.
Put these tips to use and your PR hits will be working double time to benefit your company, from employee morale to lead generation to shortening the sales cycle.