2021 has finally arrived. While most are anticipating a better year in both health and business, marketers will continue to face new challenges brought on by the pandemic.
A number of trends caused by the coronavirus will most certainly continue until the middle of the year, if not beyond. Public relations professionals will need to maintain flexibility and adapt accordingly to help their employer or clients achieve their goals.
So here are five strategies to consider when creating your PR game plan for the New Year.
1. Build strong relationships with key writers and editors. Most experienced PR professionals understand the importance of maintaining strong relationships with key journalists who cover their industry or that of their clients. These relationships will be even more valuable as print publications, television and radio stations continue to cut staff due to lower advertising spending. Reporters and editors struggle to do more with less while delivering a quality product on time. Building a strong relationship with a reporter can make you a solid resource, able to provide valuable ideas and information that the writer can use to shape or improve their stories. This high level of trust is now more important than ever and can translate into multiple items and opportunities that benefit both you and your customer in the long run.
2. Focus on clicks and calls. Media outlets are building digital audiences to grab their piece of the pie from dwindling advertising revenue. Reporters are also responsible for developing news stories that can be optimized online and read by thousands of people. The goal is not only to place these stories on the publication’s site, but also to redistribute them on social media to increase overall readership. PR professionals must create and present stories in a way that reflects this goal. Turning a mundane press release into something with more meat and excitement will not only help get the story out, but also optimize it on social media for greater reach and market penetration.
3. Write for immediate impact. PR professionals should present their stories where the most interesting aspects are at the top of the page, not buried in the fifth or sixth paragraph. As mentioned earlier, journalists are pressed for time and have little leeway trying to decipher a confusing press release, especially when there are hundreds more to sort through. PR pros should write a punchy first paragraph and then provide any support below. This material should be easy to read and can even be broken down into bullet points to make it easier to digest.
4. Know how to reach your client’s audience, today. Key research on your client’s potential buyers is paramount to generating the best results from your PR efforts. Targeting these buyers correctly can make or break your campaign. This is true for any year, but especially so in the work-from-home environment brought on by the pandemic. Do B2B buyers still read industry publications, listen to podcasts and attend webinars? Can they be reached on social media or is their time focused on other areas? Determining the best ways to achieve them will help you dramatically improve results.
5. Think visually. Since much of the media now relies on photos and videos, PR professionals should think of visuals to go along with any pitch. A short video or a series of interesting photos (if possible) should accompany any press release, whether printed or distributed. Visuals are great for digital and social media, and help make your pitch stand out from the crowd. Small photos can even be inserted into the press release to pique reporters’ interest and improve coverage opportunities.
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