How the Different Elements of Your PR Campaign Work Together
With all the movies coming out in 3-D these days, I started thinking about how a good PR campaign also has its own 3-D elements. Well, really, there are four types of media outlets today – TV, radio, print (offline and online) and social media – so you really need a 4-D strategy (a point I am sure I will be arguing online at some point with a smart-aleck physicist who takes issue with my science).
In PR, unlike movies, 4-D is the only way to go. I mention this because people frequently ask me which of the four media outlets I think is better. I try to explain that each one is effective in its own right, however, as the media feeds off of itself, the most effective PR campaign will include using all elements in a strategy that leverages a 4-dimensional approach.
Here are some ways the different elements of a 4 dimensional PR campaign fit together, kind of like a marketing Rubik’s cube.
Print/Online – I put print and online in the same category because they both encompass written articles, and just about everything that appears in print is repurposed online, so written articles have a dual impact. Most importantly, every article or column that includes a mention of you, your book or your company will eventually appear online in such a way that they will turn up as a search engine result on Google and other news aggregators. For this reason, print/online interacts beautifully with just about every other media.
For instance, when your PR firm pitches you as a guest for TV and radio interviews, some of the more enterprising producers will Google you to see if you are a reputable person in your field. The more articles that pop up on Google or Yahoo that feature you as a source, the more likely they are to recognize you as a credible expert and want to schedule an interview.
In addition, your articles are great fodder for social networks. While you don’t want to be too commercial or promotional in your tweets and Facebook updates, there is no harm in tweeting a link to a news story that might be of interest to your friends and fellow networkers. If you’re featured in it, that’s just a bonus. Every time you get an article that pops up online, you can circulate the links on your social network and drive more views, which also drives your credibility with your peers.
Radio – for so many reasons, this is one of my all-time favorite mediums. One critical reason is that talk radio is a place where you can typically have a more in-depth conversation about your topic than other mediums allow. And now that the vast majority of stations are streaming live on the Internet, the promotional value is endless. For one thing, you can alert your social network followers as to when the interview will occur so they can hear it live. If they miss that exact day and time, most stations archive shows on their Web site, so people can listen whenever it’s more convenient. Before the Internet, shows just disappeared into the stratosphere after they were recorded.
Also, technology is such today that you can download a radio interview off the station’s site (or you can ask the producer to do it for you) to post on your own Web site and distribute to your social network followers.
Another added value is that stations record, podcast and distribute shows via their own social network connections, so this becomes another layer of promotion for you. In fact, just a few minutes ago, we found that an interview we scheduled for one of our clients on America’s Radio News Network (one of the fastest growing networks in the country) featured his interview on the front page of their Web site – an additional avenue of promotion for you.
At the end of the day, telling your social media followers when you’re featured in the news and on the air, makes you more credible to them and will help drive more followers to your social network and your Web site.
TV – TV, as with radio, used to be a fleeting experience, because once the interview aired, its influence was over. Now, many news stations will keep links to your interview active on their Web site for a short period of time after the interview took place. Of course, you always want to obtain a digital copy to post on your Web site, extending that appearance’s shelf life and also for the viewing of decision makers in other mediums who may be vetting you for potential coverage. Nothing screams credibility like an online video of you appearing on a TV show.
Today, some TV producers are even asking potential guests if they have a large social network following, because that makes them more attractive as guests. If you have 10,000 followers, your outreach to let them know about your appearance could drive bigger ratings for the show you’re on. The key thing is to get access to a digital copy and leave plenty of breadcrumbs in your online footprint for people to find them.
Social Media – While building your social media connections has its very own reward, it can also help drive readership, viewership and listenership to every piece of your PR campaign, helping to grow your numbers and brand you as an undisputed expert in your field.
So, when you approach PR, don’t view it as a flat, one-dimensional experience. Put on those 4-D glasses (if they don’t make them yet, they should), change your perspective and watch the results of your PR campaigns grow exponentially.