In the digital terrain of the present and future, the marketing world has seen increasing crossover between content marketing and public relations. PR firms are starting to stress the importance of backlinks and SEO, while advertising agencies are starting to experiment with delivering earned media coverage.
Here at the NALA, we offer a consistent and comprehensive SEO management strategy akin to autopilot, while also working one-on-one with small businesses to craft the messaging of their press campaigns. Our team knows how paramount a well-crafted online presence is for any enterprise in today’s media climate.
In order to ensure that your PR efforts are harmonized with your small business’ SEO practices and content strategy, our team has compiled a few tips on what to expect from your PR firm and budget. With a well-sustained brand reputation, your small business can reap the returns. Here are some PR tidbits your small business should be on the lookout for:
No. 1: Make sure your PR firm has established relationships and the ability to forge new ones. Albeit obvious, the team working on your small business’ public relations should have extensive, well-established media connections. However, these relationships shouldn’t necessarily be limited to media outlets; they can expand to include your business’ industry connections and influencers, along with complementary industries.
For example, one of the NALA’s passions is setting up small businesses with cause marketing strategies that promote community involvement and build trust. Our team has established relationships with numerous non-profit organizations to facilitate partnerships, but we also reach out to local organizations on behalf of small business brands.
When building your PR budget, keep in mind that third-party representation from a PR firm will increase your small business’ chances of receiving media inquiries and earned media opportunities. The cost not only covers the established relationships your business will have access to but also credibility and the possibility for new relationships to form.
No. 2: A PR budget should integrate and leverage your business’ content. When your small business launches a piece of content, whether it be a long-form blog post, webinar, e-book, or infographic, you’ll want to maximize the engagement and interaction with this content as much as possible. A good PR agency will help your brand cross-promote for the best results.
To get the most out of your small business’ budget, make sure your PR firm understands the importance of content marketing in this day and age. Something as simple as sharing your business’ media attention and cause marketing efforts with its social media audience is a great way to build digital content that boosts your brand’s online reputation simultaneously.
No. 3: PR metrics should be easy to track. In the past, measuring the success of PR campaigns has been a challenge. However, the digital tools available these days make reporting the results and traffic of your business’ PR efforts much easier. From the beginning, be sure to work with your PR team to establish goals and talk about key performance indicators (KPIs).
With the help of your PR team, your small business will want to pin down the metrics that matter most to your PR efforts including but not limited to headline impressions, increased website traffic, more time on a specific website page, social interaction, or even how many pitches were sent and how they were received. Asking for this information along with insights from your reports will give your brand valuable information about its audience and strategy for future campaigns!
Along with providing national distribution, the NALA pitches press releases to the appropriate local media outlets for small and medium-sized businesses. With this approach, a small business brand can track its key metrics and pickups on a national level while also receiving full-service PR representation targeted to their audience and community.
No. 4: Long-term partnerships will allow your business to get the most out of its PR budget. You’ll know your PR efforts are efficient and lucrative when your agency becomes an extension of your small business’ team. The key to establishing this rapport is by communicating your brand’s vision, secret language, and passion to your PR agency.
With this important information, your PR partner can better understand your company’s culture and core values to help communicate them to the public and your audience. Giving your PR team the tools it needs to believe in your brand will only aid them (and ultimately your small business) in getting others excited about your offering.
Blog by Melissa McElhose, the NALA staff writer