There’s one essential question each of our clients must universally ask before engaging with our agency: how will you help my business grow?
Perhaps the most traditionally unmeasurable of the services we offer is public relations. It’s also the oldest, which means that many of our clients and prospects understand its value. A few decades ago, the paradigm was simple: get your company’s name in the newspaper, on television or mentioned on a radio station and you will earn awareness with a large number of people.
Though undoubtedly obvious, we’re obliged to now mention that the internet changed all that.
Because of the digitization of media, the space has become more fragmented. Whereas pre-internet media fell under the three aforementioned buckets, we’ve now added blogs, podcasts, social media, streaming video, streaming radio and email to the space, challenging publicists with developing strategies that are more targeted.
But what has become the most dynamic game-changer in public relations is its measurability. Prior to the internet, editors and marketers knew little about what readers were reading and how much they were paying attention to specific articles.
Sure, you could feature an article on a newspaper’s front page. And it stands to reason, that piece would get some coverage.
But in the internet era, we now know -- to the exact number -- how many people are reading an article, listening to a podcast or watching a streaming television show. All of which has made the following impacts of public relations even more understandable for our clients.
Brand awareness. One of the oldest benefits of public relations, brand awareness is a universal benefit, independent of the particular medium. For many startups which are largely unknown to the marketplace, public relations often acts as a silver bullet for general awareness of a company and its core ethos. The bigger publications, of course, offer more opportunity for brand awareness given that they have larger readerships, viewerships or listenerships. But, regardless of the size of a particular publication, anyone who engages with a piece of coverage in which a company is featured then, obviously, becomes aware of that brand.
Credibility. One of the largest goals of any publicist is to leverage the credibility of the media outlets with which they work. Outlets like NBC Nightly News, the Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune have built credibility with their readerships after decades -- in some cases more than a century -- of reporting the news accurately. People trust these outlets. Any mention of a company or its executives -- whether via thought leadership, a company story, guest post or other format -- siphens credibility from these publications. Readers, viewers and listeners trust these outlets. So they’ll trust your brand. Moreover, in an era in which information is so readily accessible, it’s critically important that your business is “Google-able.” Potential customers want to see that you’ve been validated through media placement.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Among the more recent benefits associated with public relations, securing media placements with publications that have high-domain authority websites is an elixir for a company’s searchability on the internet. Among many criteria Google takes into account in its organic rankings is examining how frequently a company or individual is mentioned all over the internet. The more traffic those third-party sites have -- for example USAToday.com, CNN.com or ABCNews.com -- the more favorably Google will look upon that mention. So, it’s easy to understand the impact a public relations campaign could have on a company’s searchability.
Leads. Though new, inbound business has always been a benefit of public relations, the internet has made our agency better at using media placements to drive new leads for our clients. The paradigm is simple: someone encounters a company by way of a print, television or radio placement and they may look to do business with that entity as a result. But because of the internet, our agency is better at generating more leads through public relations. We have an understanding as to not only how many times articles are being read but also who is reading them. We know exactly what publications your target demographic is reading, making it easier than ever to generate leads through media placements.