Using PR to Power Demand Generation

pr for demand gen

PR pros know that generating positive publicity and influencing public sentiment can have profound business benefits.  Measurement of public relations has always been a challenge, however, stymieing efforts to connect PR directly to a brand’s top line.  However, our audiences demand and consume greater quantities of digital content, the measurement problem is finding answers, and we’re developing a clear picture of the impact PR can have on specific brand initiatives.

Demand generation programs, which are designed to build specific awareness of and interest in a brand’s products or services, are at the beginning of the lead generation process.  Strongly aligned with content marketing, demand-gen programs can be significantly improved when integrated PR.  In addition to driving revenue, the PR/demand-gen integration also benefits PR: results are measurable and sustainable.

Aligning the PR & demand generation messages 

“We believe PR is vital and can help amplify the content strategy, but the content strategy also helps to achieve and amplify the PR strategy,” says Candyce Edelen, CEO of PropelGrowth, a New York area financial services content marketing firm and a strong advocate of aligning public relations with marketing efforts. “All of your marketing should be integrated. Everything should be integrated with the same message across channels, including PR. Clients and prospects will receive the same message and when they do, they’re more likely to remember it.”

Interested in learning more about how PR directly contributes sales? Register now for our free webinar “How to Drive Demand Generation with PR Tactics” 

Driving  Demand GenUsing key messages consistently across channels is crucial to using PR to drive measurable demand, Edelen says. “The talking points you want to see in press should also be included in every piece of related marketing content, in addition to press releases and executive interviews.”

The non-promotional content created for demand generation programs can also positively impact press coverage, Edelen notes. Thought leadership, research studies and  bylines can provide useful background information for busy reporters. It’s especially helpful if your demand generation content tells an interesting story.

Measuring PR’s effect on demand-gen

Driving the audience to act is one piece of the equation.  Measuring the effect PR has on demand-gen efforts is another.  According to Anthony Hardman, director of public relations for Access Advertising & PR, the information is out there, you just need to find it.

“The world has shifted and you have to understand the sales portion of it — that’s what exectives want to see,” he says.  For public relations professionals, this means building discipline around including measurable calls to action in messaging, to engage customers and prospects browsing the digital content the brand has published.

“For B2B, communicators need to use digital media convergence to drive traffic to landing pages around campaigns, and try to get a “microconversion” such as following a link, filling out a form or downloading a report,” he says. “B2Cs need to drive smart refferals.  Posting a photo without a link to your e-commerce site won’t be effective.”

Putting effective measurement tools in place is crucial for measuring PR’s effect on demand- and lead-generation.  Organizations using some form of marketing automation software, such as Marketo or Hubspot, will have an easier time with the task.

“If you’re using marketing automation, it’s easier,” Hardman notes. “You can track the referral traffic PR generates, and monitor visitor behavior.”

Web site analytics can show the subsequent behavior of the visitors your PR efforts drove to the company’s web site and landing pages, and in many cases, can enable PR teams to track visitor behavior all the way through to the purchase.  For smaller organizations, Hardman recommends that PR pros carve out time to understand Google Analytics.

Put the customer first

Edelen and Hardman both agree that ultimately, the customer’s interests have to be served by the messaging.

“We should be aligned around how the customer talks about the problem,” notes Edelyn.

“You have to create content that is useful and interesting to the people you’re trying to reach,” adds Hardman.

The awareness and visibility public relations generates can be measured today in terms of inbound web traffic, lead scores and conversion rates, as well as in the adoption and use of specific language on social channels and search behavior.   To learn more about how PR can power demand generation programs, and how to measure the results, tune into our upcoming webinar:

How to Drive Demand Generation with PR Tactics
Date: August 13, 2014
Time: 1:00 pm EST
Register: prn.to/1uiMWUr

sarah avatarAuthor Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of strategic communications, and is the author of  the ebook Driving Content DiscoveryFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

 

MEDIA News: Media Moves at: People, Quartz, The Washington Examiner and More…

http://prnbloggers.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/agility-logo.png?w=127&h=125&h=125PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department makes thousands of updates to the  database of journalists and bloggers that underpins our Agility media targeting and distribution platform.  Below is a sampling of recent media moves and news from the research team.  Learn more about Agility media targeting here.

PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department provides daily updates on Twitter (twitter.com/PRNmedia).

The Washington Examiner (Washington, DC): The Hill’s Editor-in-Chief Hugo Gurdon (@hgurdon) has left to join the Examiner as Editorial Director.

The Hill (Washington, DC): Managing Editor Bob Cusack (@BobCusack) has been promoted to Editor-in-Chief @thehill. News Editor Ian Swanson (@iswanTheHill) is the new Managing Editor. And Dustin Weaver takes over the News Editor role.

People Magazine (New York, NY): Alexandra Brez begins at @Peoplemag as Director of Editorial Operations.

Hispanic Market Weekly (Coral Gables, FL): Diego Vasquez (@TheDiegoVasquez) is the new Editorial Director @HispanicMktWkly taking over for Cynthia Corzo, who will become a Contributing Editor.

Quartz (New York, NY): Indrani Sen (@IndraniNY) is the new Deputy News Editor @qz. And former American Banker Editor-in-Chief Heather Landy (@HeatherLandy) is the new Global News Editor.

The New York Times (New York, NY): Former Environment Reporter Kia Gregory (@kiagregory) has switched beats @nytimes to cover the new Manhattan beat. Sam Sifton (@SamSifton) has become Editor of the new Food section. Former Dining Editor Susan Edgerley (@nytedgerley) will be the Deputy Editor of this section.

Bloomberg Businessweek (New York, NY): Natalie Kitroeff (@nataliekitro) joins @BW as an Education Reporter. Also, joining the publication is Joshua Topolsky, who will serve as an Editor for a series of online projects.

The Washington Post (Washington, DC): Capital Business Reporter Sarah Halzack (@sarahhalzack) switches to the Post to be the National Retailing Reporter. And Jorge Castillo will be covering the Washington Wizards and NBA this Fall as a Sports Reporter @washingtonpost.

Runner’s World (Emmaus, PA): Paul Collins is now the Associate Publisher @runnersworld.

Advertising Age (New York, NY): Malika Touré (@MalikaZeinab) is a new Reporter @adage.

Good Housekeeping (New York, NY): Kristen Mascia (@kmascia) becomes Features Editor at @goodhousemag. Lori Bergamotto (@loribergamotto) is the new Style Director. And Kristen Saladino (@KristenSaladino) takes over the Fashion Director role.

Bon Appetit (New York, NY): Features Editor Carla Lalli Music (@lallimusic)  has switched gears and become the Food Editor @bonappetit.

The Atlantic (Washington, DC): CNN foreign affairs expert Fareed Zakaria (@FareedZakaria) is now a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic. He will also continue his column for The Washington Post too.
Politico (Arlington, VA): Washington Post Editorial Writer Eva Rodriguez takes on the Senior Editor role of the magazine.

Florida Trend (Saint Petersburg, FL): Amy Martinez (@amyemartinez) joins @FloridaTrend as Associate Editor. Most recently she was a Business Reporter for the Seattle Times.

South Florida Business Journal (Fort Lauderdale, FT): Calia Ampel (@CeliaAmpel) joins the staff @SFlaBizJournal as a Reporter covering technology and venture capital.

Food Network Magazine (New York, NY): Yasmin Sabir (@AboutTheFood) is the new Senior Associate Editor @FoodNetwork.

NPR (Washington, DC): Veteran Journalist Margot Adler (@MargotAdler) passed away after losing her fight to cancer. Margot was with NPR for more than three decades.

TCTMD (New York, NY): Todd Neale (@ToddNeale) climbs aboard this cardiovascular site (http://www.tctmd.com) to be a Senior Associate Editor

Houston Business Journal (Houston, TX): Paul Takahashi (@HBJpaul) signs on as a Real Estate Reporter @HOUBizJournal.

Men’s Journal (New York, NY): Former Outside Magazine Research Editor Ryan Krogh (@RyanKrogh) is now a Senior Editor @MensJournal.

Climate Central (Princeton, NJ): John Upton (@johnupton) is joining the team @ClimateCentral in mid-August as a Reporter.

Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA): High School Sports Editor Jonathan Heeter (@heets_tweets) has switched positions at the paper and now works as a Digital Producer.

Detailed outlet and contact information is available at agility.prnewswire.com.

You can view the full version of MEDIAware here: http://www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/MEDIAwareAugust42014.html

Content We Love: Some Advice on Advisories

ContentWeLove

Click to view the entire advisory on PRNewswire.com

Click to view the entire advisory on PRNewswire.com

From time to time I send my clients examples of content advisories I’ve stumbled upon that are of exceptional quality and built to drive results. The “advisory” of which I speak is merely a release written with a customer-first angle and falls into the content PR/” helpful expert” methodology that I advocate. Customer-first content is engaging, and a stark contrast from the monotone press releases that were once the norm, which I’ve written about on my own blog here.

I saw this release by Cyren titled, “Report Warns of Increasing Android Ransomware Attacks” and shared the link and why I liked it with several clients. To me, this is a great release…ahem… advisory because it is formatted with the customer benefit in mind.

Here’s what I like the most:

  1. Visuals including the company logo and a simple graphic grabs and retains attention, because clicking on a link to find a page with text-only is a just a bummer.
  2. The headline is concise and leaves no doubt about what the reader can expect. In this case, there was no reason to include the brand in the headline… the brand will come up later.
  3. The first graph introduces the brand and leaves out the boiler plate jargon (“the leader in blah blah blah”), and gets right to the key findings in their internet report that were noted in the header.
  4.  A call to action to download the full report is provided right at the end of the first paragraph. For the 50% of readers who leave a web page within 15 seconds this is concise and gets them to a targeted location ASAP. The 20% who click on a headline to take the leap of faith that is press release text won’t be disappointed.
  5. Bullet points summarizing additional key findings of the report add another visual component that makes this release easier to read, especially for those who are just scanning the page.

So, is the press release dead? Nope. Should a majority of them be rethought? Yep. Would I love to see more releases like this where the content was written for the consumer/media pro/blogger/prospective customer? Heck yeah.

Kudos to Cyren.

Want to see more advisory breakdowns? Find me on Twitter or LinkedIn and let me know.

Malcolm AthertonAuthor Malcolm Atherton is a PR Newswire Account Manager in AZ & NV with a love for content marketing.

The Long Click – An Important Measure for Communicators

long click

Long clicks are powerful indicators of quality content.

An indicator of content quality, the “long click” reveals whether or not audiences are truly engaging with your content. lil tweet bird

Digital communications are incredibly measurable.  Marketers know which websites refer the highest quality traffic to their own sites, and they know which pages on their websites do better job of converting visitors into customers. Many details about the behavior of visitor behavior before, during and after a website visit can be captured.  But the marketing team isn’t the only group keeping an eye on how audiences interact with a website.  Search engine spiders are paying attention, too.

Keeping the measurability of digital content in mind, let’s think about the new PR reality – the public relations team as publisher and story crafters, not simply spin doctors called upon to manage crises or crank out releases.

Developing a stream of quality, useful content that your audience uses is one of the most effective ways to build search rank for a web site, improve audience engagement and fill the organization’s pipeline with prospects.

Within all of these considerations is a golden opportunity for PR to produce a measurable and meaningful business impact from the content the organization is already publishing.

The “long click” – a golden opportunity for PR
Generally speaking, two things happen when a person visits a webpage: they either take a quick look and then immediately leave, or they stay for a good long time consuming the content on the page and possibly even clicking on some of the links on the page and further interacting with the website.

In web parlance, the former is a bounce, and it’s bad.  What’s the use in attracting visitors to your content, only to have them immediately leave? In reality, this kind of traffic can be damaging to a website’s overall rankings, because search engines consider bounces as a strong indicator of the presence of poor quality content on the site.

The opposite scenario is called a “long click.” If the content you publish is attracting people to your website stay on the page and read the press releases and watch the videos and click on the links, that’s good for a variety of reasons.  First and foremost, people who are spending that much time on your website are obviously consuming your messaging.  They are more likely to actually turn into customers, and along the way, they may take additional steps such as bookmarking or sharing content on your website or interacting with the brand successful media presences, developing further traction.

All of these behaviors are also positive signals that search engines notice indicating that the website is serving up high quality content that site visitors value.

Outcomes PR can measure 

Web analytics programs such as Site Catalyst and Google Analytics measure the time visitors spend on a page.  Additionally, it’s entirely possible to measure the traffic coming for specific sources (such as press releases, your online media room, etc.) and make some assumptions about the quality of those visitors by looking at their time on page data.  If it’s going up, generally, that’s a pretty good sign.

Digital PR teams that are publishing distributed content can embed short URLs within press releases, blog posts, articles and other content to measure traffic back to the destination page on your company website, providing a good measure of the traffic referred directly from the PR message. However, you can take it a step further by then asking the web team to analyze the time on page data for visitors to that page. In some cases, your analytics team may be able to even isolate visitors driven to the page by specific pieces of your content, and compare the time the PR-referred visitors spend on the page, compared to that spent by visitors from other sources.

This enables the PR team to establish a benchmark that they can use to measure this success in future campaigns, and also for setting overall objectives for the department.  Moving the needle on long clicks is actually reasonable PR outcome but more organizations should be adopting and measure.

Want more ideas for new ways to measure the business impact of your public relations campaigns?   This on-demand webinar archive offers first-hand examples on connecting  (and measuring!) PR to business outcomes.  Here’s the link: http://prn.to/1o4qblS 

sarah avatarAuthor Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of strategic communications, and is the author of  the ebook Driving Content DiscoveryFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

Grammar Hammer: Elicit vs. Illicit

the Grammar Hammer
Elicit v IllicitElicit and illicit might sound similar, but technically they are not homophones and their meanings are vastly different.  The words are occasionally confused due to their similar pronunciation and spelling , which is why they are the focus of today’s Grammar Hammer.

“Elicit” is a verb that means “to obtain.” It can also mean “to draw out, to extract, or to evoke.” For example, “The community advocate elicited hundreds of signatures to prevent the destruction of neighborhood landmarks.”

“Illicit” is an adjective that means “disapproved for moral reasons.” For example, “The IT department scanned all computers for illicit activity.”

To help you remember – use “illicit” if you are describing something that is typically against the rules. Use “elicit” when you are (or aren’t) receiving something (a response, etc.).

Have a grammar rule you’d like me to explore? Drop me a line at catherine.spicer@prnewswire.com.

Author Catherine Spicer is a manager of customer content services at PR Newswire.

MEDIA News: Media Moves at: Fortune, The Huffington Post, Politico and More…

http://prnbloggers.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/agility-logo.png?w=127&h=125&h=125PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department makes thousands of updates to the  database of journalists and bloggers that underpins our Agility media targeting and distribution platform.  Below is a sampling of recent media moves and news from the research team.  Learn more about Agility media targeting here.

Fortune (New York, NY): Alan Murray (@alansmurray) is set to become Editor @FortuneMagazine. He most recently held the role of Deputy Managing Editor at The Wall Street Journal before joining Fortune and succeeding Andy Serwer.

The Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com): Katie Nelson (@katienelson) is set to join @HuffingtonPost on August 6th as National Editor.

POLITICO (Arlington, VA): Former Washingtonian Editor-in-Chief Garrett Graff is now a Senior Staff Writer @politico.

The Wall Street Journal (New York, NY): Laura Bird (@LauraBird03) is now Deputy Editor of the Personal Journal section @WSJ.

Glamour (New York, NY): Latoya Valmont is now the Managing Editor @glamourmag. Valmont served as Production Director before she was tapped to fill the void left by Nancy Gillen who moved to Marie Claire (@marieclaire).

Advertising Age (New York, NY): Natalie Zmuda (@nzmuda) was promoted from Marketing Editor to Deputy Managing Editor @adage.

Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, AK): The Anchorage Daily News has changed its name to Alaska Dispatch News (@adndotcom).

COMSTOCK’S (Sacramento, CA): Managing Editor Christine Calvin has been promoted to Editor here. She replaces Doug Curley, who had been at the publication for a decade.

GQ (New York, NY): Jon Tietz joins the staff @GQMagazine as Fashion Editor.

Brides (New York, NY): Shane Mancenido-Clark joins @Brides as Senior Fashion and Accessories Editor.

Marie Claire (New York, NY): Janet Mock joins the team @marieclaire as a Contributing Editor.

Hollywood Life (Los Angeles, CA): Carolyn Davis is the new Managing Editor for @hollywoodlife.

The Hollywood Reporter (Los Angeles, CA): Chris Gardner joins @thr as a Staff Writer from MSN.

CNN – Washington Bureau (Washington, DC): Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott has been named Global Affairs Correspondent @CNN.

South Magazine (Savannah, GA): This magazine (@south_mag) about Southern flair has hired Corrie Dyke as Managing Editor. She previously worked at The Georgetowner and The Downtowner.

The Jersey Journal (Secaucus, NJ): Managing Editor Margaret Schmidt will become the new Editor @jerseyjournal on August 1st.

PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department provides daily updates on Twitter (twitter.com/PRNmedia).

Detailed outlet and contact information is available at agility.prnewswire.com.

You can view the full version of MEDIAware here: http://www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/MEDIAwareJuly282014.html

Content We Love: A Dynamic Press Release with Global Appeal

ContentWeLove

Click to view the complete multimedia news release

Click to view the complete multimedia news release

Hot on the heels of the World Cup games, this announcement by Dynamic Architecture titled “The Dynamic Football Experience: World’s First Football Entertainment Centre to be Rotating Building” became the most viewed multimedia news release on PRNewswire.com. It’s no surprise that the news earned so much attention; a spinning, soccer-ball shaped building to be constructed in the middle of Rio de Janeiro sounds like a story beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. But this press release does a great job at anticipating the questions a journalist or potential visitor might ask and includes eye-catching visuals, an intriguing story angle, and fifteen translations of the text release to entice soccer enthusiasts around the globe.

Employing visual storytelling gives readers a look into the future of what this over-the-top structure might look like once fully executed. After viewing the videos, you’ll realize how impossible it would be to imagine such an extraordinary concept without accompanying visuals, which is proof of their value to readers and media covering the story.

A tweetable headline with a newsworthy hook immediately supplies journalists with an attention-grabbing story angle as well as a shareable one for readers engaging on social media.

An integrated language toggle converts the English-language text into Portuguese with just the click of a button and fourteen other translations of the text release are provided as PDF documents to tailor the news to interested readers around the world. This is a major advantage for earning worldwide media coverage, as journalists everywhere are strapped for time and will not bother to try to translate a story if they can’t understand it. It also makes this news more searchable for international readers who are looking for information in their native language.

Bold sub-heads highlight important information and break up the text into a more easily consumable format.

Leveraging a timely, highly-social event also helped earn additional visibility for this message by appealing to heightened emotional states of soccer fanatics everywhere.

This multimedia news release is an example of high-quality content that employs a number of press release tactics to attract the greatest amount of attention possible. Kudos to Dynamic Architecture on a stunning release!

ShannonAuthor Shannon Ramlochan is PR Newswire’s Content Marketing Coordinator.