When assessing what makes effective PR, it’s important be self-critical where necessary, and address where there is need for improvement. In business, new year’s resolutions are a chance to improve ourselves, our teams, and the success of the company’s brand. But we all know that sticking to resolutions can be challenging, so it’s important to set some realistic goals. Here’s our pick of PR resolutions, and how to achieve them:
Boosting media relations
Publications host various events throughout the year where PR pros and journalists can get together. Make it a resolution to attend. Or send one of your colleagues; all relationships start with a conversation, and where better to have this than an event where journalists are eager to make friends?
These events can also be a great way to learn the kind of stories that journalists and their publications are writing. If you know their current focus, you’ll know which bylines and press releases a journalist is happier to see.
Boosting SEO ranking
The beginning of the new year is often a common time for companies to reflect on their PR impact last year, and on how the company can establish a stronger media presence over the upcoming few months. One concern that companies can often overlook but is of no less importance, is their SEO. How do you make sure that your company is seen above any other competitors that may specialise in the same sector? In this case, your new resolution should be to consistently boost your SEO ranking to a far superior position than it currently is. This resolution can be kept through a number of disciplines. In terms of website content, be sure to have PR with a strong content specialisation, who can frequently include search engine buzz words and ‘buzz topics’ in articles published on your website. Be sure to align your website’s language with that which appears earlier in a Google search of your sector. Keep adding images, links to different articles (if necessary), sub headings, and highlighting one or two key words in bold.
Finally, what undoubtedly determines how long a visitor remains on the website is loading time. If your website takes more than 20 seconds to load, visitors will quickly lose interest. Visitors won’t even stay for your home page, let alone to read about your wide-ranging expertise and why you have the best possible solution for the problem the visitor is trying to resolve. Chances are they’ll interpret a slow loading time as a sign of unprofessionalism, and may even be persuaded by the next website down (giving the company listed below a higher SEO ranking). Make sure you use a PR agency that is aware of this, and will make loading speed another priority.
Reviewing your messaging
The right messaging is absolutely essential to reach your target customer base. That’s why it’s vital that your PR messaging matches not only your product details, but also clearly explains how these products are disrupting an industry by providing innovative solutions. A good way to achieve this is by creating a messaging matrix at the beginning of the year. You could lay out each of your different categories of audience (such as CEO, Head of DevOps, etc.) in a spreadsheet. Then, your PR will write byline ideas under each category, so that before they start writing bylines, press releases, or other campaign planning, your PR will share with you the exact audience that they are writing for. You can then confirm whether the messaging needs further editing or not.
In terms of online messaging, one of your PR team will have the ability to act as a social media specialist. This team member will draft social media posts with the language, tags, and hashtags most accessible to your target audience. If one or two specialists are placed in charge of this, you can assure your messaging is consistent with social media tech trends throughout the year, as opposed to being overlooked earlier in the year like many other resolutions. Either way, your resolution should be to consistently ensure that your messaging will be understood in the clearest possible manner by your target audience, whether on social media, online publication or in print.
But, no matter what your professional PR resolutions are this year, make sure you work with a PR team that knows how to log your planning carefully and accessibly and always thinks about who you want to see your website online. They should know the right words, images, and design that will attract their attention instantly. Even more so, they should know how to retain their interest to such an extent that the visitor learns exactly the right information they need to find out about you. Good luck with your new year’s resolutions. Here’s to a successful year of growth!