Today’s PR Tactics: Building a PR and Marcomms Strategy For a Modern Business
Defining the range of activities you’ll use to market your products or services, a PR and marcomms strategy should be a go-to guide for individuals across your company. But what should a strategy focus on to make it robust, effective and meaningful?
A PR and marcomms strategy defines and guides how you’ll reach your target audience, using the media, events, communities, influencers and marketing channels. It helps you present your value proposition and build strong customer relationships.
Many B2B companies are increasingly talking in terms of ‘brand lift’, which considers the blend of awareness, consideration, preference and action intent their planned marcomms activities will generate (Marketing Week). To create a robust PR and marcomms strategy, each business needs to consider the most relevant message for its target audience, shaped to each of its most influential channels.
But the characteristics of a PR and marcomms strategy equates to more than simply choosing channels and pushing messages. To be successful, a strategy requires nuance and must align with your business objectives. Yet with budgets under pressure and leaders being tasked with achieving growth with fewer resources, how can your PR, marketing and communications activity stand out?
Here’s what you should focus on.
Maximise the use of data and analytics
Interrogating the data you have to inform the direction of your PR and marcomms activity is vital in the current era. This ensures decisions are based on hard facts and insights you’ve gleaned from your own business, not subjective opinion or heresay. According to Entrepreneur, using data to inform content is increasingly becoming an integral part of communications plans.
Understand your buyer persona targets; use LinkedIn to identify the size of your audience, their job titles, the organisational profiles. This data can identify other channels to engage with your intended targets whether it's an event, industry association or media publication. Review sales activity to inform you of the most influential buyers in the sales process. Audit social media and industry media to understand competitor and partner activity.
Involve internal stakeholders across the business
Ensuring colleagues are involved in the creation of a PR and marcomms strategy means they’re more likely to buy into it when you put it into action. Find out about their pain points, engage with their ideas, and incorporate their expertise as much as possible.
A comprehensive strategy will consider the sales outreach and purchase barriers, address the customer experience to deliver satisfaction, and understand product development to deliver a clear product roadmap.
Pinpoint your messages with laser clarity
Messaging is key to a successful strategy, so take time to articulate exactly what you want to say. Messages should change over time; don’t just do what you’ve always done as both your company and the market should evolve. Talk to stakeholders and look at your vision, mission and values to pinpoint your messages.
Tailor the messages to different buyer personas, adjust the value to the different market segments, and consider how you can contextualise your proposition around economic and business trends.
Focus on your value proposition
The key to any successful messaging is to focus on the value your products or services bring, and not necessarily a description of the products or services themselves. Honing in on value should be a key element that pervades your PR and marcomms strategy.
The best place to start is with your customers; do you really understand what value they believe your product/service provides them? Identify the metrics in which your customers measure the ROI to help you align your success with their success.
Strengthen your community
The community you create as a business is often the ‘X factor’ that makes businesses flourish. Ensure your marcomms strategy weaves in ways to engage with your community, deliver on their needs, and make them feel part of something. Focus on your buyer audience, since they mean the most to your bottom line.
Share customer stories
Return on investment (ROI) means everything to your prospective customers, so feed them as much information as possible in this respect. Positive customer stories get your messages across for you in a way that your audience can connect with.
Building your brand ambassadors through high-profile customers and industry influencers delivers a stronger endorsement than any advertising campaign.
Build strong industry partnerships
Your company’s standing in the sector is a powerful tool in PR and marcomms, so ensure your strategy has a strand dedicated to this. In particular, attend the right industry events, and find channels that will allow you to share your expertise.
The partners you associate with will communicate a lot to the industry; it adds credibility, endorsement, ambition and competency.
Paid, earned or owned?
Many businesses have a stronger focus on one of paid, earned or owned PR and marketing. But getting the balance right is crucial to your success. If you have the budget, focusing on paid placements can be tempting. But earned exposure gives your business compelling visibility via another brand, while owned coverage enables you to connect deeply and directly with your audience.
Weaving these elements into a PR and marcomms strategy is key to the success of increasing visibility for a modern business. In a tough economic climate, this can help you strengthen trust, gain share of voice, and get more done with less, according to Forbes.
If having conversations about this is important to your business right now, get in touch with us today at Haynes Marcoms to see how we can help.