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Top 10 tips for brands new to PR and marketing

By Laurna Woods

There is no doubt that PR and marketing brings in business. But those first steps into a new specialism can be daunting for a company that has no idea what to expect.

It might be the idea of contacting journalists and selling them on a story that’s intimidating, or that the fractured nature of modern media – with social influencers, bloggers and websites in the mix – adds a layer of confusion.

Then there’s the at-first-impenetrable world of digital marketing and advertising to consider, with all those acronyms: CTA, PPC … the list goes on.

At our integrated communications agency, we realise that it improves our client relationships and results if we educate our clients about what we do and how we do it. Working together, we deliver.

So here’s my checklist for any company that’s venturing into the territory for the first time, whether using PR and marketing agencies or handling it in-house …

  1. Appoint yourself chief marketing officer. If you can afford it appoint a marketing director or manager and surround yourself with a team who can make things happen

There’s no disputing the value of advice from professional PR and marketing agencies. People who have been there before have made the mistakes and learned from them. If you’re handling public relations and marketing yourself, don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong – instead, use it as an opportunity to learn what you should never repeat.

  1. Work out what you want your public relations and marketing to achieve for you in relation to your overall business and growth objectives

You want people to know your name and what you can do. But there’s no point getting that information out there if it’s not having a positive impact on your bottom line, or helping you to attract and retain the key staff you need. It’s all about the ROI.

  1. Speak to your customers – be open to their honest feedback, good and bad

You can’t afford to be precious about what you think is right. You’ve got to understand what people on the outside are thinking. Take constructive criticism on the chin and use it to improve your prospects.

  1. Interrogate your own data – you’re likely sitting on a goldmine

Dig deep into your website analytics. Go through your customer records. Find out what your best-performing product or service is. Go through emails: what complaints do you get, why do people praise you? You’re building up a picture of your audience, where you’ll find them, and what they think of you.

  1. Speak to agencies and specialists to educate yourself

There’s no obligation to buy but they should be able to save you time and money and get you the best results.

  1. Ascertain the best and most powerful social media channels for you and ensure you have them set up to perform to the max

Your web analytics will tell you which social media channels you are getting the best traffic from. And each has easy-to-use tools that show you how you are performing in terms of clicks and engagement. You’ll find different audiences on each social media channel – LinkedIn is great for B2B, Twitter for sharing news while Instagramand Facebook boost consumer campaigns, but even they have different audiences. Examine what works and where your brand should be, not where you’d want to be.

  1. Have a health check performed on your website and consider future proofing it

Does your site need an update? Is its content fresh? Is it optimised for mobile? Does it load quickly enough? Are people bouncing off it? Have you thought about optimising for voice search? PR and marketing agencies specialise in getting these answers. Get the experts in to let you know what’s working and what’s not.

  1. Follow your competitors – social media, blogs, Google alerts

They’re watching you. So keep an eye on them. Forewarned is forearmed.

  1. Follow companies and brands you love and admire – what do you like about what they’re doing?

There’s a reason you have affinity for certain brands. What is it? What sets them apart and how can you use that information to improve your business’s standing? Whether it’s great design, innovation, customer service or whatever, what can you learn? Use this to shape your public relations and marketing strategy.

  1. Make sure your efforts are joined up – integrated campaigns are proven to be way more impactful than a siloed approach

Link up your digital marketing, with your content marketing, social media presence and public relations campaign. Build content that you can share across all these platforms. And remember, it has to be engaging, capturing the eye of the people you need to see and use your brand. A cohesive approach puts you in front of the right audience in the right place at the right time.

To find out how we push the boundaries of PR, marketing, digital and web design to get the best for our clients, call us now on 0800 612 9890.