By Tom Kolesk
Your company has made the investment of hiring a Public Relations agency or made an in-house hire. You’ve outlined the strategy, goals, messaging, and potential news hooks. Within a few months, you have seen results in the form of placements – articles about the company in newspapers, magazines, online publications, and even blogs. If you are not doing everything possible to squeeze every inch out of these placements, you are selling your company short!
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There are three primary goals on how to use a PR placement to maximize your return on investment:
1) Move prospects through the pipeline to close a sale
Has your conversation with a prospect stalled? Shoot them an email with a link to a quote from your company’s CEO in Reuters.
2) Engage in those in your network to move them into the sales pipeline
Make sure you are posting these clips on your social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) and website. This will make your company top-of-mind and can generate easy sales. Placements in a major publication (think New York Times, Forbes) deserve to be highlighted in the company newsletter and posted to its blog.
3) Indentify those outside your networks to generate incoming queries
Distribute via vendors, partners, and associations. These clips are a great opportunity to familiarize your company with individuals who had not previously heard of it. Also, for articles that run online make sure your PR agency receives the reporter’s link to your website!
Internally, you can keep a clipbook (or ask your agency to keep a clipbook) of all of the placements to date. This will allow you to have tangible evidence of your investment. However, failure to leverage these clips into sales stunts the growth of the public relations process and leaves you with a lot of nice links and clips and many lost opportunities.