Most businesses in 2020 understand the power of social media in building a relationship with customers, but have you ever considered how public relations can impact your marketing results? While social media marketing helps to build brand awareness, a public relations strategy will complement your social media efforts to further build trust between you and your customers.
As a public relations agency in Connecticut, we help build, maintain and manage the reputation of our clients. Recently, with COVID-19 saturating the news, it seems many businesses need to plan their marketing strategies day-by-day, rather than building out long-term campaigns. With so much uncertainty, it can be difficult to find an angle when it comes to pitching a newsworthy story to the media. This leads to the question: Why is NOW the time to start focusing on public relations in Connecticut?
Fact: Public Relations is 30% to 50% more cost effective than advertising. (Source: Strategic Vision PR Group)
Paid Media Versus Earned Media
First, let’s cover the basics. You’ve probably heard that Public Relations is all about “earned” media, but what does that really mean? It’s easiest to understand when you compare paid media versus earned media. Paid media efforts can be an important component of a well-rounded marketing campaign. Simply put, paid media refers to all the promotional opportunities your brand needs to pay for, from traditional print advertising and event sponsorship, to digital ad buys and social media targeting. On the other hand, earned media includes results from unpaid coverage received from outside media outlets, influencers, and even customers themselves. Earned media Public Relations efforts provide valuable visibility for your company – when a third-party shares content on your company’s behalf, it adds a level of trust and credibility that paid media simply can’t provide.
Incorporate Positive News
With the coronavirus still top-of-mind, more and more people are consuming news media on a more frequent basis, looking to stay informed on the current status of the pandemic. Because the news is so saturated with all things COVID-19, now is the time to be strategic with the lens through which your company shares its content. For example, think of all the ways your business has changed in response to COVID-19. From new business procedures to new product lines, consumers are interested in hearing from Connecticut businesses that are leading the way in finding news ways to adapt and thrive in our changing world. Furthermore, the media is also seeking out positive, human-interest stories to help balance out the daily “bad news” reporting surrounding the pandemic. Now is the time to pitch those uplifting, human interest stories about your business that can provide the public with some much needed positive news coverage to digest.
Have a Crisis Communications Plan
While the news media is seeking softer, positive news stories to counterbalance the hard news reporting on the pandemic, it is also important to consider the importance of having a crisis communications plan in place. A crisis can be defined as any threat to your business’ operations, finances or reputation that has the potential for negative consequences if not managed properly. Creating a crisis communications plan helps minimize any negative impacts, so that your company can regain control of the conversation and ultimately protect your business and stakeholders from further backlash. A strong crisis communications plan that incorporates proactive PR responses will help your business confidently navigate through the coronavirus.
Flashback: In the days prior to COVID-19 and social distancing, we managed the event coordination & publicity for an event with Mark Wahlberg (and 2,000+ happy fans!) for our client @westfieldtru – We had a blast welcoming Mark and his crew to Connecticut’s first Wahlburgers!
Art of the Pitch
Considering the state of the world, it is critical to think through your news pitch. What is the angle or viewpoint you are bringing to the table? Focus on how your business can be of benefit to both the media outlet, and to their viewers/readers.
Don’t forget to think outside the box when it comes to drafting your media pitch list, too. Beyond traditional broadcast and print outlets, there’s digital magazines, blogs, influencers and community groups to consider. Get creative with how you share your message!
Long Term Benefits
Pitching your business’ stories in the Connecticut media market has many long term benefits. You start to build relationships with the local reporters and journalists that cover your industry and local community. Your brand can authentically build a strong rapport with the public. Ultimately, this increases your overall brand awareness and engagement – potentially transforming into additional sales, leads, clients, etc. – positively impacting your bottom line. (Because isn’t that what we all want?)
Why You Should Contact Image Marketing Consultants
President Kate Terricciano is an expert when it comes to securing valuable PR coverage for her clients in Connecticut. If you’re seeing insufficient results from your marketing efforts, consider the value a strategic PR plan can bring to your company. Word-of-mouth and earned media coverage are great ways to generate brand awareness, and there’s no better time than the present to tell your company’s story. Contact us to see how public relations can benefit your CT company right now.