As the send half of the year begins, you must devise ways to better serve your clients in meeting their goals for the year. Amanda Munroe is the Vice President for Shift Communications puts these together.
Clients’ goals might be the same, but once you review company performance against those goals, you can start to see where PR is needed most. Perhaps there has been less traction in a specific vertical, a new competitor is on the scene that has been winning more proofs of concept, a new sales director has been hired to grow a certain region of the company or a particular product has failed to meet sales goals.
Armed with this information, do these:
1. Dig into relevant data.
Any good PR plan should be data-driven. Your PR plans should be data driven.
It’s ok to have a good “feeling” that a story or tactic will bear fruit but it’s essential that PR pros back up gut feelings by looking at data. With that, a PR guru makes informed decisions for the overall benefits of the clients.
2. Analyze new topics.
Use analysis tools to review all the relevant coverage or social media conversations over the past year. Are there topics that are resonating within the industry? Where is the white space—areas where the client can dominate because no one else is talking about it yet)? Are there topics that the client wants to own that are clearly decreasing in popularity?
3. Check on competitors.
Ensure the competition isn’t gaining ground by reviewing their earned, paid and owned results. What publications have driven the most traffic back to competitors’ websites? What topics are competitors dominating (through their own content and earned media)? Have the competitors changed the keywords they are placing ads against? How much are they spending on everything? Just be armed with information about what competitors are doing.
4. Take advantage of influencers.
Use influencer engagement and conference content to learn more about the current state of the industry. What are the themes discussed the most during a conference on social media? What influencers are getting the most traction (i.e. the influencers we need to reach)? Are there publications and story themes being shared virally? While you’re at it, analyze and visualize conference agendas using IBM Watson and Tableau to map the topics that the conference thinks attendees care about.
5. Review content.
Learn more about engagement by analyzing clients’ content.
Which pieces of the client’s content have been shared the most on social media? This will help determine the topics that are resonating. Which content and topics are getting the most clicks when marketed through owned and paid channels? This is key to your success as a PR expert.
6. Take a step back.
If you were going to pitch this client as a prospect, what would you tell him or her about their current PR program? What would you do differently and what suggestions would you make? This exercise can push teams beyond “the usual” and removes frustrations that can fester after a client continuously declines opportunities.
7. Be ready to convince.
Pushing clients beyond a comfort zone requires a smart strategy, solid arguments and data-driven recommendations. For clients that are used to the status quo during the planning process, it’s paramount that the team is ready to show the data and evidence that backs the new recommendations.
When PR programs enter into the execution phase, there is often less time, ability and tolerance to reset and try new ideas. While any good PR program should be nimble and change with real-time information like breaking news or company fluctuations, the best time to really push the envelope and think differently is during the planning process