09/11/2022

Advice: How to measure the impact of your PR

How to measure PR 

We get it, C-suite management are asking for how many sales have increased since investing in PR, and now you need something tangible to show them. 

Firstly, let’s address the fact. PR can (and often does) drive sales, but this shouldn’t be the main reason you engage an agency. Why? Because PR won’t drive immediate sales, and you can’t track sales in the same way as other marketing initiatives. 

PR is also much more powerful when it is considered a reputational tool that boosts brand awareness and credibility. 

This may all sound a little vague, so how do you measure PR?

Before you measure PR impact 

There’s no point measuring PR if you don’t have an objective to measure it against. We suggest that you think about your overarching business goals, and consider how comms can help you meet these.This will inform the metrics you’ll require to do just that. 

The focus of PR is top of the funnel marketing

PR broadly sits at the top of the marketing funnel. This means it is primarily based on building brand awareness, educating consumers and acting as an introduction to the business. 

Consumers, at this stage, are scoping out the market. This might be their first interaction with the brand, or their 100th. Either way, if you’re a new product, customers are likely to do a bit of their own research into you and your competitors. How do they do this? Well, they Google it of course. 

Often, your prospective consumers will engage with your brand across lots of different touch points across your digital and traditional marketing, before finally converting and buying into the brand.   

Tracking your PR success falls into two main categories

  1. Output 

So, your PR agency has pitched a story, secured the opp and a piece about your business has been published. Congratulations! 

You might have been placed in a national newspaper, such as The Times, or be featured in a more specific industry-based publication. 

This in itself is a great result (assuming the piece is positive) and there are many metrics you can measure to highlight it, such as: 

  • Audience - The type of publication you featured in (have you targeted a specific audience in a niche industry magazine, or have you gained widespread awareness on national morning television)
  • Readership - how many people could potentially see this piece based on the circulation of the magazine/newspaper or monthly users of the site 
  • Key messages - How many of the things you wanted to say were included within the piece, and did it include a call to action e.g. a link to your website  
  • Share of voice - Are you getting more coverage than your competitors 
  1. Impact of the coverage 

So, you got some coverage, it reaches your audience and included all your key messages. Now what? Well, it’s time to think about the impact. 

This is probably something you’ll measure over time to show ROI and measurable business metrics, such as:

  • Engagement - The number of conversations your coverage drives - this could be in the form of sharing the piece on social media, or comments on an article 
  • Traffic - if a link is included, did it drive traffic? If so, how much did it drive over time. 
  • Inbound requests - as you start to position yourself as a thought leader in the media, measure how many people approach you for other requests like speaking opportunities or commentary 

Action - How many people acted on your call to action (if included) e.g. downloaded the app, attended your event

So, now you’re equipped to tell your bosses how successful your PR campaign has been, and what these results can mean for your business. 

If you liked this blog, why not check out this one.

31/10/2022

How can PR support investment and fundraising?

Whether you’re just beginning your seed round or seeking investment for your Series D, PR can support your business through a funding round.  

PR helps to establish your brand narrative 

The start of any decent PR partnership will begin with messaging. This will help establish the story around your brand, how you tell it and what the most interesting points about it are. 

They’ll then stress-test that messaging with the harshest critics - the media - and put you in interview scenarios that force you to recite these points over and over again. 

They’re storytellers at the end of the day. But being able to recite the most important points about your business under pressure, in an interesting way and within a limited time frame is great practice for an investor pitch. 

As you grow, your agency will help refine these talking points and build out an overarching brand narrative that encapsulates your business and the journey you’re on.

It gets you seen by the right people

Your PR team will be experts on the media landscape and have spent time forming strong relationships with journalists across a range of publications. It’s their job to know where your audience consumes their media. 

So, when your key audience becomes investors, your agency should know exactly what they are reading and what they want to hear from you.

PRs know how to pitch 

Trust us, your agency team spends a huge portion of their time (and careers) pitching. While journalists might not be leading your series A any time soon, investors and reporters aren’t worlds apart - both are time-poor and always looking for an opportunity. 

Brevity and getting to the heart of a story are the absolute essentials of any decent comms pro, so get their help when creating a teaser deck or perfecting your pitch. They’ll definitely be able to offer some tips, even if they can’t be with you in the boardroom. 

PR drives awareness and credibility  

Having a journalist write about your brand, or a celebrity endorse it on social media builds credibility and drives awareness - two things investors love. 

Whether that’s in a national newspaper, a consumer magazine or within your specific industry, you're building a brand that people know about, and more importantly, want to talk about. 

Don’t be afraid to venture outside of your specific industry too - investors are consumers too, and they read magazines and newspapers just like the rest of us. 

It’ll never hurt to include a few articles in your email or pitch deck either - it proves that people outside your organisation are interested in your business too.

If you'd like to chat about how PR can support investment, then email us at hello@wordsandpixels.co

24/10/2022

Advice: 3 tips on how to get the most out of your PR agency in 2023

So, you’re hiring a PR agency - maybe this is your first venture into PR, or perhaps you’ve tried on a small scale and want a little extra firepower.

Whatever your reason, before hiring an agency, there’s a couple of things you should be prepared to do. 

We’ve compiled a list of our top tips on how to get the most out of your new PR team, build a partnership that will last, and ultimately get the best results.

 1. Be prepared to invest some time 

The first few weeks and even months will take some investment. It’s arguably the most important part of your relationship together and will set the tone for all future activity. 

During this onboarding period, time should be spent giving your agency all (and we mean all) the information you can about your business, and ensuring there is a clear structure and line of communication in place. 

  • Appoint a single person who manages contact with the PR agency. This person will funnel information between your business and their team, and will be the first port of call for the agency. A secondary point of contact is also useful so they know who to go to if you’re not around. 
  • Treat your agency like a sponge. Often, information that may seem menial to you is interesting to your agency. PR agencies are always looking for new angles or fresh voices to join in conversations, and you’ll likely have this hiding in plain sight. 
  • Introduce your agency to key stakeholders across the business. Signpost employees who are in senior positions or those with technical expertise and interesting backgrounds. In doing so, your agency will obtain a much broader perspective and insight into what goes on in the business. Having a larger bank of expert voices means individuals can be drawn on for interviews to give unique opinions or experiences that journalists will be looking for. 

2. Consider your agency as a partner for the business

It’s really useful to remember that your PR agency isn't just the manpower that pulls off an amazing stunt in the middle of Trafalgar Square. PRs are trained experts that really know the media landscape. They’re storytellers that understand public and media opinion and sentiment. When implemented correctly across the business, this often offers a competitive advantage. 

PR and comms work much more effectively when they are integrated into business decisions and processes, and often businesses are much more innovative when they work closely with their PR teams. Keep your agency in the loop when these important conversations are happening to avoid any missed opportunities or late briefing. 

However, clients can (and should) also manage their PR agency’s expectations. If you promise to be able to deliver something in time frames that you know simply won’t happen, then this will likely cause problems. 

3. Build an effective partnership by trusting their expertise 

Managing expectations is a two way street when it comes to PR agencies and their clients.

Often, clients will want to secure coverage in well-known national titles simply because they’ve heard of them - is this really where your audience are? 

For many, a piece in the Guardian might be a great ego-boost, but it could reach a very limited number of their customers. PR agencies have to manage their clients’ expectations on the types of media they expect to win coverage in, and considering they’re experts in this, you should trust their opinion

 


Find this blog useful?

Check out our other blogs, especially this one.

Looking for more advice?

Check out our YouTube channel.

Fancy a chat?

Drop us a line at hello@wordsandpixels.co

13/05/2022

Advice: 12 tips for tackling your first media interview 

So, you landed your first interview... Congrats! But what now?

Learn how to prepare for a media interview here! Landing your first media interview is no mean feat. Some journalists receive hundreds (if not thousands) of pitches a day, so when they decide they want to write about you, take a hot minute to celebrate!

However, whether you approached them or vice versa, getting them interested is only half the battle. You now need to give them a story worth writing about

So, what next?

Preparation. Is. Key.

(Otherwise you'll end up like this bloke)

Even those that spend a lot of time in the eyes of the media will take time to research before giving an interview. 

Here are our top tips for how to prepare before your first media interview, stay on track, and build a relationship with the journalist once it’s done. 

1. Ask the right questions

First things first, ask about the piece. A journalist isn’t likely to give you the interview questions in advance, but there’s a small window before where you can ask a few questions of your own so you understand where they're coming from and their expectations.

Make sure to ask about:

  • The angle they’re approaching it from
  • The format of the interview
  • Anyone else they’ll be speaking to for the piece
  • How much time they need from you
  • The publishing date (make a note in your calendar and circle it in red ink!)

2. Read the media outlet 

You'd be surprised how many people go into an interview without ever having read the outlet they’re about to feature in...

Understanding the publication provides invaluable insight into:

  • Its editorial slant
  • How much detail the interviewer is likely to go into
  • The interests of its readers

We always tell our clients to prep this way, because then you can prepare with information about your business that is going to be most relevant for the journalist.

The best tip (and we can't emphasise this enough) is if you’re being interviewed for a regular slot then read the previous articles. You'll get a good indication of the questions you’re likely to get asked. 

3. Research the journalist

We're not telling you to go overboard buttering the journo up, but a thin spread wouldn't go amiss. Look at stories they’ve written recently and how they’ve covered specific industries or themes:

  • Are they pro or against certain issues?
  • Is there a specific theme running through their pieces?
  • Have they written about your industry before, and if so, how was it covered?

Journalists all have their own agenda and this will likely feed into their interview with you so it’s worth getting to know them through their writing. Make sure to follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn too, you might be able to find the name of their dog or favourite take away which will be handy when trying to form a relationship with them.

4. Write down your key messages

Now you’re familiar with the outlet and the journalist, start to write down a list of the things that you want to get across in the interview.

These should be things you want people to know about your business and offering, but there should be no more than five or six.

Importantly, they should be tailored towards the audience of the outlet, and the article the journalist is writing. There's no point talking about why you're the best consumer offering on the market in Leeds, if you're speaking to a B2B audience in Bristol.

5. Remember you’re ‘on the record’

Remember The Bill? Of course you do, so you know that anything you do say may be given in evidence.

No really, anything you say to a journalist can be published. So, as a general rule of thumb, don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to appear in capitals on the front page. Stick to the facts and don’t speculate, and definitely don’t criticise competitors...

In fact, don’t talk about them at all, this is your interview!

6. Build a rapport 

When the interview starts, use this opportunity to build a rapport with the journalist. How, you ask?

  • Be friendly
  • Thank them for their time and the opportunity
  • Mention something they’ve written that you liked
  • Throughout the interview, be helpful and answer the questions, offering to share additional detail with them that will help their story
  • Follow them on social media

7. You don’t need to know everything 

If a question comes up during the interview that you don’t know the answer to, the best thing is to avoid making it up on the spot and hoping for the best. It rarely works.

It’s fine to let them know that you want to fact check something and will send the correct information after the interview. 

8. Follow up 

Building a rapport is all in the aftercare, so treat the interview like a first date.

Even if you haven’t promised to send any additional information, follow up with the journalist once the interview is done. Thank them for their time and to check they have everything they need, whether its images, stats or facts. If the journalist does request anything, share it with them as soon as you can as they will likely be on a deadline. 

9. Wait for the article 

Now it’s just a waiting game.

If the journalist gave you a publication date, don’t chase them before then. If that date comes and goes, send a polite email to check they have everything they need and ask when it will be going live.

Remember though, for most journalists the publication date is usually out of their control, so be patient. 

10. Share the coverage 

When the piece comes out, read it thoroughly to check for factual inaccuracies. Assuming there are none and it’s a positive and accurate reflection of your interview, shout about it! Share it on social media, with your team and customers, and don’t forget to thank the journalist to let them know how much you like it. 

11. What if they got something wrong?

If there is a factual inaccuracy, for example the spelling of a name or an incorrect date, politely let the journalist know and ask if they can update the article with the correct information.

Accuracy is super important for journalists too, so this should never be a problem. Remember though, not liking the piece or headline is not a factual inaccuracy. 

12. Stay in touch 

Journalists move around a lot as they climb the ranks...

While they might be at a smaller trade or industry publication now, many move on to national and mainstream publications to focus their specialisms.

  • Stay in touch with them
  • Follow them on social media and engage with their posts
  • Read their articles and message them about anything you like or have an opinion on. It will help them remember you for anything they’re writing in the future. 

And Voila! You're now equipped to smash your first media interview. Good luck!

Need media training?

Find our services here, or contact us at hello@wordsandpixels.co - can't wait to chat with you!

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