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PR And Social Media: 8 Ways To Adapt Your PR Strategy Effectively

The COVID-19 pandemic affected teams all over the world, including marketing teams. As we approach the end of 2021, it is more important than ever for businesses to rethink their communication strategies in order to survive and grow in these turbulent times.

With so many organizations being forced to work remotely, monitoring metrics and gaining insights using data analytics has become even more important when it comes to determining impact and success.

Adapting your public relations strategy for the uncertain year ahead will support both your vision and your direction. Here are the instances of how the pandemic has affected marketing teams around the world, what is PR strategy, as well as tips on how to effectively adapt your public relations strategy.

The Impact Of The COVID-19 Pandemic On Marketing 

When COVID-19 took over the globe, industries all over were compelled to shift to remote working. Many smaller firms failed because they lacked the resources and tools to swiftly adjust to this sort of business strategy.

Furthermore, the pandemic proved to be so chaotic for many businesses due to the wide range of impacts. In comparison, digital commerce sales of home-related goods increased by 70% in 2020, while sales of general clothing or luxury items increased by just 10%.

Because it was impossible to foresee the effects on certain sectors during the epidemic, it was difficult to design an effective public relations strategy.

With the enormous growth in online purchasing and the demise of large brick-and-mortar stores, marketers around the world have been battling to shift their in-person marketing approach to a more digital-based one.

The lack of education around cyber-attacks and frauds, which many companies are falling prey to owing to a lack of understanding and expertise, has made this shift even more challenging.

With 54% of small companies unable to retain their cybersecurity providers, their susceptibility and exposure to phishing schemes and malware assaults they have never seen or experienced has grown.

What Is PR Strategy?
What Is PR Strategy?

What Is PR Strategy?

A public relations strategy is used to assist your company in organizing its public relations (or media relations) operations and making strategic decisions about how to connect with its target audience.

The creation and implementation of a public relations plan may help businesses not only generate press interest in their products or services but also organize the numerous stories that brands have that appeal to their various audiences.

If a strategy is properly implemented, it may be used to assist control an organization's public reputation.

PR, also known as "earned media," may be used to generate website traffic, engage and interact with target audiences, establish relationships within the community, and promote companies in a more organic and trustworthy manner.

Using media channels in this manner is critical for drawing more potential consumers or clients while increasing brand recognition.

Furthermore, with a good public relations plan in place, corporate objectives and actions are easier to communicate to target audiences.

The strategy directs [often multichannel] communication of the core message, assisting in maximizing efforts and raising awareness.

This affects branding and marketing, as well as an organization's perspective during a crisis because businesses that consistently share their aims and wins are more likely to be viewed positively, even while facing a setback.

Here Are The 8 Ways To Adapt Your PR Strategy Effectively
Here Are The 8 Ways To Adapt Your PR Strategy Effectively

Here Are The 8 Ways To Adapt Your PR Strategy Effectively

Whether you're new to social media or an experienced user trying to navigate this new world, the steps below will help you find the right solution. Keep reading to know the ways on how to adapt your PR strategy successfully and more effectively.

Conduct Your Research

Use this stage to identify what has previously worked well for your PR department. Examine the prior year's media coverage to see which media outlets, reporters, influencers, and contributors covered your firm.

Here are some questions to get you started on evaluating your previous public relations strategy and moving you one step closer to developing a better, more successful one:

  • Which public relations initiatives were feasible to carry out?
  • Which endeavors took the longest to complete?
  • How much time and money were spent? Was this more or less than anticipated?
  • How many "victories" were secured? How did you achieve those victories?
  • How did you demonstrate your success? How might you demonstrate it in a different way?
  • With whom did you form friendships? What are your plans for cultivating such relationships?
  • To whom do you wish to form relationships?
  • Where would you want to be featured?
  • What are some new things you might try?
  • What changes may be made?
  • What did others (your manager, team members, etc.) find successful?
  • Is your tale interesting enough to make the news?
  • Is there anything else you "wish they knew" about your story angle that you could think about?
  • What media would you like to use to tell your story?

Remember that what is noteworthy to you may not be newsworthy to the media. You must ensure that you are not utilizing public relations as a means of self-promotion, but rather as a means of communicating a message that the public would be interested in.

Understand Your Audience

Today is always a crucial component of any type of marketing at any time, but it is more important at times of crisis like this. Marketing is primarily reliant on empathy, which is reliant on a knowledge of the people with whom you are attempting to communicate.

You might be tempted to skip this stage if you've been promoting your business for a long time. You already know who your customer is, don't you? Perhaps, but do you know them in their current form? Are there any other audience options that you haven't considered before that you might put to the test now?

It makes no difference who you are; now is a great moment to take a step back and reacquaint yourself with your target consumers. Here's how to do it:

  • Identify the essential data. Answer questions such as age, location, gender, basic interests, income level, etc. Once you've created a rough structure for a profile, ask yourself, "So what?" and "What does this mean?"
  • Discover what your consumer is thinking and feeling right now. Do some research, connect with people who are relevant to your consumers, and do everything it takes to put yourself in their shoes. Do they now have to deal with working from home? Are they attempting to keep children occupied now that schools have been closed? Are they attempting to maintain their fitness and health while under quarantine?
  • Take those answers and take a step back. Zoom out and forget everything you've ever done or thought you know about your consumer. Are there any fresh chances to promote your product in new ways with new people? How can you pivot right now to suit the requirements of your customers?

This in-depth understanding of your consumers will set the tone for everything you do during and after a crisis like COVID-19. The relationships you establish by successfully recognizing and addressing the requirements of your customers will last long after the crisis has passed.

Define Your Company's Goals And Objectives
Define Your Company's Goals And Objectives

Define Your Company's Goals And Objectives 

"What does our company aim to achieve in the following year?" Ask yourself. Spend some time after that thinking about the strategies that would best support those aims.

Is it public relations or something else entirely? While public relations techniques can be extremely beneficial, they are not necessarily the primary motivator or most successful effort for achieving a given goal (this is usually a bottom-of-funnel goal).

Here are some instances of corporate goals that are more difficult to relate to public relations efforts:

  • Produce X sales qualified leads
  • Increase sales by X%
  • Acquire X new customers

It's important to note "harder" to relate your efforts to — that doesn't imply it can't be done. Tools for public relations and marketing automation, such as Cision and HubSpot, will make your life much simpler.

These tools can assist you in determining which connections and consumers were produced as a result of your public relations activities, such as a feature story or influencer post.

Set attainable targets that are linked to the long-term campaign. There is no one magic bullet, but rather a comprehensive marketing plan combined with digital public relations and other methods that operate in tandem to reach company objectives.

Make A Timeline

A timetable may be determined based on the magnitude of your goals, objectives, and strategy, as well as the number of strategies you have developed to support these.

This will serve as your "roadmap" for your public relations strategy. I say this lightly because, as we all know, public relations is a fluid discipline.

You must be prepared to change strategies as they begin to work or become ineffective. To complement your plan, your timeline may incorporate the following calendars:

  • Calendar for Social Media
  • Editorial Calendar for the Media
  • Editorial Calendar for Blogs
  • Calendar of Speaking Engagements
  • Calendar of Influencer Outreach
  • Calendar of Event Sponsorship

Embrace New Collaborative Tools

Every team relies on effective communication. With expectations that remote working will become the norm in the near future, increasing internal cooperation has become a top concern.

Using communication and collaboration technologies is a proven method to keep teams in touch and working successfully together.

Some of the most important features you'll need from your team collaboration and project management software to ensure success in remote collaboration and communication are the ability to set project due dates, keep projects and teams distinct, exchange data safely, and regulate user rights.

Zoom has also grown dramatically during the epidemic, as business teams, students, family, and friends utilize it to stay connected. During the pandemic, some tech startups received more than $140 million in funding simply because they met a need that arose during the chaos.

Finally, improving internal communication at your organization by implementing a collaboration tool that works for your team is the first step in adapting your PR strategy in the new year.

Cross Channeling Can Help You Improve Your Presence Online
Cross Channeling Can Help You Improve Your Presence Online

Cross Channeling Can Help You Improve Your Presence Online

Without a question, the most crucial way to adopt cross-channel thinking when modifying your PR strategy is to embrace a cross-channel attitude.

Cross channeling, often known as an omnichannel approach, involves moving clients across a range of marketing channels not just when they are making purchasing decisions, but also throughout the purchasing or purchasing process itself.

It also creates distinct consumer segments, allowing marketing to be customized across all channels to ensure that a company is properly represented across the board.

Using an effective eCommerce platform that supports cross-platform selling, for example, may offer you a fantastic head start on the ranking chart, potentially increasing sales.

Choosing a platform that does not enable cross-channeling for your website or online shop, on the other hand, might hurt your prospects, according to Nathan Finch of Best Web Hosting Australia, a Brisbane-based web developer, and online marketer.

Finch discusses the advantages of cross-channeling with the most prominent online store platforms, stating that,

"Picking an eCommerce solution that allows cross-platform selling is the smart move. Platforms like Shopify allow you to sell on Amazon, Etsy, and other marketplaces which massively increase your ability to generate sales."

Set A Budget 

This is a huge one. Can you truly carry out the strategies you've devised? If you don't have the funds to support the time and effort put into the methods specified in your strategy, you'll be in big trouble.

Some questions to ask yourself to help you determine hard expenses and hourly costs are as follows:

  • How many influencers, reporters, media outlets, and speaking opportunities am I looking for? How long will it take me to complete this task?
  • How many hours per week do I want to pitch?
  • Will we be required to pay for any sponsored content?
  • What method will I use to send press releases? Will I make use of a service such as PRWeb or Newswire?
  • How much time does it usually take me to create and optimize a press release?
  • How many _[insert kind of contact]_ on social media do I want to connect with?

Make sure you have a clear picture of the time, materials, and resources required to support your public relations strategy from start to end (and communicate them with your leadership team).

Measure Success 

You've already identified the goal you are trying to reach; however, it's essential you acknowledge the "little wins" that help you reach your goal.

Which metric aligns and supports your objective or goal the most? Which of the following provides the most return on investment for all of the time and effort you've put into PR strategies and efforts?

Here are a few metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) to consider include in your PR strategy evaluation:

  • The total amount of media coverage, impressions, and reach
  • Coverage types (radio, magazine, blog, print, television, etc.)
  • Sentiment/tone of media coverage
  • Total digital brand mentions (blogs, online media, social, etc.)
  • Engagement of influencers
  • Sentiment/tone of social media accounts
  • Reach, shares, and growth on social media
  • Traffic to a website
  • Website position
  • Count of backlinks

About The Authors

Keith Peterson

Keith Peterson - I'm an expert IT marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in various Digital Marketing channels such as SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMO (social media optimization), ORM (online reputation management), PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Adwords), Lead Generation, Adwords campaign management, Blogging (Corporate and Personal), and so on. Web development and design are unquestionably another of my passions. In fast-paced, high-pressure environments, I excel as an SEO Executive, SEO Analyst, SR SEO Analyst, team leader, and digital marketing strategist, efficiently managing multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines, analyzing and solving problems.

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