A great PR success is a gift that keeps on giving, at least for those companies that are smart about utilizing positive press attention in every way they can. Just as the native people of this great land would use every part of the buffalo, a company with a great bit of coverage in the press ought to use every bit of the opportunity. Too often, a company will have a flattering article and do nothing with it, or use it simply for awareness only, posting it to the media news page on their website and possibly pushing out a link to it on their social channels. This is a fine start, but it’s only connecting with a piece of the PR ball – not the way to hit a home run. As living legend and media genius Bob Barker once wisely said, and it applies here, “I don’t want a piece of you, I want the whole thing.”
In talking to clients throughout the years to get their feedback on what works best after an article hits, we’ve heard repeated recommendations for the Bob Barker approach. Companies get the most out of press coverage by using it not just for awareness, but also to actively win new customers and to engage with current ones. These companies use good press as part of customer pitches to help score new business. They get articles in front of current customers they’ve already won, communicating via emails, newsletters, blogs and other channels. They use great press to demonstrate their company’s role as a current and vital expert in their space, with articles acting as third-party social proof that they remain important and central to timely conversations that steer their industry.
Here are three common types of PR a company will generate, and where it makes sense to push them beyond mere awareness channels:
News- Whether it’s announcing a new product, new business partnership or some other recent company success, putting this kind of press in front of existing customers can often be directly informative to their interests, and winning a way to let them know about new features, products or possibilities. In these cases, the importance of the news is supported by the fact that the media is reporting on it, granting it more oomph that a direct sales pitch or simple conversation with a representative.
Thought leadership- Expert opinion articles can prove to clients new and old that a company is highly relevant and in the mix discussing hot topics. It’s a window into a company’s viewpoints and often into where they’re headed as far as their technology and practices. Current customers value these conversations and like to see their chosen expert’s wisdom on display, while new clients will gravitate to opinions they respect.
Case Studies- Particularly in verticals, a case study within a new customer pitch can show potential clients exactly what they can expect to gain from a company’s services. In channels facing existing customers, a case study can generate new use case ideas, and reinforce for clients that they have partnered with a company that knows how to help their customers succeed.
Our bottom line advice for companies is not to sit on articles when they’re published. Certainly amplify their reach on awareness channels, and then be sure to look for every opportunity to use these pieces in customer pitches, communications with existing clients, and everywhere else you can think of where they’ll have an impact. Once you’ve invested in PR and you’ve got something good, don’t be shy to continue showing it off in every way you can – at that point the price is right.