In this blog, we want to help you identify the pros and cons of in-house versus outsourced Public Relations. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s cover some basics…
Firstly, what do we mean by PR?
Having great publicity is predominantly down to how you’re perceived in the media, known as ‘good public relations’. Public relations (PR) refers to managing how you, the brand, or your business are viewed by the public. It works to maintain your image and circulate important information, news or events. The dictionary definition says it’s “the business of inducing the public to have understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm, or institution”.
Public Relations with Carnsight Communications
Here at Carnsight Communications, we believe PR support is about creating strategies and campaigns to showcase our clients’ brilliant work. PR is not advertising. It’s more of an organic reach and isn’t focused on promoting products or services through a paid-for placement. The focus is on maintaining a positive and consistent image of the brand through the media.
Measuring PR success
Measuring the success of your PR strategy is different for each client we work with. We always start with objectives, which vary by client, project and industry. As a result, once these are defined and agreed we can measure against them using metrics to really get down to the core of the success of each campaign.
Now we’ve covered the basics, you’re in the right place to get your PR journey moving forward. But maybe you’re stuck on whether to choose an in-house PR manager or to outsource. It can be a complicated decision process. You want to be able to maximise efficiency and keep costs down where possible. However, many business founders are not familiar with PR or how to invest their budget to maximise their efforts.
Benefits of outsourcing PR vs In-house
1. Teams of individuals who bring unique expertise
Having a team of experts who work within an agency or consultancy has many benefits for your business PR strategy. For example, each professional will usually bring their own expertise in many forms of PR such as marketing/copywriting or even journalism. They are usually uniquely experts in a certain field of PR which brings weight to their strategy. You can dip in and out, using expertise where necessary, rather than relying on one person for everything.
2. Extensive media contacts within many sectors
Agencies tend to have extensive media contacts within many sectors built up over years to help them cast the net wider when reaching publications. They can also reach out to friendly networks to support them and are also likely to have access to resources and tools to help them identify new targets.
3. Hand the reigns straight over
The agency is also ready when you are, armed with all the necessary tools and expertise that you require. No need to go down the difficult path of recruiting for a PR position, which can often be a challenging task. In fact, not only can it be hard work, but you will need to trust that your in-house PR manager is going to have the relevant media contacts for your business. And that they will be self-starting whilst also needing to be guided through their day-to-day. Such as setting tasks and evaluating the results.
Outsourcing your PR hands over all of these reigns. The agency will come up with realistic strategies and will explain its process and expected results. As a result, you only need to provide your time every so often, which gives you more freedom to work and focus elsewhere.
4. No downtime – PR can be done on a project basis
Finally, a PR consultancy can be used on a project basis – it doesn’t always need to be retained. You can do set bursts of PR throughout busier periods such as product launches or announcing exciting news meaning there won’t be workflow or downtime issues.
Outsourcing your PR or recruiting for an in-house PR manager is down to what you feel suits your company best. It needs to be right for you, the business needs and your brand image.
The PR stunt. An orchestrated creative concept that has formed a debatable reputation for itself over the years. Stunts have also earned the title of ‘guerrilla marketing’ as ideas become more elaborate in a bid to shout louder and compete harder.
Used in the right context and at the right time, PR stunts can be the moment that makes your brand. Nail it, and you will join the likes of Greggs, Carlsberg and Tinder in the PR stunt hall of fame with a huge pat on the back. Get it wrong? It can be catastrophic for all those involved. And the really bad news? It is what you will always be remembered for.
What is a PR stunt?
It is an event or campaign that is planned by a brand to capture the public’s attention and increase awareness of its product and/or services. It often involves something visual and flamboyant in a crowded place that will receive maximum exposure and have a dramatic impact. Ideally then leading to an uplift of activity on social media channels or a flurry of sales for the company in question.
The best ideas are often the simplest, and if it is clever then it is more likely to be successful. Giving out free samples is a quick win, but if you want to be labelled a “disruptor”, you will have to think outside the box, and something more inventive than floating a large size inflatable down the Thames will be needed here.
When to do them?
Timing is everything so do your research and do not be afraid to postpone if something unexpected hits the news agenda throwing a spanner in the works – you don’t want to look insensitive or distasteful. Think carefully to ensure your chosen PR stunts complement your brand; they are usually accepted as comical and light-hearted concepts, so if this doesn’t match your company ethos, you may be undoing any hard work you have already done to establish yourselves. Remember, PR stunts take time and budget so you need to be 100% invested in the idea.
Of course, as budgets get squeezed and working from home is now established as the norm, it’s essential to consider if the PR stunt would have the same effect in our post-pandemic society.
Still unsure if you have a good idea to generate PR coverage? By avoiding a stunt and investing in a well-planned PR campaign, you will more likely achieve your overall objectives.
Here are a few of our favourite PR campaigns that have made headlines recently…
Sainsbury’s – launching their pop-up Sainsfreeze store at Box Park, London in September 2022, the supermarket chain aimed to help reduce food waste by showcasing innovative ways customers could freeze everyday foods they would usually throw out. Responding to the cost-of-living crisis and to statistics that the average family waste £60 per month on food waste, the campaign has received respectable media coverage.
Lime Bikes – the electric bikes and scooter provider acknowledged that after an eco-friendly commute to work, what would one do about their ‘helmet hair’? Partnering with Blue Tit Salons they opened a salon at Kings Cross Station in the summer of 2022 to offer complimentary styling sessions to all those in need of a quick re-do. A creative idea combined with a gap in the market solution equals a clever and successful PR moment.
Speak to us now on how we can help generate media coverage with a clear and concise PR campaign and not stunt. You will realise that the results and effects on your company will be better in the long run.
Originally posted on: www.carnsight.com
Let’s be clear – a press release is about something you’re trying to get coverage for, and this may well be a product or service you also want to generate sales for.
However, it’s the job of the release to inform and engage, setting everything out in a way that makes it easy (and desirable) for a journalist to write a news story about it. It’s not the job of a release to sell a product or service through using “salesy” or commercial language.
What do you mean by “salesy” language?
By sales language or commercial claims, I mean something along the lines of “Ours is the only solution you’ll ever need”. Or “That’s why it’s our product is the first thing you should turn to”. Language that makes claims that aren’t factual or can’t be clearly substantiated.
Editorial news stories are designed to give the audience something that’s interesting and relevant to them. They’re not designed to sell your product. That’s where an advertorial or an advert comes in. There’s more about the difference between PR and advertising on our blog.
How do I avoid creating a dry or dull press release?
The job of a skilled PR consultant or PR consultancy is first to establish what the news angle is (and even if there is an angle). And then to create a release that will work for your target publications.
It might seem like bold commercial claims make a press release more interesting, but actually, they’re the last thing a journalist wants to read. The easier and quicker it is to get your point across, the better.
Where can I share my excitement for my product or service?
Your excitement can still come across in the release (it’s all in the way it’s wrapped up, as above). But if you want to talk about how you’re doing better than you would ever have imagined in your wildest dreams (and that’s a really valid thing to say), that’s where the quote comes in.
Your quote is everything you want to say in your own words. It should reflect your thoughts and capture your tone. You can either write it yourself, or you may want a PR consultant to write it for you. But either way, it’s where you can really express yourself and not feel as constrained.
The same non-commercial approach is true of comments you make for an article or longer opinion pieces you write for press purposes. They should also be non-commercial. They’re a chance to share your knowledge and expertise, not your sales messages.
In our introductory client meetings, we often talk about the importance of building up a number of PR touchpoints. But what do we mean by the term and how do they impact our PR strategy? Let’s dive in.
PR touchpoints are the multiple points of contact that a company has with its customers/clients through public relations efforts. These can be physical, digital, or both, and they are used to communicate and engage with the public in order to shape perceptions and build relationships.
According to Rain Group, it takes an average of eight touches to get an initial meeting (or another conversion) with a new prospect. One isn’t enough, and this is just one of the reasons why we always encourage our clients to be open-minded when it comes to working with a wide variety of publications, not just one of the big nationals (where you’re less likely to be featured frequently).
Some common physical PR touchpoints include events such as press conferences, product launches, and trade shows, as well as more casual interactions such as networking events or social gatherings. These allow companies to present themselves and their products or services in person.
Digital PR touchpoints include websites, social media platforms, email marketing, online news outlets, and industry publications. These touchpoints allow companies to reach a wide audience quickly and inexpensively, and they are often the first point of contact for consumers looking for information about a company or its offering.
The benefits of multiple touchpoints
One of the key benefits of PR touchpoints is that they mean that companies can proactively shape the narrative around their brand and reduce the risk of negative publicity.
PR touchpoints can also be used to build relationships with employees and the media. By regularly engaging with these groups, companies can build trust and credibility, and foster a sense of community and connection.
Effective PR touchpoints require a well-planned and executed strategy, including identifying the target audience and determining the most appropriate ways of reaching them, as well as developing a clear and consistent message and tone.
In addition to traditional PR touchpoints such as events and media relations, there are partnerships with influencers or celebrities, experiential marketing campaigns, or interactive social media campaigns.
PR touchpoints are an important tool for companies to communicate with and engage their customers, build relationships, and shape perceptions of their brand. By creating a strategy that includes a variety of touchpoints, companies can more effectively reach and connect with their audience.
Originally posted on: www.carnsight.com
Why is it always a good idea to have a person as a case study waiting in the wings on a PR campaign? Because journalists love them and will usually feature your story if there is strong personal evidence to support it.
Reading reviews has become part of the buyer’s journey, and that’s what a people case study essentially is – the ultimate customer review that can make or break your PR campaign. People case studies are an independent voice that can add weight to your creative content and provide that human element in an article.
They are telling the world that your client’s product or service is credible, trustworthy and authentic. They are unique to your campaign.
So, you are ready to go, and you have got your case study all lined up to speak to the press and tell their story. But here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure it leads to a best seller and not ending up in someone’s bad books.
Do use a current case study. Media aren’t interested in speaking to someone who had their experience with your client pre-pandemic. Make sure they are relevant for today’s reader, usually within the last 6 months.
Don’t assume that your case study knows how to talk to the press. Give them a media briefing that anything they say may appear in print – even those little comments they thought might be “off the record.”
Do incentivise your case study. They are likely to grab the media’s attention and support you in achieving your KPI’s, so a gift voucher to their favourite retailer is a good investment.
Don’t pitch far and wide thinking it’s a one-size-fits-all. Get to know your case study and find out which titles they want to be featured in and which ones they don’t. Are they age/gender appropriate for certain publications, and will they identify with the target audience? Investing in this research now will avoid unnecessary disappointment later.
Do use your case study for other channels. Feature them in newsletters, across social media platforms and on your website. There’s no better PR than a happy customer!
Originally posted on: www.carnsight.com
What is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority is a metric that details how likely your website is to rank in search engine results. The metric is on a scale factor of 0-100.
You need to have a knowledge of many factors that play a part in this to understand how this is calculated. The most important factor is a backlink that points to your domain (inbound links)
Your backlink profile is a key player in the performance of your Domain Authority. Sites with more backlinks are far more likely to have a higher Domain Authority rating.
You’d think the higher your score is, the better you’re doing overall, wouldn’t you? But it’s not all based on this. It’s more a case of knowing how your doing in comparison to your competitors! You want to outrank these companies who you compete to win business on by having important keywords for your industry.
So, how do you improve your Domain Authority?
First, let’s look at the key factors in more detail that populate the Domain Authority.
Write key word focused content – Filling your content with strong keywords will help other sites find you which will hopefully bring links back to your site. Remember to share this keyword heavy content on your social media channels too to cast your net even further.
Digital PR / Invest in PR– Digital PR is a tactic used by PR professionals and marketers to increase a brands online presence. A measurable strategy that drives brand awareness, links which boost rankings, social followers and engagements as well as traffic to your website. Obviously, improving your on- page SEO is always a great and worthwhile task, it won’t directly impact on your Domain Authority. Here at Carnsight Communications, we can get your company featured by the right publications and at the right time for your business. This will earn you links and get your company out there through press coverage, and will in turn improve your Domain Authority ranking.
Backlinks – As mentioned above, these are links that point to your domain. They are links from one website to another page or website and are essential for SEO. Pages with a high number of backlinks usually have high organic search engine rankings.
Off-page SEO – This refers to all the activity that takes place away from your website, which determines where you rank within the search engine results pages (SERPs). Optimising for off-site SEO ranking factors is crucial for improving the relevance and authority of your website.
Evaluating the Domain Authority metrics
When it comes to evaluating our PR strategies, we use metrics on Domain Authority for each campaign we do. It’s a key part of our process. To do this, we use a platform called Coverage Book that breaks down key information from each piece of coverage.
You the want to be able to feedback on results achieved, right? So with the correct tracking in place and thorough planning you’re able to see many useful metrics. The estimated views on each piece of coverage. The unique number of visits per coverage and the publication Domain Authority ranking.
It’s an essential metric to monitor the success of the Digital PR campaign.
Approaching Digital PR with measurement in mind, provides actual results that can be used by PR teams and the clients allowing learnings on both sides.
Coverage with a trackable link in to a publication with a high domain authority ranking will increase the page ranking and SEO authority of the clients website. Meaning they will be ranked higher in search engines as well as pointing people to their site.
Want to understand a little more about your SEO Strategy? We have a great blog post that helps you write an SEO-friendly blogpost. Take a look here for more details.
Follow Instagram Influencers In Your Industry
Make Use Of Exploding Topics On Instagram
Keep Up With Meme Accounts
With continuous algorithm tweaks, and ever-changing marketing methods, it might feel like you’re always playing catch-up with Instagram trends. With 1 in 2 people using Instagram to discover new brands, it’s never been more important to utilise the platform as a business owner.
We’ve compiled a strategies anyone can use to keep up with Instagram social media trends. By following these strategies, you’ll be able to keep up with trends on at least a basic level. And then get the experts to help you with the really tricky stuff!
Follow Influencers In Your Industry
If there’s someone you can be sure is up to speed on the latest social media trends, it’ll be an influencer. Find Instagram influencers or public personalities relevant to your industry, follow them, and keep an eye on what they’re doing. What type of reels are they creating (video content is king), what trending music are they using, which of their posts are getting the most engagement, etc. It’s also important to remember that different niches will have different trends.
Now, you can even set post alerts and notifications for when these Instagram accounts post, so you’re always in the know.
Remember that social media moves FAST, so jumping on trending memes and using trending music really needs to be done within days of you coming across it.
If you’re looking to outsource your social media management to maximise your reach, get in touch here.
Make Use Of Exploding Topics
Exploding Topics is a freemium tool that shows you topics in various categories that are trending. Simply enter a date and a niche, and the tool will present you with a list of trending search phrases.
Think of it like doing keyword research for SEO. But instead you’re doing topic and trend research for social media.
Often a good strategy is to combine your upcoming planned content with a trending factor if possible. In practise, this might be using a trending sound on a reel you’ve already planned or made. Or using saved photos to create trending memes.
Highly relatable, clever and humorous content can be just as if not more successful than high-quality and tailored content. Today, social media accounts are all about brands having a human voice and connecting with their customer base, rather than stagnant corporate content.
By following major memes accounts you’ll be sure to keep up with a wide-variety of trends happening on Instagram. Even current affairs and breaking news!
Stuck On Your Social Media Strategy?
If you need help growing your social media presence and not just staying on top of friends from your phone, we’re here to help.
Get in touch today to find out how Trusty Social can assist.
Secure your URL
Update your headline
Create your profile summary with care
Show off accomplishments using rich media
Make your LinkedIn banner unique
LinkedIn now has 830 million members with over 58 million registered companies. A fully optimised LinkedIn profile has never been more important. And is really the at the very basic level of making the most out of LinkedIn.
It’ll make it easier for others to understand:
Who you hope to interact with
What you offer
How you are distinctive
How you wish to be remembered
First, What Are You Hoping to Get Discovered For?
LinkedIn has become the ultimate lead-generation platform for businesses and individuals. Hubspot found that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter. BUT! You don’t just set up a profile and have the leads rolling in.
Ensure you and your team are clear on your LinkedIn objectives, a LinkedIn strategy document that can be shared amongst everyone is a good place to start. Essentially you need clear objectives that can be measured and analysed, so you understand what is going well and what needs improvement.
Remember, you can optimise your LinkedIn profile to a point, and after that it’s a continuous process. You may come across a feature you haven’t seen before or a new way to phrase your bio that sounds more effective.
Knowing where and what all the features are is what’s important, then you can continuously improve.
#1 Secure Your URL
Check the URL for your current LinkedIn profile. You still need to optimise your URL if you see a string of letters and numbers that don’t make sense. You can change this to your name or business name so people can more easily find out and recognise you.
It takes a few minutes to customise your profile URL, improving your LinkedIn search-ability. Additionally, a personalised URL gives your profile a more polished look.
#2 Update Your Headline
If you are editing a personal profile, LinkedIn automatically includes your most recent or current employment experience in your headline. However, if you are job hunting, you should modify your headline to reflect the position you are looking for. If you are a business providing services or products, don’t talk about the services you offer, but instead what these services do for people.
e.g. instead of ‘We work with businesses on their digital marketing’ you could say ‘supporting SME’s in reaching customers online’.
If you want to get found on LinkedIn, your headline is essential. Include the terms that members of your target market or existing customers use to find people with your talents, products, or services.
Don’t miss this step and invest the time necessary to thoroughly determine which keywords will assist you in being found. The impact of choosing the right keywords on the number of views of your profile may surprise you.
#3 Create Your Profile Summary With Care
The first point to emphasise about your LinkedIn summary is that you should have one! It’s surprising how many people and businesses leave this section blank, probably because they aren’t sure what to put in it.
A couple of things to remember here is that where possible, people avoid and don’t like reading large blocks of text. So split up your summary into clear sections or points that are more easy to navigate. And again, remember to tell people what benefits you and your business bring to them, not what you are selling.
This is the only place on your LinkedIn profile where you can go into a bit more detail what your account is about.
#4 Show Off Your Accomplishments Using Rich Media
Visual demonstration of what you do will be the most effective, rather than just text. Showcase examples of your work on your LinkedIn profile. You can upload pictures, movies presentation and other files, so take advantage of these features.
Now, you can even replace your profile picture with a profile video. If you have the confidence, definitely take advantage of this feature. If you don’t, consider if you can make a short animated video that could go here that represents you or what you do.
Ultimately, you might be the best person for the job, but if your profile doesn’t successfully convey what you can offer to your target audience, they are likely to overlook you.
#5 Make Your LinkedIn Banner Unique
Make your LinkedIn profile banner unique and use it again, convey to visitors what you’re about.
Is LinkedIn worth the time and investment when there are so many more social media platforms to pick from? Well, in a recent study we found that it’s not only worth the investment but could be one of the most important platforms for you to use for your 2023 video marketing campaign.
What is LinkedIn?
It’s that platform that’s been around forever. It’s where people go to find jobs, join events and put their professional appearance out to the world. Over the years LinkedIn has slowly been picking up pace and whilst the other social media platforms squabble over new features, age demographics and user base, LinkedIn has continued to grow into its space as one of the greatest B2B marketing tool on the internet.
Here are a few stats that will make you consider LinkedIn as a must use tool for your next video marketing campaign.
A recent study asked over 1,000 marketers which social media platform they would choose if they could only use 1 social media channel for their online marketing. LinkedIn was the clear favourite with 29% of marketers saying they would choose it, YouTube was second with 24% and 19% chose Facebook.
68% of marketers are planning on using LinkedIn in their next marketing campaign.
Video works really well on LinkedIn and is 3x more likely to be shared then simple text posts.
Live video is king on content on LinkedIn with a recent study showing that 7x more reactions and more than 24x more comments when posting live video over normal pre recorded video.
Marketers have seen a 2x higher rate of sales conversions on LinkedIn when compared with all other platforms.
If you are a B2B company or you’re simply looking to expand your online reach, it’s clear that LinkedIn is a must. If you are looking for help on how to create hard hitting content for LinkedIn Here Now Films offers free consultations and would be happy to jump on a Zoom or a call.
Originally posted on: www.carnsight.com
Having a social media presence as a brand means that at some point, we’re more than likely going to receive negative comments or criticism of some sort on our online channels.
It could be a simple misunderstanding that has gone public or an unhappy customer leaving a negative review but it’s important to respond and act quickly to ensure it doesn’t turn into something bigger. There are many well-known brands that have led the way in dealing with negative comments and so in this blog, we’ll take a look at a few of our top tips that make your work a little easier!
1. Firstly, never ignore a negative comment online.
Your business is likely to be something you have worked incredibly hard on building and it’s easy to take negativity personally. Not every troll comment online will be worth a response, however, it’s important you consider each comment carefully and think about whether you can improve in some way. Be critical of your business so it can be better.
Not replying to a negative review that calls out poor customer service or something similar will only make your brand look disengaged and put off potential leads.
You should always reply thoughtfully to comments online, whether that be a positive or negative comment. It’s all about maintaining that relationship with your audience and showing you are willing to adapt and assist, it shows you care.
2. Be understanding and polite, and apologise!
Okay, now you’ve considered the negative thoughtfully and critically you need to show understanding and apologise for the situation. This is the first step in gaining control of the matter and resolving any bad feelings or conflicts.
Reading negative comments online can be frustrating but it’s important to stay calm and be polite to maintain your reputation and humility. Be respectful. You want your audience to see you care and this will help to keep your followers on side.
3. Reply in a timely manner
Though it’s important you take the time to consider negative comments properly and reply in a thoughtful way, you also need to respond in a timely manner. Be responsive. Show your audience that you hear them and are engaged with their experience. Keeping them waiting will only leave time for festering grudges and misunderstandings to spread.
4. Take the conversation offline and be personal
Although it’s key to show a response online, you don’t want to have the whole conversation in full view of all your customers. Reach out privately and deal with what you can behind closed doors. This gives you and the source of the negativity the privacy and space to deal with any issues. You can share a public statement regarding the resolution publically when you’ve come to some kind of conclusion.
5. Be willing to offer solutions
Once you have taken the matter offline, make sure to listen to the feedback you’re getting and be willing to offer positive solutions. Demonstrate you and your company’s willingness to come to a resolution that puts your customers first.
6. Learn from your experiences
It may be that the whole situation was simply a misunderstanding but if you have made a mistake, don’t worry. We’re all human and we will make mistakes along the way. There will always be something we can learn from a negative comment or piece of feedback.
Analyse the negative comments online, and try to find out what it is that your customers aren’t happy with. Is it a specific product? Or is it a company policy? Whatever it is, take the comments as constructive criticism and adapt so that you can move on from this and avoid similar mistakes in the future. Make sure you put a plan in place for how you’re going to fix this and ensure to inform your audience of the actions you’re taking to resolve the problem, build back that trust and show you care.
Having an online presence means that negative comments are pretty much unavoidable but there is always a way to minimise any impact on your brand and that is by generating lots of positive comments! A positive comment will always out-way a negative so just keep working hard to build on these.
We hope these tips will help you if you ever need to respond to any negative comments online. You can also find more great advice on dealing with negative social media comments here.
If you’re looking for more tips on letting your guard down and earning your audience’s trust then take a look at another blog from Carnsight Communications on why PR only works when you keep an open mind.
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