By Frank Strong, Founder & President of Sword and the Script Media, a veteran-owned PR, content marketing and social media agency in greater Atlanta.
You’re only as good as your last placement.
It’s one of those facts of the PR profession. It doesn’t matter how impressive that headline, quote or copy was – or how much effort it took to secure that interview. As of this moment, last month’s placement…is last month’s placement.
By my observation, this challenge has grown and will continue to grow. Never assume that the client or executive leadership actually saw that last placement. Increasingly I suspect PR types – both inside and outside communications professionals – will find they haven’t.
Like consumers, executives too are facing more noise. This means it is more important than ever to get more value out of existing media relations efforts. That’s a critical takeaway from one of the studies covered below.
More than just being as good as your last placement, it’s about how to get the most out of it, and be better as a result. That has ramifications both internally and externally. To that end, here are the summaries to three public relations studies.
Nobody Watches the Media like the Media
The most trusted names in news are media brands with which you are already familiar, according to a new survey by the Ogilvy Media Influence team.
The team recently published a survey of some 200 reporters around the world concludes that, in Western countries, about three-quarters believe “the most trusted news sources” are traditional media outlets.
“The source of a news story still matters, especially in North America and EMEA, where traditional media outlets remain the most trusted,” said Jennifer Risi
The survey also highlights the cumulative nature of effective media relations. Fifty-two percent of respondents said “the more a brand is covered by traditional media channels, the more credible the brand appears to its key stakeholders.”
So while it’s true, nobody watches the media like the media, get started somewhere usually requires a lot of heavy lifting.
It’s what you do with a PR Placement
It’s a whole lot easier to facilitate prospective customer through the buyer’s journey if they are already familiar with a brand. Building that familiarity – the brand awareness is a primary value proposition of PR and specifically media relations.
Marketers seem to agree, according to a survey or more than 500 marketing leaders by the tech PR firm, Bospar. “When CMOs and VPs of marketing have seen their company secure top-tier feature coverage, nearly all of them (94 percent) see an increase in brand awareness,” wrote Curtis Sparrer about the survey.
As the graphic nearby suggests brand awareness was followed by other common benefits such as traffic and search results. However, Curtis also points out it’s not just the placement, it’s what you do with it once you have it that counts just as much.
From promoting the article in social media – to send it to prospects – once you’ve earned coverage, you want as many people as possible see it.
Google still Influences the Front Page
Those PR practitioners that have lived through the evolution of digital may recall this rallying cry: Google is the new front page.
It’s the idea that when people need something, they were increasingly turning to the web rather than print for answers – and search engines were helping them sort out the results. It seems quaint now.
As it turns out, a survey published earlier this year demonstrates Google has sizable influence even earlier in the media stream: search is how reporters find sources. The search engine was followed by 2) pitches (from known sources), 3) breaking news, 4) social media and 5) press releases.
The survey queried 250 reporters and found trust and credibility remain critical factors in sources selection. More than three quarters (77%) said, “they specifically look for a source to be a recognized expert in their field.”