RE ARMING FOR THE PR BATTLE IN 2011
22nd July, 2011
Related News: News
Today we continue our series of useful advice about how to do PR in 2011. In this post we look at the ability of PR strategies to reach directly to the end customer. Once PR material only reached customers through the medium of the press, which acted as a gatekeeper, filtering out the least useful information.
Given that consumer buying habits have changed massively, companies no longer get 30 sales inquiries out of which only few materialise with purchases. Instead they receive only a few leads, which are already qualified, because the potential customer already knows everything they need to know about the provider. They have found the information on the provider’s Web site in press material published about the company or on its Blog, via its social media outlets or via any of the other marketing footprints we leave behind. They don’t need to ring you for a datasheet anymore.
So the question is, ‘how can we provide the information that customers need to pre-qualify themselves?’ Yesterday we discussed using media relations to help achieve this. But we can also introduce elements of sales promotion into a PR campaigns to achieve the same effect.
For instance, material such as white papers and sales collateral can be good ways of implementing these tactics. White papers are used to educate readers and help them make decisions, by arguing that the benefits of a particular technology, product or service are superior for solving a specific problem. These papers will highlight information favorable to the company authoring or sponsoring the paper. Such white papers are often used to generate sales leads, establish thought leadership or make a business case. Equally downloadable, free and easy to use, guides, calculators or jargon busters can make good content.
But this has always been the case, the thing that has changed is that we now have more channels that we can use to pass this content on to customers. Social media outlets, including vertical ones such as NMI.net as well as the usual suspects, online and print media, a well optimised Web site, your Blog and other people’s Blogs can all be excellent vehicles for presenting your collateral to your customer base.
The takeaway from this is that sales collateral represents another method of taking advantage of the fundamentally changed buying habits in the engineering sector. And as the audience expectations evolve, so must our communication channels, we have to re-arm for the PR battle ahead. The old bullets might not be enough anymore.
Photo courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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