For the experienced PR professional, knowing the alphabet is more important than ever.
In a PR webinar hosted by Cision on Dec. 8, Gini Dietrich, founder of Spin Sucks Pro, delivered a presentation titled “From A to Z: Blogging and Content for PR.” Listing a PR tool for each letter of the alphabet, she provided advice for all professionals in the industry going into 2016.
Her first three letters are simple but powerful.
‘A’ is for analytics
Most PR specialists are familiar with gauging success of content through social media measurement tools and other metrics. Not only do they provide quantifiable results to analyze power of specific content, but also they increase value for the PR industry itself. Analytic tools can prove the effectiveness of PR when used to evaluate content outreach.
“(Analytics) enable PR professionals to prove that they’re an investment, not an expense,” Dietrich said.
Though analytics are useful in the data they provide, those in the PR industry should be cautious about relying on them too much. Knowledge beyond just the numbers also needs to come into the equation.
“Making decisions based on data alone is a dangerous proposition,” said Arik Hanson, a writer for Ragan’s PR Daily. “Instead, we should make decisions based on data combined with experience, context and our gut — one of the best tools available.”
Leveraging analytics in a balanced, discretionary way is key to creating successful content.
‘B’ is for blogging
The degree to which organizations use blogging to promote their brand, products or image varies. Regardless of how heavily a blog is used, creating meaningful content should always be the aim. According to Dietrich, getting content out on the company blog just to check off a list is not as effective.
“Blogging helps amplify content and show audiences what you’re creating,” she emphasized. “Think about how to use subject matter to build your company’s narrative.”
Rather than focusing on the number of times that blog posts are produced, write valuable content that will hit home with the audience. Dietrich noted that posting on a promotional blog one time a week can be more effective than posting five times a week if the content is more significant.
“Today, the rules are less about quantity and more about quality,” she said.
‘C’ is for calls to action
Every PR professional needs the mindset of “begin with the end in mind,” or approaching content with a vision of what will result from it.
“Help people go through the decision-making process,” Dietrich advised. “Consider what the first thing is that you want someone to do when they land on the content.”
PR often focuses on what an audience needs to know or how they need to feel, without enough emphasis on what actions they should take. Dietrich urged listeners to dig a little deeper than just audience interest and awareness by also monitoring behavior.
“Know how many qualified leads you have, not just followers,” she said.
Any PR organization can generate success by keeping these ABCs in mind. The results will speak for themselves.
Preston Williamson is a junior studying public relations at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. His career interests are in health care and service marketing. Preston is married to his wife Jane, and his hobbies include cooking, exercising and reading non-fiction books.