The Role of PR in lead generation

RonelleNews

With the economy in a state of unprecedented instability, businesses are increasingly looking to see real and measurable results from their marketing efforts. In light of this growing trend, lead generation has become a key focal point for B2B enterprises anxious to understand the actual impact of their spend.

Yet whilst lead generation is an exercise measured with relative ease from a quantitative perspective, its ability to drive business results is largely dependent on the quality of the audience created. As such, enterprises are being forced to look beyond the simple facts and figures, and employ a more holistic marketing approach to support their initiatives.

PR – a discipline once notorious for its inability to generate tangible results – is fast becoming a key strategic element in the quest for quality leads, offering reputational leverage and all-important credibility that differentiates businesses from their competitors.

Here are three key reasons why you should consider supplementing your lead generation campaign with PR:

Reputation Matters
In the world of social networking, reviews are critical to a company’s success, with peer recommendations increasingly demonstrating significant impact on bottom line. The B2B world is no different, except that instead of investigating sites like TripAdvisor prior to making travel decisions, potential leads look to case studies and client testimonials.

This is where PR comes into play, creating content for case studies, testimonials, thought leadership pieces and blog content, which can act as key differentiating factors in B2B decision making. As travellers are likelier to choose a highly rated resort for their next holiday, business executives are more willing leave those all-important funds in the hands of a company able to demonstrate a solid and reputable track record.

Familiarity Breeds Consent
Regularity is critical when it comes to establishing a business as a desirable supplier or partner, with studies suggesting that it takes at least seven encounters with a brand to establish real recall. For lead generation campaigns to really work, familiarity forms a critical element of success, which is where the creation of regular content in a variety of channels can prove invaluable.

Ultimately, potential partners and clients are likelier to accept a meeting request from the business they’ve heard of or seen somewhere.

No News Is Bad News
For a business to remain relevant in an ever-shifting business environment, it’s important to demonstrate expertise and foresight in the field. By publishing regular thought leadership content – both on owned platforms like blogs and via media outlets – businesses are able to critically differentiate themselves from the competition.

By taking to social media platforms like LinkedIn, and self-publishing blogs, articles and eBooks, businesses can establish thought leadership within the industry, creating recognisable personas and spokespeople with whom customers and partners can relate. Dated blogs and empty social feeds are the enemy of any lead generation campaign, as they suggest an inability to move with the times – something unlikely to inspire confidence in a generation defined by innovation.

Additionally, businesses that choose not to share relevant news regarding their accomplishments and accolades are wasting golden opportunities to cement their reputations. By incorporating elements of PR into marketing strategies, companies can ensure that they generate high-impact, quality leads.

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Interview with Bilqees Gabier about her journey since she started with Red Ribbon just over a year ago.

RonelleNews

How is RR different from other agencies?
Rather than being a “jack of all trades” as most agencies are, Red Ribbon has picked a niche market. They focus on one industry and they do it better than anyone else.

What is your favourite thing about the agency?
Basically, all of those things that “cool companies” are now doing to attract and keep employees — Red Ribbon has been doing for ages.

Have you been given much more responsibility since being hired?
I have accomplished more than I thought I was able to.

What advice would you give someone when choosing an agency?
Many times, people mistake or confuse agencies as being one and the same – they’re not. Find out about the culture of the agency and make sure it matches up with your ideas and personality.

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Getting the word out: Top tips for guaranteed press coverage

RonelleNews

Any business owner would love to have their business mentioned in the media. That is why many hire Public Relations firms or have their own in-house PR professionals. But if you need to do it yourself, here are six tips that are (almost) guaranteed to score you press coverage.

Pick your target

Target a specific publication or journalist with a corresponding area of interest. By appealing to a writer’s existing passion point, you’re far likelier to get a foot in the door. If you’re not sure where to start, head to Google – a simple topic search will quickly reveal the names of journalists who regularly cover it.

Dive a little deeper by trawling through their Twitter accounts, identifying views and areas of interest, and crafting your story to appeal to these.

Offer exclusives
By offering your story as an exclusive, you have a far greater chance of success. Rather than emailing your pitch, give the editor a call and ask for their input upfront, so that you can expertly craft your story in line with their suggestions. That way, you’ll ensure that when your story arrives in their inbox, they’re expecting it.

Work the calendar
It might feel contrived to use occasions like Valentine’s Day and Christmas to score coverage for your brand, but the reality is that journalists are hard pressed for seasonally-specific content over these periods.

For instance, if you’re a Property brand, you might want to consider an article focusing on tips for couples looking to buy their first home together.

Another way is to request a copy of your targeted publication’s editorial calendar, which will identify the topics to be covered over the course of the year. By writing a story specifically for a planned feature, you have a good chance of success.

Team effort
Whilst being credited as the sole purveyor of expert insight in an article is undoubtedly first prize for any business, the reality is that journalists prefers an unbiased story with multiple sources.

By pitching a story angle and offering up multiple spokespeople able to add further insight, you are making a journalist’s life easier by basically doing their job for them.

Yes, you might have to share the headlines with one of your rivals, but by positioning yourself as a collaborative force, you’ll better position your business to be seen by the right types of readers, and start establishing your brand as a go-to source of industry insight.

Curate local content
Journalists in Africa are starved of local statistics, having to rely heavily on facts & figures from abroad to substantiate their stories. As such, local research findings are highly sought after by media outlets, so if you can supply your own, you’ll be able to get positive media coverage. It will also help to establish you as a credible, well-respected industry leader.

Use the news in your favour
By keeping close tabs on current events and providing stories in line with a topic currently occupying the news agenda, you’ll be in a great position to score some high impact wins.

For instance, with the Rio 2016 Olympics around the corner, and you just so happen to be a security company, you can give safety tips to those attending the Summer Olympics. There you’ve got the perfect angle to hook your story on.

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