media update’s Nakedi Phala takes you through the PR tactics you should consider using in your next campaign to help optimise your brand. As a PR practitioner, you cannot go into the new year without a plan of action that can help your brand survive a crisis or better its reputation. 

What better time to tell a new story than now? It’s 2020! Time to create a narrative to advance your brand’s agenda and build mutually beneficial relationships.
Here are four ways to optimise your PR strategy for the new year

1. Look into your analytics

Statistics and measurements are part of everyday life, and as a PR practitioner, you need to consider making analytics part of your scope of work. How will this help you? Here is an example: imagine you are a PR manager for a car brand, and your brand is lined up to be part of a motor expo that you have previously been a part of.

In this case, you would need to consider which car model in your range was best received by the audience.

Here are the stats you’ll need to look at in 2020:
  • Website traffic: Study your website traffic before, during and after the campaign. The analytics will give you direction as to whether your campaign is doing well or not. You can then take a look at the results and take action, or decide whether to improve or change your plans. 
  • Leads: One of the most important reasons why PR practitioners should track leads is to gauge referral traffic. It is important to know how much traction your event, press gathering or promotional campaign gained, as these insights can be referred back to and will help aid your next campaign.
  • Brand mentions: Who mentioned your brand, why was it mentioned and how many times was it mentioned? The answers to these questions are very important to know. But how do you find that information? Well, a company that has a knack for delivering this data is Newclip; this media monitoring company can track brand mentions on various platforms, be it print, broadcast, online or social media content — whatever it is, they’ve got you! 
Remember, analytics are vital to gauge your brand’s performance, knowing who your target audience is and acknowledging any changes within your market.  

2. Build trust 

As a PR practitioner, it is part of your job to make sure that your brand is trusted.  But what exactly is trust? According to an article by HuffPost, “Trust is a feeling of security that you have, based on the belief that someone or something is knowledgeable, reliable, good, honest and effective.” 

Building trust with associates is important for your brand because the aim is to make enough profit to keep your brand afloat. And you can’t do that if your associates don’t trust you.

For example, if you are discussing future ventures with other brands, be honest from the word ‘go’. This includes discussing the turbulence your brand has experienced and how you managed to deal with issues faced during that phase, as it would be unfair for your co-brand to discover later, after signing a deal, that you’ve been dishonest in conducting business.

Here are some points to take into your strategy for building trust: 
  • Keep your promises and follow through with actions 
  • Analyse all circumstances before taking action 
  • If you fail a client, investigate the matter, correct the issue at hand and work on restoring the faith your client has in you 
You, as a PR professional, are in the business of managing reputations, restoring tainted images and liaising for brands, so be trustworthy and reliable — say what you mean and mean what you say. 

3. Streamline press distribution

Your press releases can be distributed to various platforms, TV and radio channels, newspapers and online publishers. But who said you have to wait for a third party or earned media to publish or discuss your content?

Before you send your press release onto the publishers, ask someone with a journalistic background to scan the press statement to evaluate whether it is newsworthy, and then send it on. If you are given the go-ahead, you can publish it on your website, and your own social media platforms too. 

Like any other employees, journalists and publishers change careers. That is why it is important to keep in contact with them so that you’ll be the first to hear if they change media houses. 

If they have moved to a different place, remember to change their contact details in your contacts list, remove the old ones and make way for all the new contacts that they are working with.

Start the year new on a friendly note, build rapport with media practitioners and maintain current ones to make sure your pitches have a better chance of making headlines. 

4. Monitor your brand’s events 

Sometimes you have to return to the ‘old’ ways of doing things. Appoint someone in your PR team to keep an eye on your event. The elected individual should listen to what’s being said by people during the event and interact with media practitioners to discover the perceptions people have about the event or brand.

Here are a couple of tactics to consider: 
  • Ask what attendees don’t like about the event or the brand and how things can be improved
  • Monitor promoters. For example, if they are encouraging attendees to interact with the brand, are they giving out samples? Are the attendees trying those samples? Are they taking pictures in front of your banner? 
  • Where there’s a lot of negative talk about your brand, form part of the conversation and try to change perception. 
After the event, don’t forget to monitor your website’s comments section and social media pages. Be sure to search your event’s hashtag or tagline to find out ‘who’ posted ‘what’, ‘who’ is saying ‘what’ and take note of the information that will help you make informed decisions about your next event. 

Now that you know how to optimise your brand’s next PR campaign, what other elements should be part of a 2020 strategy? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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*Image courtesy of Vecteezy