Unfortunately, it is too easy to overlook public relations these days when everybody is screaming social media, website traffic and all things online.
But public relations can and does play a critical role in helping a small business with its online presence and in generating bottom line sales.
First, let’s review some of the traditional advantages public relations has over traditional media: PR…
- serves as a very economical way to reach masses of people
- creates awareness
- puts a shine on your company’s image
- infers activity and innovation
- creates a distinct advantage over competitors that are not using PR
- is more credible than traditional advertising
That last point, credibility, is an important factor in a marketplace where today’s consumers place very little value in advertising and prefer the recommendations and referrals of their friends online.
How can PR help with social media and online marketing?
You see there are some current trends that are pushing public relations into a very effective lead generation tool.
1. Increased emphasis on visual media
We’ve all heard about how the visual is becoming more important on Facebook and other social media platforms.
Well, all text press releases are disappearing and are being supported by cool images, entertaining or informative videos. Consumers are responding. In fact, the more visual enhancements added to a press release, the more effective PR becomes according to a recent study by PR Newswire. Study results showed:
- adding a photo increased the number of views by 14 percent over an all text press release
- adding video resulted in a 20 percent increase
- adding both photo and video increased views by 48 percent
- adding photo, video plus documentation (e.g. PDF, Word doc, PowerPoint, etc.), resulted in a 77% increase in views.
- or additional documents, PDFs, podcasts and you could see an increase of between 48 – 77 percent in page views.
- visually enhanced press releases also benefited from increased shares
- adding multimedia boosted release shares from .99 times per hour to 3.5
2. Increased emphasis on backlinks
Google isn’t crazy for black hat methods of capturing backlinks. Digital PR is pure white hat. Capturing placement through public relations on a high trafficked blog or news site will generate increased traffic and sweeten SEO for your website.
If some thought is given to where that additional traffic is going to be directed, a company could generate a lot of additional leads.
3. Increased need for more and more content
Anything in a press release can be turned into great blog posts, tweets and updates for social media outlets. Plus one story can have many angles that, in turn, can create additional content for one’s website, blog, social media outlets and possibly additional press releases and continuing the cycle.
Using public relations just makes sense for any business owner – no matter how small.
You should check out the PRNewswire Study to find out how some companies are using PR to point traffic to select pages and generate leads. Also, you can find out more about public relations in the following posts.
How will you be using public relations in your future marketing efforts?
What, if anything, is holding you back from using public relations?
You should share your thoughts and experiences with PR in the comments section below.