In the old days most PRs lived by the saying “good advertising is what you pay for, while good PR is what you pray for”. Rightly or wrongly, we believed target audiences paid more attention to the ‘free’ company mentions that PR generates within editorial sections of the media than the paid adverts in the same titles.
If you’re a B2B tech marketer, you’ll know it’s tough to get the media to write news stories about your new products. Unless you’re Microsoft, Google, SAP etc – or your new product is a ‘world’s first’ (or involves a genuine step up in innovation) - corporate IT publications are unlikely to want to cover your launch. It's frustrating. So what are the options for generating product PR?
Facebook and Twitter were awash with shares, Likes, tweets and RTs about the UK’s EU referendum in the run up to the vote. In fact there were nearly 6 million social interactions with the official social pages for the Vote Leave and Britain Stronger in Europe campaigns in the 30 days prior to the big day. So was all this social sharing and interaction useful? Did it inform people’s understanding? Or just add to everyone’s confusion?
Social sharing through the likes of Facebook and Twitter has helped Brits better understand the issues underpinning the EU referendum vote according to a national survey. Maybe that's not a surprise, but the research also found that some people actually changed how they were going to vote based on information they've seen on social media.
B2B marketing and PR types are in no way exempt from the odd bad habit. But I think there’s one trap that's particularly easy to fall into, even when we know better. What am I talking about? Too often our content is still too focused on selling products.
In January Google made a change to the way it orders and ranks search results, providing some interesting insights for PRs and Publishers. Briefly, early analysis of this update (labelled Google’s core update) indicates that articles in online publications are being given a boost in search results if they are ‘timeless pieces’ that cover topics in depth. Shorter ‘newsie’ pieces are more likely to drop down in searches once they are no longer topical.
We know that if you can be a pioneer who starts or promotes a new trend, it has the potential to generate good PR. But today Asda is showing that it also works the other way around. If you go against the grain and decide to jump off a popular "bandwagon", then it can also lead to positive publicity.
It's likely that PR is playing a bigger role in helping websites rank higher in Google searches according to a recent study. And it’s all about the way PR agencies can help encourage online news publications to link to content on their clients’ sites.