In my experience working at public relations (PR) agencies and as a one-man in-house marketing team at a startup, I’ve seen the impact that PR has in helping a business achieve its objectives.
But PR wins like placing contributed articles, helping companies win awards, and publishing press releases are often underutilized. When used to their full potential, they can have a significant influence on the company’s bottom line.
Here are 11 ways your sales and marketing teams can use PR to reach more people, close more deals, and even shorten the sales cycle.
1. Publish blog posts around contributed articles.
Contributed articles (aka bylines) are pieces bylined by someone at your company that are posted on a third-party website to position them as a thought leader.
Consider writing a blog post to go into even more depth on the topic your contributed article addressed. Maybe you want to provide more explanation for a point you made or you’d like to tie in recent news that makes your argument that much more compelling.
Doing this lets you get into more nitty gritty than many third-party sites care for and also lets you subtly brag about your recent placement. (Just remember to link to the original article!)
2. Update your bio page with relevant placements.
Sales prospects research who they’re talking to – they want to know if you’re credible. A good place to start? The bio page on your website.
By updating your bio with links to stories you’re quoted in and contributed articles you’ve written, prospects will see that a) your company is legit because third-party sources trust you enough to use you as a source, and b) you know what you’re talking about.
Pro tip: Add those links to your LinkedIn profile too, especially if you’re connected to prospects and current customers there.
3. Share contributed articles and stories with prospects.
Sometimes your media placements won’t be directly related to your company’s product or service – and that’s not a bad thing. These types of placements can be useful for showing that you do a lot more than sell – you help solve problems.
If one of your prospects is having a problem that a recent media placement can address, share it with them. You’ll prove that you bring a lot more than just a product or service to the table – and you’ll have an excuse to reach out, which helps build or nurture the relationship.
4. Tell everyone when you will be speaking at a conference.
Speaking opportunities give your company facetime with potential customers and give your company credibility on a topic.
Before the conference, tell your prospects when and where you’ll be speaking. Get them a ticket if they’re attending. Your speech might even convince them to retain your services!
Publish a blog post about the event, too. Share the post via social, email, and however else you communicate with customers. If you can get a video or audio recording of your speech, share that as well.
Note: Speaking opportunities should not be measured by the number of leads they generate for you. Their more important goal is to generate awareness of and increase credibility for your company.
5. Add links to recent placements (or your press page) in your email signature.
Your company has a press page?! You guys must be the real deal. (Is what prospects will think when they see it.)
Including these links in your email signature is a subtle way of proving visibility into your company’s credentials, without being overbearing.
6. Promote your award wins.
Awards are one of the most valuable PR tools because they prove that what you’re doing works.
Here’s how to make sure the next one you win has the biggest impact possible:
- Publish a press release or blog post. Offer insight into what the award means and take time to highlight any team members whose work made it possible.
- Don’t just write it – share it! Promote the post via social, email, or however you interact with your current and potential customers.
- Link to the post or release on all bio pages.
- … and in your email signature. Use language like, “ABC Company wins 2019 Best IT Services.”
- Add the logo to conversion pages. Award logos are subtle credibility markers and can help encourage website visitors to convert.
Note: Sometimes the organization giving the award writes a press release about the winner. Write your own to make sure it speaks to the needs of your customers, but link to the organization’s press release in yours to give the announcement even more credibility.
7. Update your press page.
Updating your press page with media placements looks good to Google and signals to reporters and customers that you have newsworthy things going on at your company.
Side note: Keep your blog and press pages separate. Your blog should be for blogging. Your press page should house links to third-party media placements and press releases that live outside of your website.
8. Promote placements on social and tag the reporter.
When you get a media placement, make an effort to share it on social – and tag the reporter! It’s a way to promote everyone involved, which is smart relationship building. For most businesses, LinkedIn and Twitter are best for this.
9. Blog and share. Blog and share. Blog and share.
Maybe you’ve noticed a theme: any time you publish a blog post or press release, share it via social, email, and any other channels you have for communicating with people who have expressed interest in your business.
10. Use excerpts from media coverage in your marketing materials.
Excerpts are valuable credibility boosters for your marketing materials. Don’t be afraid to include a quote or two from a media placement in web copy, brochures, or other marketing materials.
For example: If a third-party website names your podcast one of the top podcasts for financial services professionals, add that endorsement to the podcast page on your website.
11. Add validation logos to conversion pages.
I mentioned that adding award logos to conversion pages can help convince site visitors to click. The same goes for other credibility-building logos, including logos of any media placements you’ve earned (“as seen in…”).
You won’t be able to add the logo of every placement or award you win, so make time every quarter or so to decide which offer the most credibility based on your industry and your customers.
PR Helps Your Company Achieve its Goals
When done right, PR can have a noticeable impact on the success of your sales and marketing teams, and ultimately help the company achieve its goals.