You can — and should — leverage PR to build your bottom line. Here’s 3 ways to do so.
All too often, PR gets eliminated from an organization’s budget. Why? Because it’s often difficult to see how PR supports the bottom line. However, PR can play a meaningful role in long-term growth and financial success.
The key is how you leverage the output of your program, and whether PR is appropriately synched with business development to ensure business and revenue goals are realized.
1. Make PR An Extension of Business Development
Your PR program should be engineered to support your revenue goals.
For instance, if you’re aiming to acquire more community bank customers, then your PR should focus in that market. Makes sense, right?
However, many PR campaigns are completely lacking strategy and direction that deliberately ties to the organization’s business goals. PR must be an extension of your business development team. By linking the two closely together, fintechs can more seamlessly integrate its public relations efforts into its overall organizational goals.
To achieve this, your business development team must be engaged with the PR team and provide regular input. What products are most important this quarter? What will be important next quarter? Have goals shifted? Has market demand changed? These are important details to provide to your PR team.
Additionally, case studies are critical for a successful PR program; therefore, the sales team must be willing and able to provide customer testimonials. Business development professionals work in the trenches and speak with clients on a daily basis. They know who might be willing to share their story with the media.
They also know what questions people are asking and what barriers are preventing deals from closing — the pain points that make great fodder for PR campaigns. There are few things as powerful as sending a prospect a published article that addresses their concerns.
2. Leverage & Repurpose PR Results for Greater Impact
While PR teams can gain much from new business teams, it’s a two-way street. To gain new customers as well as grow relationships, sales teams must leverage the materials and results generated by PR programs.
Continuing with the earlier example, if your goal is to acquire more community bank clients, simply securing an article in Independent Banker isn’t going to guarantee that every community bank calls you tomorrow. They may never even see the article! To maximize your PR efforts, business development must use the articles and materials the PR program creates. For example, your team can share positive press in their social media accounts or include articles in their sales presentations and meetings with prospects.
Additionally, PR materials can be incorporated into sales letters and newsletters. A simple caption like, “Look Who’s in the News!” can further ensure that people are reading the right articles about you. The more you share good news about your organization, the more you reinforce clients’ good feelings about you, resulting in improved customer retention and satisfaction scores.
3. Track Your Leads
Finally, you must effectively track business activity generated by PR. For instance, add Google Analytics or a similar web traffic analysis service to your online newsroom. This is the only way you can appropriately benchmark the inbound marketing value of your PR campaigns.
Your business development team should include public relations activities as a source in any lead reporting system, such as “Article” or “Press Release.” To successfully measure the success of your PR efforts and ensure that it is aligned with the revenue goals, you need to know exactly where leads come from. If your sales system doesn’t have an option tied to public relations, then obviously your organization is going to have a hard time tying PR to sales. If there’s no data, there will be no apparent ROI.
Ultimately, if no leads can be tracked back to your PR efforts, it’s time to regroup and reevaluate. But often times, all you need to do is leverage your efforts that align with your overall strategy.