We all know of Comic Relief, BBC Telethon, London marathon and other big block buster charity fundraising events. These raise millions for worthy causes around the world. However for the small charity telethons, TV etc are well out of their reach. So how does the small local charity fundraise like the big boys? By levering the power of PR that’s how.
By harnessing the power of PR, charities can raise their profile and draw attention to their worthy cause. PR may not raise funds directly but in conjunction with creative fundraising strategies will certainly increase the likelihood of success. Additionally, where possible charities should exploit the massive PR value of a celebrity or alignment to a well-known brand to further boost awareness and donations.
PR is about communicating effectively to key publics and creating a “mutual understanding”. So therefore charities must have a clear and deep understanding of what PR can achieve. PR strategies are for ever changing. In this article we look at five of the current PR trends for 2017.
Journalists Will Be More Diligent Than Ever
If there is one lesson we should all take away from this past year, it’s that journalists will be more diligent when it comes to the facts—now more than ever. Some of the biggest news outlets in the United States were caught completely off guard in 2016 by major corporate and political surprises. There is no one answer as to why this happened. Part of it was hyped-up figures disguised as facts. Another cause was the enormous propagation of fake news.
There is no better example than the downfall of Theranos, the Palo Alto-based blood-testing company. The Wall Street Journal’s investigative piece on the company, published at the end of 2015, pulled back the curtain on what many in the business, health, and technology trades thought was going to be a jewel of Silicon Valley.
In reality, the emperor had no clothes all along. The Journal’s article triggered a domino effect of follow-up articles, lawsuits and devaluations. Many reporters have publicly admitted since the downfall that their coverage of Theranos should have asked deeper questions about the company’s technologies. Given how stories like these dominated the media landscape this year, editors are already instructing their reporters to look more closely at the facts and what public relations professionals send.
Earned media comes first, and paid amplification comes second.
PR efforts are increasingly important to your marketing team because marketing can put spend behind the media you earn to more successfully get the right eyes on the exact kind of press you want representing your company. If you focus on earning that media first, your team will have the chance to measure what works and identify when it makes sense to put dollars behind certain pieces of content. At the very least, I would create some documents to help promote your content, like this editorial calendar and content promotion checklist. As your content advances, these can as well.
It also builds authority more naturally so when you want to market somewhere, you’ve often earned the authority and credibility to do so for free. Let’s use speaking as an example. Wouldn’t you rather become a keynote speaker because of your industry leadership and earn an invitation from an event organizer than pay $30,000 for the speaking gig?
Even if you do pay to sponsor something, you’ll walk into a negotiation with more bargaining chips if you’ve already built up the brands and influence of your key employees. And building the influence of your key employees also leads to more influencer marketing opportunities. When one of your leaders contributes to a publication or speaks at an event and she mentions other relevant influencers, it’s a natural way to earn — not buy — those relationships.
PR and SEO are joined
If PR is all about content, it stands to reason that PR and SEO must work together, and that PR professionals should have more than a passing familiarity with SEO and web analytics. When it comes to content, quality and relevance have replaced sheer quantity as a key metric. It all goes back to Google’s now-famous Penguin algorithm update, which as Bruce Kennedy puts it, led to “the shotgun wedding between PR and SEO.” Penguin penalized shady backlinks, keyword stuffing, and other black-hat SEO strategies in favour of quality content. To be shareable, content must be optimized, so fluency in SEO basics is a necessary skill.
But there’s a new development on the horizon known as “implied links.” Implied links are simply brand mentions that appear in earned or shared media. They’re undoubtedly good for visibility, but in the absence of a true link, they’re impossible to track. Google quietly filed a patent in 2014 that many in the search business feel presages an actual formula for tracking implied links. If true, it bodes very well for PR, which excels in generating powerful but maddeningly hard-to-measure mentions.
It may be premature to say the news release is dead—particularly for regulated industries—but the idea that you can write it, mass distribute through your email…and expect results is antiquated.
As media outlets continue to furlough or completely layoff seasoned journalists, contributors (paid and unpaid) will rise, assuming they (like thought leaders) have something interesting new, valuable and/or controversial to say.
In this 24/7 media cycle we’re in, everyone needs really good content—and that can come in the form of something you’ve produced internally, so long as it’s targeted to the publication’s readers and is valuable enough for them to want to publish and share.
And, if you have engaged social networks and can prove you are influential in your own right, media outlets will continue to want to work with you, if only for the sole reason that you’ve increased their page views and maybe even their audience base.
Social media domination
The launch of Facebook live meant for the first time users could live stream anything, anywhere for all their friends to see. This move towards streaming content seeks to meet the demand for ‘in the moment content’ with more and more apps set to introduce live streaming capabilities. As the industry faces a constant battle with engagement, live content offers the chance to directly interact and inspire audiences.
Social media has also lead to the rise of ‘the influencer’ who may seem like just a snap happy blogger but in fact has the ability to shape opinion. Social media has the power to make or break a campaign and as public trust in advertising dwindles, consumer surveys report a large majority of us trust recommendations from people we don’t personally know. In 2017 it is clear that influencer-marketing strategies could be a major part of propelling a brand to the top of the market.
Want to drive web traffic and sales in 2018 through the power of PR? Then call our marketing team on 0208 090 2233/0794 9529 231 or complete our online form for more details.