What are strategic PR opportunities, I hear you ask? And how does one go about finding them?
The PR and Comms industry can seem like a minefield of information, opportunities, and potential risks. But in the modern era of digitalisation and the 24-hour news cycle, PR professionals can’t rest on their laurels no longer.
Proactive outreach and strategic PR are the new buzzwords, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Read on to find out the best ways to discover and capitalise upon strategic PR opportunities.
Start a blog
Blog /blog/ (noun): A web page that is regularly updated with content – generally informal articles, opinion pieces, product guides, and more – published by an individual, group, or organisation.
Blogs have been around since the early 1990s; 1994 to be specific. With Justin Hall, the then Swarthmore College student, and American Polymath Jerry Pournelle, recognised as two of the earliest bloggers. And since their inaugural keystrokes, blogs have become popular with internet influencers, parental guidance fanatics, and businesses alike.
So if you don’t have a company blog, you’ve clearly been living under a rock. Organisations of all different shapes and sizes find blogs useful. And they’re absolutely worth investing time and money in, for a number of reasons.
A best-in-class company blog will allow you to display that you’re an expert in your field. As well as this, it helps with your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and will increase organic traffic to your website. Creating more touchpoints for each potential customer.
Most significantly, having a company blog on which you can showcase your knowledge of your industry or sector, will position you as a thought leader. An enviable position, and one we will discuss presently.
Become a thought leader in your field
Blogs are an incredible free resource, providing a wealth of knowledge on industry, sector, and company specific information. And they can be utilised for a number of reasons: to host content written by key spokespeople, promote participation in industry events, educate a new audience about your product or services. The list of use cases goes on and on.
But it is that ‘free’, or without commitment aspect of blogs that are so beneficial to businesses. You are providing your audiences with something interesting, educational, or useful, without asking them for personal or contact information. This generates trust and builds your position as a thought leader in your industry or sector, there will be strategic PR opportunities abound.
As a result you will be able to capitalise upon these opportunities; such as, becoming guest contributors to other blogs and pitching to prominent industry publications. These publications suffer no fools and take very little notice of businesses and spokespeople without previous content under their belt.
So building up a solid library of content in a blog is definitely a good PR move.
Partner with local businesses and media
Now that you have a solid blog under your belt, you can focus on other strategic avenues.
Developing partnerships with local businesses and publications will garner exposure. And open-up even more strategic PR opportunities. By partnering with local organisations you are opening yourself up to a new set of audiences you may have overlooked.
You must make the most of them recommending your business to their clients. And this mutually beneficial relationship with a respected business will boost your brand reputation.
But they absolutely need to be respected businesses. So research good local publications that are interested in your industry and offer doing an expert article for them. Or offer expert commentary on the issue of the day.
Alternatively, research social causes and local businesses with the same values as you. Putting time and effort into building these relationships will no doubt open up new and varied strategic PR opportunities.
Create PR buzz around your brand
Creating PR buzz around a brand is the oldest trick of the trade. And events are a great way to create some buzz around your company, key spokespeople, product, or services.
Exhibitions and conferences are a great way to build brand awareness and develop strategic industry relationships. Anything from sponsoring a big industry event, to holding a workshop or a speech, or even demonstrating your product at a stand, will be beneficial.
You can even hold your own events. They are a great way to create a PR buzz around your organisation and gain positive press coverage of your brand – without it being a sales pitch. These event initiatives will not only attract press coverage (resulting in all important media mentions), but can facilitate great networking opportunities.
Consider inviting industry influencers to participate or attend. Think about whether having industry experts and leaders speak at the event will work, or maybe include a panel session to discuss relevant topics, or Q&As.
The possibilities and strategic PR opportunities of events are endless.
Look for opportunities on social media
So you’ve got a fabulous blog and are seen as an industry thought leader. You’ve organised your own industry event, attended by thought leaders and covered in local and industry publications. Surely that’s it? PR, done and dusted.
Well, not quite.
You’ve forgotten about the endless supply of strategic PR opportunities via social media. Twitter and LinkedIn are the best places on the internet to find and interact with influencers and thought leaders in your industry.
Like, share, and interact with the content industry leaders put out on social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, you can form more organic relationships with them. By engaging and building relationships with thought leaders on social media, you’re laying the groundwork for future strategic PR opportunities.
And follow Twitter lists that are relevant to your business, industry, and sector. They can be a great source of news, new journalist contacts, and can often result in strategic PR opportunities. But that’s not even the best thing about Twitter. Arguably, the hashtags #JournoRequest and #PRrequest are one of the best tricks of the trade.
Used actively by both requesters and writers, these hashtags can bring influencers to you without having to do all the legwork. To make it more specific you can also hashtag your industry.
Invest in PR software to find strategic PR opportunities
One final way to find strategic PR opportunities is to invest in PR software. There are various tech companies with PR and Comms offerings that are useful for any number of PR related activities.
In regards to finding strategic PR opportunities, PR software companies can save you hours of laborious and manual research. Companies, such as Roxhill, are specialists as this and are worth checking out.
You can also find strategic PR opportunities by using a media monitoring platform. There are a multitude of benefits to investing in a media monitoring platform, such as real-time alerts that keep you on top of sector, industry, and your business news.
You can also use these types of platforms to track particular publications and journalists. A strategic tactic that will up your PR game exponentially. See here for the strategic PR opportunities available with, and the benefits of, media monitoring platforms.