In Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Social Media Marketing

3 Ways to use Inbound Marketing Tactics
in your Public Relations Strategy.

The speed of light: Light travels at a speed of 186,000 miles/second. That’s 671 million miles/hour. The public relations industry? It’s moving at that speed… x2. 

Public relations practitioners are used to thinking on their feet. We’re news junkies that are learning new tactics every day. But, even as a quick-footed, recent PR graduate, I have to raise my hand and say, “I was behind the times!” It took a recent conference  for my two worlds of marketing and PR to finally collide.

The shocking truth: reporters hate outbound marketing too! (A.K.A. reporters are people too).

1. Use social media for research

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more are fantastic tools for all communicators. They are perfect for sharing news, demonstrating brand identities, and building awareness for events or issues. They are also perfect for research.

As Inbound Marketers, we create Twitter lists of our target audience and potential clients. We follow the companies we’re interested in on LinkedIn and subscribe to Google updates on industry topics. You can apply the exact same practices to your public relations strategy.

The key to a successful media placement is a solid relationship. You know the reporter and they know you. But where can you start without knocking down their front door? Follow them on Twitter. Read their publication’s Facebook posts or LinkedIn updates. Get a sense of what’s happening in their world before you assume they even want to write about your world.

2. Kill the press release

Who says, “Yes please, I would love to receive more email!” Not I! And neither do reporters. Their inboxes are inundated with the same junk as ours. Then, on top of it all, they’re supposed to read your dry press release? I think not.

We all want to stand out, to grab someone’s interest. Well, if we’re all sending identical, templated press releases, then we’re only fighting ourselves. You’re still going to have to send that email. But, by integrating video, photos, or even just transforming paragraphs into bulleted lists you’ve already made a reporter’s day a little easier. But, what if you did something different all together?

What if you never had to send that cold pitch email?

Perhaps you’ve been researching a publication and reporter through social media. Then, one day you see they’ve asked about a topic you’ve already written about on your blog? Here you go! You’re a successful PR pro and an expert inbound marketer all in one. You can share relevant, educational content to make someone’s day easier and they will reward you in return.

*The exception: A press release will do if you have hundreds of thousands of followers. But, I bet your target publications would be much happier if you tried something a little different!

3. Use your blog

Don’t have that blog post ready to share as mentioned above? Get moving! It’s both your bait and your fish. You are a self-publisher who wants to partner with someone else to help them do their job. 

Help them find you

What do you think a journalist does when they want to quickly research something? Did I hear, “Google it?” (Again, back to “reporters are people too.”) Imagine if they were researching a topic and they came across you or your client’s blog. Bam! They’ve found all of the answers they need. 

  • They increase your organic search results and bring new visitors to your website.
  • The author of the blog is now an expert! They now have prepared quotes already published.
  • Blogs are information you can control. Even if the article goes sour, your post will live on.
  • Add a video and suddenly you’ve demonstrated how you or your client would make a great interview.
  • Do news publications follow you on social media? Share your blogs…they’ll see them.

You never know…keep an eye out and soon you might get that golden #HARO moment! (HARO started as a website, Help a Reporter Out, to connect news sources with journalists and has grown to be a popular hashtag on social media for journalists to find answers and help!)

Inbound marketing and PR can converge in a happy world for journalists, businesses, and readers. It’s all about being honest, helpful, and transparent.

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