A lot of people think PR and marketing are two different things. And while they each have their distinctions and nuances, a successful, holistic marketing strategy always involves both.

Marketing and PR need to work together for businesses to truly be successful. 

PR helps create brand awareness and visibility by getting your story to the masses, and it builds brand authority by placing your brand or your spokespeople in reputable publications. 

Marketing involves defining your brand, determining your target audience segments, and using various strategies to make touchpoints with potential prospects. 

So when you’re trying to figure out if you’re getting enough PR coverage, look at the marketing goals that your PR plan is helping you achieve—specifically, is the PR coverage you’re getting reaching the audience you’re targeting?

Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself: 

Is your brand being featured or mentioned in the media that investors, customers, and partners are seeing? 

If you’re not reaching your target audience, your marketing and PR efforts need to be reevaluated. 

Reaching your target audience doesn’t mean you’re reaching as many people as possible—it means you’re reaching the right people. Your investors, current customers, and future customers all have certain patterns of behavior that marketing and PR efforts can come together to analyze, predict, and reach. 

With this data, your PR team should be able to identify where your target audience gets its media, and they shouldn’t limit this investigation to traditional news publications. Digital PR means looking beyond newspapers and magazines to include blogs, podcasts, livestreams, and more. Once your PR team gets hits—whether in traditional publications or otherwise—they need to make sure that the target audience sees them. 

In PR of old, publicists and the companies they worked for had very little control over what their audience saw. Once a piece was published, people either saw it and took notice or they didn’t, and that was that. Now, in the time of social media, an important part of PR is bringing the news to the audience. We do this through social media amplification, having a press page on your company website, and by weaving press hits into other content—like linking to a press hit on the company blog. 

Modern PR doesn’t stop at getting the hit; that’s where the real work starts. It’s through amplifying PR hits and making sure the right people see it that PR really impacts the sales funnel. We call this sales-enabled PR. 

How do you compare to your competitors when it comes to media coverage? 

An important way to determine if you’re getting the PR results you need to move the needle for your company is by tracking your Share of Voice(SOV).

Share of Voice, in a nutshell, is the share of the market that your brand owns. Think about it this way—if someone talks about athletic shoes, what shoe company do you think of? 

Nike? Addidas? Reebok? Most likely, one of those crossed your mind, and that’s because these brands how the largest share of voice. 

The companies that are most visible—those with the highest SOV—are the ones that people trust. After all, Nike wouldn’t sell millions if they didn’t have one of the best products on the market, right? And that credibility brought on by visibility (SOV) leads to profitability. 

But it isn’t just SOV that builds credibility—it’s also getting the right type of placements. If you’re getting mentions in the National Enquirer while your competitors are getting bylines in Forbes, odds are they’re going to come across as more credible. (Unless, of course, your company is about investigating the paranormal or finding evidence that Elvis is, in fact, alive.) 

A series of strong placements in relevant industry publications and other trusted media sources will build your brand’s trustworthiness and authority. This will not only help you gain SOV in your industry—it will also ensure that the messaging around your SOV places you as a frontrunner in the industry. 

Are you in key industry publications and in ongoing conversations regarding industry trends? 

A lot of traditional PR agencies focus on sending our press releases and communicating the goings-on of your business. This is all well and fine, but it doesn’t always lead to exciting press or strong engagement. Strong PR teams go beyond announcing your new product, CEO, or funding round. They tie your business’s news to the trends and conversations of your industry and of society at large. 

This not only creates engaging press—but it also places you at the center of these conversations. When you or your business sit at the center of a hot conversation or topic, it compels the media to seek you out. 

As we say at Zen: press begets press. The more your PR team can make you an important thought leader in the industry, the more publications will cover your company’s news organically and ask for your insights on new trends and topics.  

So, is your PR agency getting you enough coverage?

If you’re answering no to one or more of the questions in this blog, it’s time to talk to your agency and reevaluate your efforts. Make sure that they know what your goals are, and ask them how they plan to achieve those goals. 

PR hits don’t happen overnight, so give your agency a little time to get to know your brand and build relationships with relevant publications, podcast hosts, and more before you panic. 

But, truth is, if you aren’t seeing results after a few months, that’s a problem.

Need help getting those hits and moving the needle? Let’s talk. 

Your brand needs PR more than you think, especially if you want to generate income. As PR professionals, we may seem biased, but here’s the truth: PR is in charge of putting your products and services in front of the eyes of your target audience. It’s what shows consumers that you exist and can provide the solutions to their problems. 

Once people see your brand for the first time, they’ll begin to notice it more frequently—this is called frequency bias. Frequency bias plays into the idea that once we notice something for the first time, we’re more likely to continue noticing it. And the more we see something, the more inclined we are to trust it—especially if some places people see your brand are esteemed industry publications.

According to Forrester, you’ll need to be in front of your consumers 27 times during their buyer’s journey before converting and making a purchase. With PR working on your side, those 27 touchpoints will happen more quickly, and each touchpoint will be more impactful—helping you build trust. 

So how does PR generate revenue? It creates brand visibility through frequency bias while building credibility and trust—all of which leads to higher conversion rates and an increase in share of voice. With that said, here are five ways you can use PR to generate revenue for your business. 

Related Post: How PR Impacts the Sales Funnel 

Five Ways PR Can Drive Revenue For Your Company

Focus on Visibility 

Like we mentioned earlier, getting people to notice your brand and develop frequency bias is a huge goal of B2B PR. So focusing your efforts on building visibility will only increase your company’s opportunities to build frequency bias. The more a person notices your brand, the more familiar they become. The more familiar they become with your brand, the more credibility you will have. And the more credibility, the more likely they are to spend their hard-earned money with your brand. 

Develop Partnerships 

When we think of partnerships in PR, we often focus on important reporters, media outlets, and even other organizations. But if we consider partnerships beyond publications and journalists, a new door opens to work with respected influencers and industry thought leaders. Similar to a newspaper reporter or a radio spokesperson giving a shout-out to your product, when well-known influencers and industry leaders talk about your product, it builds credibility for your brand. Additionally, because influencers and industry leaders often have captive audiences, working with them can give your brand access to a specific target market that you may not have been able to reach so readily otherwise. 

B2B influencer marketing can help build your brand’s social proof—and that’s important since we know most B2B purchase journeys begin with online research.

Be Authentic 

Building an authentic brand is crucial to developing trust with your target audience. Consumers have developed an acute spidey sense for insincerity, and they will let you know when they sniff it out. Since no one wants that PR crisis, focus on expressing your brand messaging in the most authentic, truthful way. Fact-check everything you share, avoid generalized statements about your brand without stats to back it up, and, perhaps most importantly, listen to your audience.

All too often, companies get caught up in the message they want to send to their potential buyers. They are focused on what they say and how they say it, which is undoubtedly important. But remember that the feedback loop is faster than ever, and consumers will let you know when they don’t love what you have to say. Even if they don’t express it on social media, they’ll show it by where they spend their money. 

When you accurately and truthfully represent your brand and communicate transparently with consumers, winning market share is much easier. 

Related Post: 5 Steps to Developing an Outstanding Brand Voice on Social Media

Show You Care

Now more than ever, consumers want companies to stand for something. Research shows that 46% of people believe that companies need to take more responsibility for their role in society, with 55% of people saying they’re more likely to make a purchase from a company that shows empathy. This is true in both the B2B and B2C markets—and consumers are demanding real action, not just donations and supportive press releases.

Not sure what your company should “stand for”? Find a cause in your industry or community you can really get behind—or even poll employees or your customers to find out what causes they care about most.

Have a Plan

PR by itself is great, but PR as a part of a larger B2B marketing strategy will really kick things up a notch. Here at Zen Media, our PR agency uses the term “PR ecosystem” to describe how PR is part of a marketing plan but needs to be combined with other strategies like social media, paid ads, and content marketing to make it as effective as it can be.

Having a full plan in place in support of PR efforts means that any PR hits your brand achieves get amplified and repurposed on social media, blog content, and more. Maximizing every piece of coverage solidifies your brand messaging, increases visibility, and drives traffic to your website. All of which, you guessed it, can help increase your revenue.

Planning and executing a PR plan to increase business revenue can be overwhelming. Building strategy, developing partnerships, managing brand voice, and measuring it all? Yeah, we know—it’s a lot. But never fear; Zen Media is here.

Need help developing a PR plan to increase your revenue? Reach out.