By Vanessa Gresley
As president of an agency that is breaking standards and striving for a human-centered environment, Kimm Lincoln shared with us at PRSSA International Conference techniques we can use to adapt to succeed in the PR industry; an ever-evolving one. Sit tight as I divulge with you these three techniques.
1. Push for Campaign Integration
When working anywhere or for anyone make sure you strive for one strategic and overarching plan including marketing, PR and advertising. It goes along with the idea of integrated marketing, allowing us to create a seamless experience over all our platforms for our audience. To create that one strategic and overarching plan, we must first have a deep understanding of our audience and goals.
“Your audience expects and deserves a seamless brand experience,” Lincoln said.
Paid ads can improve the experience of your campaign. You need to know your audience so you can meet the audience where they are. Once you have that deep understanding, you can work to keep your messaging consist and look for opportunities to leverage other channels to increase campaign reach and awareness.
Lincoln showed us a great example of a campaign that carries a seamless experience: GoPro’s “There’s a Hero in All of Us” campaign. They carry the same brand experience throughout their social channels, website and messaging.
Lincoln showed us this video which is a part of the campaign. Before you watch it, I must warn you, you might cry. What an amazing video! I know it made me tear up.
To conclude this point, Lincoln reminded us to continuously work to expand our skill set or ask for training.
2. Press Releases
Press releases are a technique PR professionals have used for over 100 years.
Did you know the first ever press release was written in 1906?
“Ivy Lee represented the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1906, a train derailed off a bridge in Atlantic City, causing more than 50 deaths. Instead of hiding the facts from the public--as was common those days—Lee invited the press down to cover the accident first hand. And in order to assure the press had accurate information.”
Well, I didn’t and it’s interesting to think he created authenticity in companies and now it’s craved more today, especially from Gen Z, than ever before.
Lincoln started this point about press releases by telling us to tell authentic stories. To tell authentic stories that spark something in people. Use a press release as an opportunity to identify your unique story and spark.
Not only do you need to identify your own unique story or your companies, but you need to interest your audience with that story. If you were your own audience, would you be interested? It’s something to always make sure you’re asking yourself.
But before the press release can even reach your audience, you have to find someone to get it to them and that would be the media. Lincoln said having contact is no longer enough, you have to pitch to people you don’t know. And in some cases, pitch your key media contacts before releasing on the wire. If the news is already out there, they might not be interested.
It’s important to create and maintain relationships with journalists but also to branch out and contact new people and try new methods. As many of us know now, influencers are a huge way to reach an audience and don’t need traditional press releases.
3. PR Measurement
Evaluation, the part that comes last after all the guts and glory of the campaign. But it may be the most important part because, well, did everything we just did mean anything?
Lincoln said reporting on impressions is virtually useless if you don’t also have corresponding business-impact goals. At some point someone will ask, “why am I paying you?” and you need to have an answer. Lincoln said it’s possible to do that by having the same goals your CEO does.
But, truly great PR changes behaviors and that’s how it should be measured. An example Lincoln showed us was 5 Gum and its Live True To Yourself, #NoRegrets campaign. Warning, this also might make you cry.
After the video aired, Martin inspired so many others to share their story. Now, that is a successful campaign and it had absolutely nothing to do with gum. It doesn’t always have to be a behavior change related directly to your product, it’s about exposure as well.
Overall, work with your client, your boss, researchers and analyst to benchmark behavioral metrics and set goals. Show that what you do, means something.
To end the session, Lincoln left us with some wise words, so I am going to leave you with the same:
“Find love in what you do, be creative to make the world a better place, push for change, strive to constantly learn, fight for your beliefs and find a company to work for that lets you do that.”