How can we pump up our PR strategy? Those who attended the last #MarketingMinds chat know the answer. Don’t worry –  we’ll also share the scoop here because we’re nice like that!

Q1. How can competitive insights benefit your PR strategy?

@megan_j_hughes believes that competitive insights can help us understand what works and what doesn’t, without having to make the mistakes ourselves. @Animatedgiff agrees, stating that if we know which competitor’s posts have received high engagement we can replicate this in our own PR strategy, therefore ensuring a well-tailored message.

As @themiceblog mentions, by comparing competitive insights over a number of years we can start to recognise major trends and understand why and how they developed. We can then use this data to make informed decisions about what the future is likely to hold and adapt our PR strategy to accommodate this. In addition to this, @mcsaatchimena thinks competitive insights can push us to exceed and be the best in our field.

Q2. Fill in the blank. A well-crafted pitch/ message should be______

@themiceblog suggests we do our research before attempting to craft a pitch/ message. We must first have a strong understanding of our client’s business area so that we can either create a need or find a solution. @megan_j_hughes agrees, expressing a pitch should be personalised and insights deducted from social media data can aid personalisation. Meltwaters social media monitoring platform can help us with the search for such data. For example, if we know females in the US are more likely to engage with a particular message compared to females in Spain, we can tailor our message around those interests.

On a similar note, @Animatedgiff considers a well-crafted pitch/ message to be relevant, engaging and insightful. @AgentPalmer emphasises the need for a pitch or message to be simple and refers to the KISS anagram- “Keep it Simple, Stupid”. Whereas @Spectreoutreach comments, a pitch should be shocking. @megan_j_hughes disagrees, stating it depends on the audience and message objective; we must be careful not to shock client customers so much that they churn.

Q3. How can you find contacts for your media list?

@AgentPalmer finds media contacts by monitoring Twitter hashtags, confirming this is a great way of finding influencers within a specific topic or demographic. @megan_j_hughes and @karlodoherty both add, influential media contacts can be discovered through social media tools, such as Meltwater Buzz. This social listening platform allows us to find industry influencers and ranks individuals by taking into consideration the size and quality of their community, inbound and outbound engagement levels, channel participation etc. Find out more about this here.

Staying on the social bandwagon, @mcsaatchimena express how Twitter chats offer great opportunities to connect with a community. Alternatively, @themiceblog suggests we find contacts by networking at events or on professional social networks such as LinkedIn, adding that quality is more important than quantity.

Alternatively, we can use media contact databases. These can help us to save both time and money whilst ensuring we build PR strategies around timely pitches. Meltwater News public relations suite has the industry’s only keyword search that targets journalists based on the topic of their most recent articles, rather than purely assigning a beat to a name.

Q4. Which tools/ metrics do you use to measure PR strategy success?

@sameerjawle is interested in website referral traffic and uses this to measure PR strategy success, other metrics participants mention include AVE, earned media hits and share of voice. @hotwirepr is however opposed to measuring PR and instead states that we should be measuring business impact, for example leads, traffic, perception shift etc.

With reference to tools used to measure PR strategy success, @AgentPalmer proposes the use of Google analytics to tell us who came to our page and from where. Alternatively, as @megan_j_hughes mentions, the majority of media monitoring tools can also help us measure PR strategy success. Meltwater News, for example, measures brand media footprint against metrics such as share of voice, reach, geographical spread, sentiment, trends and so on.

Engagement wasn’t mentioned in the chat as a specific metric to measure PR strategy success, but we feel it’s important to reinforce. If we know what influencers are talking about it helps us understand messages that will resonate with them and the most appropriate channels to reach them. From that engagement, we receive the impressions, a core KPI.

Q5. What is your top tip for creating a successful PR strategy?

@megan_j_hughes’s top tip to pump up our PR strategy was to be relevant to the audience, @kshahwork agrees, stating understanding the demographic is crucial. @sameerjawle believes starting conversations with media contacts early in the PR campaign is important; whilst @AgentPalmer suggest we find social media influencers to share our message, adding traditional media has less of an impact nowadays and influencers are where the future is heading.

Finally, tailoring the message to our audience needs and interests was mentioned a number of times among participants.