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Tips For Delivering An Effective PR Campaign

Tips For Delivering An Effective PR Campaign

Tips For Delivering An Effective PR Campaign

Within your PR campaign, there are several areas we consider crucial if you want to ensure your campaign is effective and always driving you closer to your goals.

At EC-PR, we emphasise the development of a powerful communication strategy and a considered campaign plan. These stages are the core of your campaign planning process and the work we put in is what makes our client campaigns so effective.

Here are our top tips for delivering an effective PR campaign.

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READ: 8 things to consider when choosing a PR Agency

Define Goals & Objectives 

Before you start your PR journey, you need to pin down what your goals are. What do you want to achieve? There are no right or wrong answers – your objective could be short or long term, and could be to launch a new product, or to change perceptions around your brand.

Which of these goals do you want your PR campaign to support? Having strong objectives is the only way you will ever be able to tell how effective a campaign is.

goalkeeper in a football net

Develop A Communication Strategy 

Every effective PR campaign is underpinned by a great communication strategy. Your communication strategy will define what you’re going to say, to whom and when you’re going to say it. Most importantly, it needs to be supported by robust evidence.

Skipping these vital steps will result in a poorly targeted campaign. A strong communication strategy needs to include your value proposition – why you exist and why anyone should care, in-depth persona development exploring pain points, aspirations etc, strong messaging for each stage of the buying cycle, and customer validation or research to ensure your strategy hasn’t missed anything and is aligned with reality.

Sounds like a lot of work? It is, but you will be thankful later! You can read more about developing an effective B2B communication strategy here.

Pull Together Your Campaign Plan 

The hard work isn’t over yet, but we are on the home stretch. Your campaign plan will establish what you should be talking about and where you should be talking about it. Start with a marketing asset audit to establish what resources you already have, if they are serving up the messages identified in your communication strategy, and what you’re missing. We suggest using a media lens model at this stage to identify your sphere of maximum potential influence.

Next, you will need to develop your editorial calendar – who is planning to write on what topics? Come up with topics, synopses, ideas for thought leadership pieces, and blogs that perfectly align with your communication strategy. Do you see why we place so much emphasis on developing a strong comms strategy? If you are stuck on ideas, simply refer to your strategy and think about how you can solve a problem, who has that problem, and how you communicate your solution. What you need to talk about should be very clear.

Here at EC-PR, we work with clients to develop what we call a Brilliant Ideas Bank – a suite of strategically aligned ideas to form the basis of editorial articles and help showcase your company’s knowledge and insights.  

chess board in play

Choose Tactics & Tools Carefully 

Choosing the right activities and channels to deliver your campaign is the key to success. Your communications should be based on everything you discovered during your research period. Don’t feel tempted to veer off course and try anything you can’t reasonably justify. If you’ve identified your target audience and hold industry insights, use them to your advantage and choose tactics and tools that have a strong chance of being successful. We use the PESO model to assist with tactical selection and prioritisation of the right PR tools.

Measure Your Success 

Finally, and it’s an obvious one…you need to measure your success. This is also why it’s so crucial to set clear goals right from the start. By measuring your successes, you can see how far you’ve come and how close you are to reaching your objectives.

pink measuring tape

At EC-PR we are passionate about B2B communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

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What to do with difficult PR clients

What to do with difficult PR clients

What to do with difficult PR clients

Client relationships, like any type of business or personal relationships, require nurturing, regular communication, time and effort. Every relationship will have the occasional bump in the road, but most issues can be ironed out with a phone call or a friendly (virtual) coffee/beer.

Yet, despite you and your team investing similar amounts of effort across all your accounts, you may find the odd client being persistently difficult, causing stress and demanding significant amounts of time to keep the relationship afloat.

What are the root causes for this issue and how do you best address them? Let’s look at some of the most common examples.

Avoid the original sin

Some client relationships suffer from the ‘original sin’ syndrome. I know you know about it. You take your CEO to the pitch, they promise the client the front page of the FT, and then you and the team need to deliver. Or rather, you are destined to under-deliver and disappoint.

This may be a rather extreme case, but shiny slide decks, spectacular presentations, account teams that clients will never see again etc. often portray an image that isn’t rooted in reality or presents a campaign which can’t be delivered with certainty.

Make sure your PR campaign pitch is polished and convincing, but don’t promise something you can’t guarantee to deliver, and do make sure the client buys into the people that will become their main point of contact. It will make everyone’s lives so much easier in the long term.

avoid the original sin of over promising to your pr clients

avoid the original sin of over promising to your pr clientsAvoid the original sin

Some client relationships suffer from the ‘original sin’ syndrome. I know you know about it. You take your CEO to the pitch, they promise the client the front page of the FT, and then you and the team need to deliver. Or rather, you are destined to under-deliver and disappoint.

This may be a rather extreme case, but shiny slide decks, spectacular presentations, account teams that clients will never see again etc. often portray an image that isn’t rooted in reality or presents a campaign which can’t be delivered with certainty.

Make sure your PR campaign pitch is polished and convincing, but don’t promise something you can’t guarantee to deliver, and do make sure the client buys into the people that will become their main point of contact. It will make everyone’s lives so much easier in the long term.

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READ: 8 things to consider when choosing a PR Agency

Manage expectations

In my experience, the majority of difficult situations stem from poor expectation management. A client may send across a request that isn’t clear, doesn’t specify a deadline, or is outside the current scope of work. If the account lead doesn’t ask for further clarification or fails to manage expectations, a simple request can develop into a major issue that undermines trust and causes tension.

Some difficult clients will tend to test the boundaries often and see how far they can push the account teams. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the onus is on PR agency leads and managers to immediately clarify any vague requests, request missing information, agree on deadlines, and flag any activities that need to be costed out separately.

why clients are difficult

Get under their skin

Let’s be fair, difficult clients aren’t difficult because they want to make your life miserable, but because they want their business to do well and achieve their objectives. As PR practitioners, we’re often guilty of not asking that simple yet very important question: “What does success look like?

The definition of PR success may mean very different things to different clients. Some just want new and fresh ideas, others are looking for a select number of articles in tier one publications. Some are looking for PR with a direct impact on sales. And yes, there are clients, who just want a friend! While we can’t be everything to all people, it’s important to listen and understand what good looks like from their perspective, and adjust our approach accordingly. By doing this, we’ll avoid many frustrating meetings or passive-aggressive emails.

Make them look good

If you feel that you’re being put under a lot of pressure despite delivering great results, or that your client just isn’t being ‘fair’, chances are rather high that this isn’t about you at all, but about your client being caught up in a difficult situation internally.

Take time to understand the internal dynamics of their business, the organisational structure and decision-making processes. Such insights will enable you to help your client navigate their internal corridors and strengthen their personal reputation. They will be forever grateful.

make your PR clients look good

Sack them

Sometimes (and very rarely) things may get out of hand, with clients causing persistent and unnecessary stress, acting like bullies and even causing your colleagues to resign. No client is worth risking the stability and cohesion of your team. Apart from the emotional cost, such clients also have a negative impact on efficiency and profitability that can damage the business.

I tend to agree with Chris Merrington that occasionally, it may be necessary to fire a client that’s not a good fit and is preventing you from growing as a business. In such a highly competitive industry, this may feel like an unnatural move, but it may open up capacity for developing a more profitable client relationship that’s built on solid foundations of trust and mutual respect.

when it's time to sack the PR client

At EC-PR we are passionate about B2B communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download Your Definitive Media Lens Guide to achieve your maximum sphere of influence

READ Should you choose a Specialist PR Agency? Find out here

look Check out the B2B Tech PR Sectors we operate in

to receive regular insights on how to make your PR work harder.

The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

Your definitive media lens guide

This PR guide provides a framework for B2B businesses to identify their sphere of maximum potential influence.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

EC-PR How We Guarantee Your PR Results Brochure Cover

How we guarantee your PR results

Turbo boost your PR today and expand your ability to reach business goals.

Download

What’s Changed In Tech PR Over The Last 12 Months?

What’s Changed In Tech PR Over The Last 12 Months?

What’s Changed In Tech PR Over The Last 12 Months?

As a tech PR agency, we have a vested interest in keeping up to date with what is happening in the tech industry. The last 12 months haven’t been an exception, but it has certainly been a bumper year for the industry with tech stories frequently featured in national media and more people relying on technology than ever before.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic PR for the technology sectors sometimes had to get a little creative, especially in the B2B arena where quite frankly, the subject matter can be a little dry! 2020 was the year that took some quite an ordinary tech from the B2B world and made it mainstream.

Quite honestly, who used Zoom this frequently before the pandemic? 2020 saw the remote meeting software provider score a 326% rise in sales. Great PR for the company – and then came the memes. From Jackie Weaver having no authority to various politicians showing themselves up – online meetings are a new source of entertainment (when they go wrong) and nine times out of ten, Zoom is mentioned in these stories.

B2B personas infographic

With everyone trapped at home for most of 2020 and the early part of this year, the way we work has been transformed and many tech companies are facilitating this transformation – think of all the infrastructure required to enable entire businesses to work from home, be able to contact each other, and for customers to be able to reach them.

The growth of tech hasn’t just impacted work time either – with spare time to kill and nothing much to do at home, the reliance on social media platforms, communication technologies, internet connectivity, and home shopping has soared.

Some of these areas were already seeing expansion and growth before the pandemic, but development was sped up by the rise in demand over the last 12 months. Augmented reality, for example, has experienced unprecedented growth as people look for new ways to experience shopping at home.

Has That Changed Tech PR?

With so much happening, and happening fast, tech PR professionals and agencies have had to become even more responsive and adaptable.

Tech PR has always required a high degree of responsiveness because technology is inherently fast-moving but 2020/21 has kept everyone on their toes.

The Coronavirus pandemic has touched every single part of the tech industry, including those we work closely with such as science, transport, and cybersecurity.

B2B personas infographic

For PR agencies there has been more crisis management than ever, probably a once in a lifetime happening actually! And as you can see from the stories above, editorial has been easier to secure for some industries as there doesn’t seem to be a day that has gone by without some part of a big tech narrative appearing in national news.

It’s been a mixed bag really. A big mixed, unprecedented bag.

Some tech industries have suffered during the pandemic, others have prospered.

One common narrative across all tech clients was the need to address the pandemic, logistics, safety issues and staff wellbeing. That was at the start of the crisis – once the dust had settled and the words ‘new normal’ started to appear alarmingly regular in the media, the tech industry was keen to demonstrate their relevance in this new normal, and how they could legitimately solve issues for businesses, and the public.

We’ve had to adapt our working practices too – we’re a London based tech PR agency and much of our time was spent attending tech events all over the city, meeting with clients or working together at our office. Like many businesses, we’ve had to make the shift to home working, and digital meetings.

We’re looking forward to what is to come – even before the pandemic, the tech industry was an ever-evolving and exciting (to us!) space to be in – Covid-19 just accelerated it even further.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

At EC-PR we are passionate about B2B communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is.

Download The Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations and how to ensure its success

READ this post: No Industry Is Too Complex For PR

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Your Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR Management

The Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR

Unforeseen circumstances have hit us all in 2020. Our guide shows you how to manage your PR in a crisis.

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International Women’s Day 2021 Thoughts From A Female-Led PR Agency

International Women’s Day 2021 Thoughts From A Female-Led PR Agency

International Women’s Day 2021 Thoughts From A Female-Led PR Agency

Monday is International Women’s Day, the annual event which celebrates women, recognises female achievements, and highlights inequalities. As a female-led PR agency, we feel proud to work in an industry where women overwhelmingly succeed.

But, despite PR being dominated by women, there is still a disappointing lack of women at the top.

Is PR A Woman’s Job?

First, let us get a couple of myths out of the way and give you an overview of the role of women in the PR industry.

The PR industry has a rich and extensive pool of female talent from which PR agencies can nurture and grow their teams. Women In PR put the number at around 67% in the UK, and the figures are similar across the pond in the US.

We don’t feel there is anything about PR that makes it a particularly feminine job or industry, so why are there so many women working in PR?

Despite sometimes conjuring up images of smartly dressed women breezing through fun launch parties, PR isn’t like that and we work hard trying to achieve the best outcomes for our clients. Working at a PR agency demands a high degree of multitasking and long hours!

Maybe our superior multitasking abilities are the reason we excel in PR and therefore make up most of the industry. And no, that isn’t a sexist stereotype – women are proven to be better at juggling several items at once. And working in PR, especially at a busy tech agency like EC-PR, IS a juggling act. We must be on the ball constantly – switching between accounts seamlessly and working towards different outcomes.  

b2b pr campaign planning leads to business growth upwards arrow

That’s all theorising though – we aren’t a hundred per cent sure why so many women work in PR. Perhaps it’s just the freedom and creativity that can come as part of the job.

That’s what PR entrepreneur Adriana Sol says attracted her to the industry, whilst speaking to The Atlantic in 2014:

“I found that the freedom of getting clients in front of who they wanted to be in front of was liberating.”

However, the same Atlantic article, exploring why so many women work in PR, also pointed out that despite PR being dominated by women, this wasn’t the case when it came to leadership roles or the boardroom.

 

The PR & communications industry is female-dominated (67%) overall. However, at senior levels it becomes male-dominated with only a third of boardroom positions taken by women.

– WomenInPR.org

That’s something Women In PR says is echoed in the UK – there is a shocking lack of women at the top of the PR industry. A survey by PR Week in 2018 found that only 39% of leadership roles in the PR industry are filled by women.

Men taking a larger share of top jobs isn’t something unique to the PR industry though – it is present across all sectors. Men are often recognised, praised, and rewarded in business more than women are.

That brings us neatly back to International Women’s Day and why, although we acknowledge our relatively privileged positions, we won’t stop advocating for more women in PR leadership roles and encouraging all women working in the PR industry to aim high.

Advice for Women In PR

EC-PR is a PR agency bucking the trend when it comes to leadership roles.

Not only are we female-founded and run, but most of our clients are in the typically male-dominated tech sectors too.

This isn’t down to luck though, Managing Director, Lorraine Emmett & PR Director, Liz Churchman have worked hard and have earned their positions.

Liz has some thoughts on why women tend to do well in the industry and advice for anyone thinking about a career in PR.

“For me, PR is all about building relationships and so, demonstrating passion, empathy and authenticity is incredibly important as this builds trust – this could be the main reason why women thrive in this working environment.  For anyone looking to pursue a career in PR, I always say stay true to yourself and find a mentor – someone in the industry that inspires you and you can learn from their experiences.  No matter how experienced you are, there is always room to learn – standing still isn’t an option.  You’ll have a far richer and rewarding career if you embrace feedback and share your knowledge and experience with others.”

b2b pr campaign planning leads to business growth upwards arrow

Managing Director, Lorraine also has advice for women working in the PR industry:

Lorraine: “Be open-minded, tenacious and inquisitive. Listen and follow the advice of more experienced women in your team and wider network. Give advice passionately and receive criticism dispassionately. Ask for regular feedback on your performance – you want to know what your boss considers your strengths and weaknesses to be; push for clarity around why they are perceived in this way with examples; and, what the person giving the feedback would do in your position to a) make the most of your strengths and b) redress the weaknesses. Don’t ever settle for ‘you’re doing fine’.  Ask them to champion your success – get them invested and enjoy your journey.

And for those aiming for PR leadership roles:

Regarding leadership roles in PR: don’t believe the myths. And, if in doubt, apply the 80:20 rule.  Most people are kind, decent and honest.  All women bosses aren’t bitches and, in most cases, will want to help you.  Everyone gets proficient at something they practice rigorously – therefore, women can multitask.  Women will take a leadership role if offered one – but they only get offered half the leadership opportunities so, put yourself forward and back yourself – you’re worth it.”

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our comprehensive guide: B2B PR Campaign Planning for indispensible templates, examples and tools.

Download our pricing guide: How Much Does PR Cost? for our transparent modular pricing.

READ this Tech PR case study: How 2i found its voice – 18 Benefits from a communication strategy

The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

Your definitive media lens guide

This PR guide provides a framework for B2B businesses to identify their sphere of maximum potential influence.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

EC-PR Packages - B2B PR Pricing Guide - front cover

How much does PR cost?

Our transparent guide to B2B PR pricing for tech brands.

Download

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