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What creative tactics replace the press release for tech services PR?

What creative tactics replace the press release for tech services PR?

What creative tactics replace the press release for tech services PR?

Why the need for new tactics?

The changing face of the media, with less staffing journalists on publications and more writers and bloggers to reach out and connect with, has had an impact on the way we do PR. But while content remains king, the staple of any B2B tech PR campaign – the press release – is becoming less favourable with journalists, and it’s losing its effectiveness in terms of media coverage. There is too much noise and not enough journalists. Although a press release is still useful for a launch, executive appointment, or other ‘hard news’ announcement, there are more creative routes to securing coverage for your business and boosting your brand.

Yes, newsjacking and a publication’s own forward features lists (if they exist) provide a chance to gain coverage. Yet the quality and quantity of this coverage is editorially dictated with the outcome of a PR’s pitch varying wildly from not being included in an article your CIO has interviewed for, through to snippet-mentions.

Here are our most highly recommended campaign tactics to maintain dialogue with your target journalists and writers and achieve some outstanding coverage.

What role can blogging play in engaging your audience?

If you haven’t already started, blogging is a highly recommended way to draw your audience closer to your brand and your business. This involves writing a 600–800-word article, or series of articles, placed on your website or posted via an executive’s social media LinkedIn account. With complete control of this content and its placement in your owned media, you can communicate your key messages in a quality article and position yourselves as industry experts on various sub-topics of the industry.

Through gaining likes, share and comments, you are building a community of supporters and our client experience has shown us that this route can even lead directly to sales meetings and high-level networking with decision-makers and industry influencers.

How can article placement help your brand reach?

Another way to target your audience, promote your story and extend your brand reach is to secure a feature placement in a top-tier technology media outlet such as ITProPortal or Channel Pro. Selected top-tier tech media outlets will accept contributions of a generous 1500+ words, which is secured through a carefully prepared and targeted synopsis to the editor. The resulting quality coverage, which appears like editorial, often contains your strategically-placed backlinks to ‘contact us’ or the homepage, thus driving traffic straight to your website. Other benefits include traction via social media to gain LinkedIn and Twitter likes and shares, as well as uploading coverage to sales pitch presentations.

What can a thought leadership approach deliver?

Thought leadership is an effective way of attaching authority and credibility to your brand. Undoubtedly thought leadership is a trending tactic in B2B PR. This is where you place a senior executive’s self-authored article in an influential publication of your choice on a topic relative to your industry which educates and informs your target audience. The article will elevate the brand through communicating the author’s expertise. Sharing a link to the published article on social media can have an impressive and instant reception with followers.

Can one-to-one interviews make a difference?

One-to-one interviews help to build relationships, open opportunities, and extend coverage so yes, they can have a considerable impact. By strategically pitching selected key journalists with a carefully prepared pitch that may include your recent business news, a set of topical and perhaps controversial technology topics for discussion with a senior executive or product manager, you’re more likely to get their attention. This can result in setting up one-to-one interviews with a spokesperson from the business. With a media-trained spokesperson who can tell the company’s story in an engaging way and communicate key business messages, the resulting coverage from the journalist is likely to be positive, decent in length and a good reflection of recent business initiatives.

Is there anything more valuable than an editorial endorsement?

There’s nothing better than third-party endorsement for a technology business. A case study which delivers your customer’s story – the challenges through to solution deployment and business benefits – is always highly sought after by journalists, and if you can offer an exclusive pre-written case study to a top-tier publication, you will be likely to obtain quality coverage. If the case study isn’t already written, it’s best to invite the publication to agree with you the desired length or ask whether they would prefer to interview the customer themselves – so when you know that a customer is happy to talk, go for it!

What value do roundtable discussions contribute?

A roundtable discussion is a way to attach credibility and authority to your brand by association. The aim is to forge connections with influential participants but also gain coverage of the discussion. You should pick-off key journalists or media outlets you are keen to engage with by inviting several non-competitive writers – perhaps two technology, two business/technology and management and even vertical titles, if you are in a sub-industry of tech, such as Fintech – along with a business analyst and academic, for instance.

With a pre-developed agenda and MC to steer discussion, the combination of perspectives on the issues makes for an effective debate. Writers enjoy being part of these events – they can spark off article ideas, show that you are following/setting an agenda and portray a media-savvy technology company which is worth contacting regularly for useful content and discussion.

Would your organisation benefit from more creative PR campaign tactics?

If you want to know more about how EC-PR can build an effective communications programme for your technology services business, please get in touch.

For more ideas, read our featured Case Study about how EC-PR helped Concirrus launch a new Insurtech platform to the marine insurance industry with exceptional results.

Or, if you’d just like to stay in touch – sign up to receive regular insights on how to make your PR work harder.

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What defence journos value from PRs

What defence journos value from PRs

What defence journos value from PRs

Finding it hard to break into the defence media?  Is there radio silence following your email pitches? Being successful at defence PR requires a little more than pitching Haribo. And whilst it doesn’t exactly take a masonic handshake to enter the writer’s realm, you will need a finely tuned set of media relations skills to execute a successful comms programme in this specialist industry. It helps to have the right connections, as defence journalists and writers are a tight-knit community, but they’re keen to work with PRs who understand their needs.

Here’s our top tips to securing military and defence journalists’ interest and getting your news and thought leadership articles published.

What makes a successful media pitch?

If you’re trying to pitch a story or interview with an industry spokesperson, you should know the market, where your client fits into it, and what makes a good story. Keep the email subject line compelling, ideally less than 12 words, and include only a couple of short / bullet-point paragraphs in the email, with links to further information. Be clear with the defence journalists on what you want from them up front, whether it’s an interview or a thought leadership article, for instance – and when the spokesperson is available. Offering journalists an interesting narrative, including the challenges you help to overcome is key.  According to Pete Sandeman at Navy Lookout, ‘it is always much more interesting to hear about the challenges that have been overcome and problems solved to deliver the result than just how marvellous everything is.’

It’s very important to read the publication you’re trying to pitch to, as the tone and knowledge level of the audience will be apparent. Some general military publications will be excited to hear about subsea defence mine countermeasures missions, while others like Janes have journalists who are virtually in-mission specialists, and your ‘vanilla’ pitch won’t cut it at all. Developing a pitch to the audience’s knowledge level is key. And ensure you understand the publication’s audience location, as it may appear like a UK publication with a UK editorial team, but they are likely to have global reach.

what defence journalists need from PRs

Thought leadership articles

Defence journalists are receiving more content than ever – and not just press releases, but articles on random unrelated topics with embedded links. Due to the amount of this SEO-based content they are receiving, it’s even more important that your synopsis and subsequent contributed articles are of a high standard of writing that reflects the expertise of the business. The synopsis should be a couple of paragraphs, tied into the industry agenda, such as forthcoming themes for DSEI, and authored by subject matter experts. Checking with another team member to review and proof for that objective viewpoint is a great idea.

Most defence publications love the offer of contributed articles as the hard work has already been done by someone else and it helps them in their job. But, remember – quality is key and an article can only be successfully placed by pitching a well-written synopsis. Not all synopses will ‘float the journalist’s boat’, and no matter how hot you think the topic is, sometimes it’s worth offering several before you find a synopsis that they’re keen to run with. Checking the desired word count and submission date – and sticking to these – is also vital.

Are images important?

Lots of good imagery is key – especially in the visually dominated social media world. A good PR should always endeavour to get high-res images (and ideally video) to go alongside any press release. Often, when journalists are supplied with strong or unusual images, they try to use them even if the main content is not especially exciting.

 

image for defence pr - satellite

How to get the detail right?

From a trade media perspective, as much technical detail as possible is welcome (within the bounds of security obviously). Defence journalists receive many handouts or press releases with minimal information about what has been delivered which are just padded out with quotes. If you don’t want to overload the initial press release, you must provide a contact for further information where an interview can be arranged to answer questions in more depth. Generic quotes from the CEO or Senior executive in the press release are a formality – journalists regard them as such and they are rarely used. Defence journalists prefer bespoke content, that can be obtained either as an exclusive or via a one-to-one interview.

If you want to know more about how EC-PR can support you with media relations for your defence technology business, please get in touch. Or find out more about our PR services in the Defence sector or browse our PR case studies here.

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A Comprehensive Glossary of AR and PR Terms

A Comprehensive Glossary of AR and PR Terms

A Comprehensive Glossary of AR and PR Terms

More than just a basic glossary, this blog gives you an introduction to our most used AR and PR terms. It’s thorough. We explain what different terms mean and outlined the key attributes of each term and, where appropriate, explained its purpose.

Browse the blog or jump to a term by clicking a link below.

Analyst Relations (AR)

What is analyst relations?

Analyst relations, or AR, is a field of communications commonly used by B2B tech businesses to establish a reputation and build brand awareness among industry experts – industry analysts. This is achieved by engaging closely with analysts that perform primary and secondary research to determine market descriptions, trends, and forecasts for a certain technology market segment.

What are the typical attributes of analyst relations?

The core of any AR programme is the building of trusted relationships which educate and inform the analysts.

What is the purpose of analyst relations?

The purpose of an AR programme is to generate awareness and build advocacy within the industry analyst community. AR practitioners aim to do this by increasing awareness of a company’s momentum, business priorities and overall corporate growth strategies, and build analyst confidence in the vendor’s ability to execute and deliver value.

 

Blogging

What is blogging?

Blogging is the process of writing content and then publishing it online. It started as an opportunity for individuals to write diary-style entries on topics personal to them, but it has since been adopted by businesses as a commonly used communication tool.

What are the typical attributes of blogging?

Typically, blogging will involve posting regularly on interesting and popular topics. A typical blog post will be between 600 and 700 words and will make a clear point with useful information the reader can learn from. The most successful blogs will be engaging and easy to digest, with SEO terms and external links to increase searchability.

What is the purpose of blogging?

In PR, the primary purpose of blogging is social proof of your existence, expertise and to demonstrate engagement in your own industry’s debates. It has become a popular way to spread information and news and increase engagement. Blogging can also drive traffic to your website, help you convert traffic into leads, and create a stronger online presence.

 

Brand Awareness Research

What is brand awareness research?

Brand awareness research measures the extent to which consumers are familiar with your brand. It involves conversations with potential customers to determine how much they know about the products and services you provide.

What are the typical attributes of brand awareness research?

There are several ways to reach customers to find out this information. The types of research can include surveys, analysis of web traffic using search data, and social media metrics. At a more granular level, a company will look at the volume of mentions, reach and engagement too, to see exactly what is being said about the brand and in what context.

What is the purpose of brand awareness research?

Brand awareness research can help shape your communication strategy as, when you know what information your customers are looking for, you know what messages your communication needs to include.

 

Campaign Evaluation

What is campaign evaluation?

Campaign evaluation is the process of examining the campaign, to assess and understand its desired effect and impact. It’s a way of understanding if the campaign helped you reach the goals you set.

What are the typical attributes of campaign evaluation?

There are six main ways to evaluate campaigns:

  • Tracking the volume and quality of press clippings
  • Calculating reach
  • Measuring engagement
  • Measuring new leads generated
  • Measuring the volume of web traffic
  • Running surveys to assess changes in awareness or other key KPIs

What is the purpose of campaign evaluation?

Campaign evaluation helps companies measure outcomes against pre-agreed key metrics. It is the final stage of a campaign that assesses the business impact and ROI. Results, metrics and stats provide critical insights into what areas were most successful (and least successful) in order to optimise and fine-tune future campaigns.

 

Campaign Planning

What is campaign planning?

Campaign planning refers to the foundational steps a business takes before embarking on campaign delivery. It’s where the company will bring ideas to life, align them with the overall business strategy and objectives, consider the budget, roadmap and timescales, and agree on KPIs.

What are the typical attributes of campaign planning?

Campaign planning will outline PR objectives that should be closely aligned to the overarching goals of the business. There are many objectives your campaign may want to achieve, including increasing brand awareness, promotion of a new product, an increase in engagement, or simply having a bigger share of voice in the market. An effective model for setting out your goals is the SMART mnemonic – meaning your objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

What is the purpose of campaign planning?

Campaign planning is the process of designing and agreeing your overarching strategic approach that ensures your campaign delivery is consistent and efficient. A campaign plan specifies how the campaign will be delivered, where and when and to who it will be communicated, and who will be responsible for delivering it.

 

Circulation

What is circulation?

Circulation is the number of people who receive a physical (print) version of a publication. In the online world, an equivalent of circulation is referred to as ‘reach’.

What are the typical attributes of circulation?

The circulation or reach will usually be specified on a company’s website or in their media pack, to let PR practitioners and audiences know how many individuals are being reached through the publication.

What is the purpose of circulation?

The circulation metric helps assess the number of individuals reached by a media placement — a high circulation is beneficial to companies that want to maximise exposure.

 

Communications Strategy

What is a communications strategy?

A communications strategy sets out how you are going to achieve your communication objectives and is aligned with the overall business strategy. It defines what you’re going to say, to whom and when you are going to say it. It is rooted in fact and expertise – never hearsay.

What are the typical attributes of a communications strategy?

Writing a communications strategy enables you to be more efficient and impactful, reducing the potential for waste. If you know what, where and how you should be communicating with your target audiences, you can improve the focus of your marketing communications, including your public relations.

What is the purpose of a communications strategy?

A communications strategy helps you increase your brand awareness, strengthen your competitive position, command a higher share of voice and accelerate sales.

 

Content Generation

What is content generation?

Content is concerned with creating brand assets to support your communication strategy. Content is what you say about yourself, it’s the embodiment of your brand. B2B content marketing strategies are data-driven; they are designed to amplify industry authority, boost search rankings, increase web traffic, drive social shares and generate sales leads.

What are the typical attributes of content generation?

Content is produced in various forms – for instance, articles, videos or podcasts, which can be placed in Owned media (your website, your blog), Shared media (published on your LinkedIn profile or shared via social channels), Earned media (editorial placement) or Paid media – the four pillars of the often used PESO (paid, earned, shared and owned) strategy. Content is of significant value to your brand and should be an ongoing part of your strategy.

What is the purpose of content generation?

Content generation is a way to protect and nurture your brand’s reputation, and secure a higher share of voice in a crowded marketplace.

 

Crisis Communications

What is crisis communications?

Crisis PR management, sometimes called crisis comms, refers to the management of communications in an event of a crisis. It normally takes place in a situation over which you have little or no control, and where there is an incidence of actual or potential negative impact on your company’s reputation. Examples include a cyberattack, environmental disaster or a global pandemic.

What are the typical attributes of crisis communications?

Crisis comms typically follows a process across different stages. These are the key steps to be taken into consideration:

  • Preparation for the best and worst-case scenarios and preferred outcomes
  • Designating a crisis team
  • Creating a crisis notification
  • Responding accordingly
  • Analysing and learning

What is the purpose of crisis communications?

Crisis PR aims to limit the risks and protect the reputation of your organisation, by providing accurate and timely information, and by demonstrating concern for the safety and wellbeing of the environment and all the stakeholder groups.

 

Company Magazine

What is a Company Magazine?

A company magazine is usually a publication that offers thought-provoking material based around a central theme and include information about the company (or group of companies) and what they do.

What are the typical attributes of company magazine?

For each publication, the PR team will develop a compelling theme and identify authoritative contributors, both internal and external, that are invited to participate and provide contributions.

What is the purpose of a company magazine?

The purpose of these a company magazine is to build the brand awareness and brand engagement through thought provoking editorial and to inform readers about the company’s mission, vision, values, and achievements.

 

Editorial Calendar

What is an editorial calendar?

An editorial calendar is a schedule of content and themes that will be covered by a publication over an agreed period (usually a calendar year).

What are the typical attributes of an editorial calendar?

An editorial calendar will usually be split into months or quarters, and detail planned features, as well as content submission guidelines. The editorial calendar may include the contact details of the editorial team, and preferred contact method.

What is the purpose of an editorial calendar?

An annual editorial calendar outlines the themes and planned features for a specific publication, so that PRs and contributors can make interesting and relevant pitches and submissions.

 

Embargo

What is an embargo?

An embargo is an agreement that information shared with the media will not be published before an agreed-upon date and time.

What are the typical attributes of an embargo?

As well as an announcement being clearly marked with a specific date and time provided so that media can schedule the article/broadcast, an embargo can also include links to images, spokesperson images, additional information, and contact details for further information.

What is the purpose of an embargo?

An embargo ensures that important news is not released before an agreed time, so the company is prepared to answer questions and keep track of the coverage achieved by that news release. It also helps the media to plan, so they can absorb the news and have enough time to write their own take on it, without having to rush.

 

glossary of pr terms spectrum

Event Publicity

What is event publicity?

Event publicity includes the planning, attending, and hosting of events in order to build relationships and create brand awareness for your company.

What are the typical attributes of event publicity?

There are many different types of events that companies can attend, participate in or deliver such as exhibitions, roundtables, forums, panels and networking events – opportunities to showcase expert knowledge and opinion. At these, companies can build relationships by facilitating meetings between spokespeople and other experts, influencers, and journalists. Companies can also host their own events to drive forward their agenda, create awareness and generate media coverage.

What is the purpose of event publicity?

Event publicity helps to build valuable relationships in the industry and generate both pre-show and post-event coverage, for instance leadership placements and interviews.

 

Evergreen Content

What is evergreen content?

Evergreen content or story ideas can be published at any time, which is different to the content that has a timely component, such as an event or new product launch.

What are the typical attributes of evergreen content?

This content is continually relevant to the company’s audiences and is search engine optimised. It will continue to be relevant long after it has been published, and clicks, traffic and views will continue to grow over time. 

What is the purpose of evergreen content?

Evergreen content is beneficial because it helps build thought leadership and demonstrate your expertise by addressing key industry themes that have relevance over longer periods of time. It also continually drives traffic to your website and can improve search engine rankings. It helps you connect with prospective customers, and, in turn, drive them into your sales funnel.

 

15 Infographics

What is an infographic?

An infographic is any visual representation of data or complex concepts. The term could refer to something as simple as a basic chart or a graph.

What are the typical attributes of an infographic?

Infographics pull together many pieces of data and illustrate it in compelling visual ways. They can be minimalistic, or rich in information, depending on your communication objectives. 

What is the purpose of an infographic?

PR aims to position you as a reputable expert in your field by sharing relevant insights and engaging information with target audiences. When topics and processes are difficult to explain and digest purely in writing, an infographic is an ideal solution to communicate the information in a more digestible way.

 

16 Integrated PR

What is integrated PR?

Integrated PR is public relations you wrap around your marketing activity to leverage impact and effect.

What are the typical attributes of integrated PR?

An integrated PR approach must be rooted in a communication strategy because this enables all your initiatives and tactics to be aligned.  Tactics may include any combination of paid, earned, shared and owned media (PESO) depending on the campaign objectives.

What is the purpose of integrated PR?

The key objective of adopting an integrated campaign approach and using a PESO model is that you will reach your target audiences with the right content via the right channel at the right stage of the customer journey.

 

17 International Delivery

What is international delivery?

A business that wishes to promote its brand, product, or service in more than one country will need an international PR campaign with international delivery by an agency or in-country practitioner.

What are the typical attributes of international delivery?

An agency or a practitioner in the chosen regions (perhaps as part of an agency network or affiliation, or the company’s own in-house PR department) will work closely with the global campaign hub. Such a set-up will ensure that an international campaign is consistently executed across all countries and localised as per requirements of each country. With the right skills and technology, international delivery can be carried out from the UK, however, it is more common, due to time zones and language, for in-country experts to provide support locally.

What is the purpose of international delivery?

International delivery ensures specific in-country communications requirements are met, such as language translation and media preferences for distribution. By bringing on board local expertise, international delivery maximises impact by taking into consideration the specifics of the local media landscape, languages and journalists’ ways of working. At the same time, it is a powerful approach to raise brand awareness in key target markets.

 

18 LinkedIn Strategy

What is LinkedIn strategy?

A LinkedIn strategy outlines the goals, activities and KPIs of your LinkedIn presence. This includes mapping out key audiences, messages, and types of content not just for your company profile but also for profiles of your spokespeople. It defines how to drive engagement and increase employee advocacy on this leading B2B social media platform. 

What are the typical attributes of LinkedIn strategy?

For effective B2B PR on LinkedIn, you can’t simply jump in. You need a well-crafted strategy and a consistent plan made up of the following components:

  • Goals/key objectives
  • Approach to growing your network with new connections
  • Content plan
  • Monitoring and engagement with audiences
  • Metrics and analytics

What is the purpose of LinkedIn strategy?

A LinkedIn strategy is a surefire way to reach relevant and influential individuals within key businesses that use LinkedIn for information and networking. By starting conversations and engaging with relevant individuals, you can raise the profile of your brand, drive traffic to your website and support other PR/communication objectives.

 

19 Lobbying

What is lobbying?

Lobbying is a discipline where the general intention of the activity is to inform and influence public policy and law.

What are the typical attributes of lobbying?

Attributes of lobbying are as follows:

  • Identifying political influencers and decision-makers
  • Developing a bespoke proposition
  • Creating briefing materials for spokespeople and ministers
  • Securing engagement

What is the purpose of lobbying?

In politics, lobbying, is the act of lawfully working to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of government officials, legislators or members of regulatory agencies.

 

20 Marketing Asset Audit

What is a marketing asset audit?

A marketing asset audit is a review of all your marketing collateral to ensure everything is aligned, on message, and on-brand. It is an incredibly useful tool that helps to analyse current marketing efforts, assess ways to improve and create a strategy that presents campaigns with clarity and focus.

What are the typical attributes of a marketing asset audit?

Every touchpoint with your brand needs to be aligned and of exceptional quality, and putting together a plan like this will help to achieve that by:

  • Outlining your goals and objectives
  • Reviewing your content portfolio
  • Asking the question: ‘is our content serving its purpose’?

What is the purpose of a marketing asset audit?

A marketing asset audit helps you to archive redundant content that no longer aligns with your communication strategy and stay relevant to the media/industry agenda. It will help you stay focused on the goals of your business while preventing unnecessary budget being spent on less successful tactics.

 

21 Media Relations

What is media relations?

Media relations involves building and nurturing long-lasting relationships with journalists as a means of communicating information on a company, product or service.

What are the typical attributes of media relations?

There are several steps you need to master, to form and maintain the right relationships:

  • Identifying the right connections
  • Knowing what makes a great pitch
  • Consistent and quality information/spokesperson provision
  • Proactive and responsive communication with journalists

What is the purpose of media relations?

Media relations helps to achieve third-party endorsement which in turn, improves credibility as well as increasing brand awareness. It will communicate your mission, vision, and values in a way that simple marketing communications can’t, and it can also drive sales too.

 

22 Media Training

What is media training?

Media training provides spokespeople with new skills to help them competently handle media interviews and shows them how to take control in challenging interview situations.

What are the typical attributes of media training?

Media training involves practical exercises tailored specifically to the spokesperson’s areas of expertise. This means that participants are operating in familiar territory and can focus on learning to manage the interview while building their confidence in a safe environment. They will be asked questions that are focused on the knowledge and experience they have on a given subject. Video analysis and group work can be used for feedback, to encourage debate and build confidence.

What is the purpose of media training?

Media training prepares spokespeople for questions on various levels and ensures quality control, so they are aligned to the business’ messaging and strategy. This training guarantees that you will get the optimum outcome from media interviews, and high-quality coverage.

 

23 Message Development

What is message development?

Message development helps companies articulate their purpose with commercially compelling and credible messaging.

What are the typical attributes of message development?

As part of a communication strategy, there are four stages through which a connection must move to successfully form an enduring commercial relationship. These phases are awareness, interest, preference, and action. Your messaging at each stage of the relationship must evolve to reflect the needs and desires of your target audience to keep your brand relevant and compelling.

What is the purpose of message development?

Message development will help you reach your target audience with messaging that persuades by connecting with customers’ core values, needs and aspirations.

 

24 News Management

What is news management?

News management is the technique of finding news-worthy information within your company and getting it published

What are the typical attributes of news management?

It can be a long process: between identifying news, preparing pitches and press releases, and working with reporters, but getting these things right will get you noticed. Here is what to consider:

  • How to appeal to your audiences with trending topics
  • How to diversify your strategy with a range of outlets
  • How to maximise exposure by linking to social media, your website, email newsletters and more

What is the purpose of news management?

News management will help you position yourself favourably with customers and reporters. It helps you gain credibility in the industry and become a recognisable name against competitors, and it will mean that the media is more likely to reach out to you in the future.

 

glossary of PR terms

25 Newsjacking

What is newsjacking?

Newsjacking can provide an opportunity for companies to comment on a particular story that has been recently published.  This involves pitching to a journalist, offering relevant, concise and new insights/commentary, whilst weaving in your own brand message into a breaking news story.

What are the typical attributes of newsjacking?

Newsjacking requires a deep understanding of the media landscape, journalists’ ways of working and editorial deadlines, as well as careful monitoring of emerging and current stories. If it’s a recurring story that’s being covered in great detail and over a longer period of time, your spokespeople can become the go-to subject matter experts that journalists regularly turn to for comment and insights.

What is the purpose of newsjacking?

If implemented effectively and timely, newsjacking can help B2B brands achieve broader national coverage, raise their profile, promote brand awareness and drive more website traffic.

 

26 Persona Development

What is persona development?

To facilitate a better understanding of your customers, you can create audience profiles or ‘buyer personas’. Personas are fictional representations of your customers that help visualise their needs, behaviour and habits and objectives.

What are the typical attributes of persona development?

To create accurate buyer personas, ask the following questions:

  • What are their key responsibilities?
  • Where do they go for professional insight? (i.e. LinkedIn, trade media etc.)
  • What are their concerns? What keeps them awake at night?
  • What are the key capabilities or expertise they are looking for in a supplier/service?

What is the purpose of persona development?

Personas guide the development of your key messages. They ensure you are targeting the right people with messages that are compelling and tailored to the specific stage of the buying cycle they’re currently at. Personas are integral to campaign planning, as they ensure that at every stage of the journey, customers receive an appropriate type of message that nudges them to the next stage of the buying process.

 

27 Press Interviews

What is a press interview?

A press interview is a discussion with the media where a spokesperson answers questions that will be broadcast or turned into an article.

What are the typical attributes of press interviews?

A press interview can be broadcast live or conducted behind the scenes and edited. It can also be done as a Q&A with a series of questions that the spokesperson responds to. 

What is the purpose of a press interview?

Press interviews are used as a PR tactic to position a business as an expert in its field and to build brand authority and credibility amongst competitors. Depending on the media outlet that publishes or airs the piece, a press interview can be a game-changer purely because of the large audience reach.

 

28 Press Kit

What is a press kit?

A press kit is a package of materials shared with members of the press or made available on a company website.

What are the typical attributes of a press kit?

A press kit will typically include information about an organisation. It will feature fact sheets, circulation stats, photos, bios, and other crucial information.

What is the purpose of a press kit?

This kit provides a central resource for journalists generally or around a specific event or launch, driving them to a hub of information that is media approved.

 

29 Press Release

What is a press release?

A press release is an official statement or announcement from a company or organisation that is distributed to the media. It can be about a new product or service, an executive hire, an event or general news about changes to the company.

What are the typical attributes of a press release?

A standard press release includes a logo, date, location, heading and subheading. The body of the press release should answer all the questions a journalist might have about the product, service, event or executive hire that you’re announcing. A credible press release will be unbiased, be informative and useful, and not overly promotional. At the end of the release, you should include a contact for further information section, including the name, phone number and email of the team that wrote it, so journalists can reach out if they need further information.

What is the purpose of a press release?

The goal of a press release is to pique the interest of the media and ultimately secure maximum coverage.

 

30 Return on Investment (ROI)

What is ROI?

ROI is a performance measurement used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment

What are the typical attributes of ROI?

ROI can be calculated by dividing the net benefits earned from the investment by the cost. Calculating the return on investment is a way to measure whether a business decision is paying off. So, a high ROI means the investment’s gains compare favourably to its cost.

What is the purpose of ROI?

Calculating ROI can also help you understand what’s working and not working in your business so you can make changes. In PR, this might mean making changes to strategy and investing budget in new ways.

 

31 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

What is SEO?

SEO refers to the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, as well as exposure to your brand, through organic search engine results.

What are the typical attributes of SEO?

SEO deals with the optimisation of keywords. It’s about understanding what people are searching for online, the answers they are seeking, the words they’re using, and the type of content they want to consume. Knowing the answers to these questions, and tweaking your content, accordingly, will allow you to connect to the people who are searching online for the solutions you offer.

What is the purpose of SEO?

SEO benefits both businesses and consumers because it connects searchers with content that is most relevant to their interests. This means that they get the information they’re looking for, while the business gets direct exposure to their target market.

 

32 Stakeholder Research

What is stakeholder research?

Stakeholder research refers to intelligence gathering and serves as a means to rapidly establish relationships with a business’ investors, employees, senior executives and other important influencers.  It can also include business partners and other parties.

What are the typical attributes of stakeholder research?

The research will be a process of identifying these people before the project begins, and then grouping them according to their levels of participation and interest.

What is the purpose of stakeholder research?

The purpose is to investigate their interest and if they are going to support your projects going forward. It also helps you establish the appropriate level of communication you’re going to have with them.

 

33 Technical Authorship

What is technical authorship?

Technical authorship is when a company uses the expertise of a technical author. They may be an independent freelance journalist or an employee of a tech PR agency; but they are an industry-specific expert who has the skills and experience to investigate, draft and finalise documents of a technical nature, such as whitepapers and technical guides, on your behalf.

What are the typical attributes of technical authorship?

They will have spent years fine-tuning their interview and writing skills. And, while they do require a brief and some input from your subject matter expert, they do not require hours of background reading, hand-holding and the material they produce usually requires very minimal editing. They will be highly objective in their approach to compelling thought leadership, positioning you as leading experts within your industry. With their storytelling skills, they will be able to create content that’s engaging and genuinely interesting to read.

What is the purpose of technical authorship?

If your company is successful, then your experts are probably busy working on client business and if your business is going through a difficult period, then your specialists are probably focused on working to generate new contracts. A technical author can take on the creative heavy lifting at times like these and help you produce excellent content, while allowing you to concentrate your time on your other relevant agency tasks.

 

34 Thought Leadership

What is thought leadership?

Thought leadership is content, usually in the form of blogs or articles, that communicates depth of knowledge, expertise and experience from a specific industry, and is usually non-promotional in tone. It is attributed to a company and often specifically to a senior executive within that company.

What are the typical attributes of thought leadership?

Thought leadership taps into the talent, experience, and passion your spokespeople have and also answers the biggest questions on the minds of your target audience. The content will be informative, thought-provoking and will have clearly developed arguments.

What is the purpose of thought leadership?

Thought leadership helps companies become authority figures on specific topics and in industries with many competing businesses. Companies with great thought leadership will also be able to build trust with both customers and the media and will become go-to figures for those that want to know more.

 

35 Video Content Marketing

What is video content marketing?

Video content marketing is the use of video to make statements, create visually interesting clips, and catch the eye of customers

What are the typical attributes of video content marketing?

Video content marketing can refer to clips, static graphics or long-form videos. The different types are trailers, explainer videos, infographics, sound bites, LinkedIn carousel videos or selfie videos. Each of these serve to inform, entertain and engage customers and can be used as part of a wider marketing campaign with other forms of content.

What is the purpose of video content marketing?

Multiple eye-catching formats will help keep your brand fresh and interesting to your target audience – with something for everyone.

 

36 Whitepapers

What is a whitepaper?

A whitepaper is a lengthy guide about a specific topic and will include contribution from several experts.  It will lay out and explain some industry solutions usually in response to solving a particular audience need or business issue. Typically, between 20,000 to 30,000 words, a whitepaper is more in-depth and forward-thinking than a standard media article and can be used as evergreen content to drive traffic to a brand’s website.

What are the typical attributes of a whitepaper?

A whitepaper will typically be about a beneficial topic to the industry you operate in — if it’s engaging and inspiring, it will encourage conversation. To generate interest, you need to avoid reiterating the same information everyone else has. Once you’ve established your topic and angle, the research begins. Here you will gather and write down the expert insights and key data that will form the basis of your whitepaper.

What is the purpose of a whitepaper?

You can use whitepapers to provide your informed opinion about a particular topic or to relay important research, discoveries, or advancements in the topic, to build credibility as an industry expert.

 

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Creating successful renewable energy thought leadership articles

Creating successful renewable energy thought leadership articles

Creating successful renewable energy thought leadership articles

Why thought leadership?

At EC-PR, we support our clients’ communications programmes by generating quality thought leadership content as a primary source of quality media coverage. This means we can communicate our client’s messages and elevate their profile by associating them with the most pertinent topics on the media agenda. Creating our own content keeps competitors out of the picture and allows complete control over our own narrative.  Right now, in the competitive renewables sector, regular editorial features often contain several companies with only fleeting mentions, which aren’t memorable for readers. A standalone 1500-word article which is authored by one company, is a valuable content asset.

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Example #1 - Renewable energy thought leadership

An article placed for ITPEnergised in Renewable Energy Magazine on the subject of energy transmission access charges

click here >

Therefore, a series of thought leadership articles secured in top-tier renewable energy industry publications can exclusively position senior execs as subject matter experts among business decision-makers. Resulting coverage can be additionally exploited via their company’s website and social media channels. Further benefits of thought leadership also include increasing brand trust, boosting sales and helping secure funding.

How do you secure top tier placements?

In the energy sector, levels of clean energy media coverage have skyrocketed in the lead up to COP26, the UN climate change conference, which will take place in November. So, for PRs representing renewables campaigns and clients, getting your thought leadership articles placed in leading publications and ensuring they remain relevant and topical, are the two main challenges. Aligning with the COP26 agenda which outlines strategies to reach a global net zero 2050 target in the core areas of energy transition, clean road transport and protecting nature/restoring ecosystems – you need to be sure to focus on the hottest sub-topics.

hybrid renewables current topic for renewable energy thought leadership

Are you familiar with the renewable energy media landscape?

To prep for a successful article / series of articles, appreciating the B2B media landscape is vital. The mainstream green energy B2B media outlets, such as Business Green, Energy Voice, Envirotec, and Energy Digital all cover a broad spectrum of energy/environmental issues, including renewables. But a sharper focus on renewables is found within a raft of specialist titles which investors, developers, Government, academics, and influencers now utilise as key sources for consuming information. These cover specific sub-sectors of the renewable energy industry and include H2 View (hydrogen), Renewable Energy Magazine, Energy Storage News, Offshore Wind Journal, and Solar Power Portal. The specialist / generalist nature of the title dictates the level of audience understanding on your proposed topic. Getting familiar with these titles and their UK or international focus is important groundwork.

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Example #2 - Renewable energy thought leadership

Green Hydrogen article placed for ITPEnergised in Energy Voice

click here >

What are the hot topics in renewables?

By hooking into topics at the cutting edge of the Net Zero debate, you can enhance your reputation as an industry commentator – the hot topics in renewables include:

1 Green hydrogen

Green hydrogen is a popular topic for clean energy as it creates zero carbon and is a sub-sector of renewables which is likely to explode in the next few years. According to IRENA, there are already plans for at least 25 GW of electrolyser capacity for green hydrogen by 2026, globally. At least 20 countries have now announced hydrogen strategies and it is expected that significant growth in green hydrogen production will drive continued growth in renewables. This is part of the more concentrated investment into sustainable power and hydrogen sources (including blue hydrogen).

2 Offshore wind

The UK is the largest offshore wind market in Europe, both in terms of projects under construction and in pre-construction phases and many UK hubs are emerging – e.g., Wales and Scotland. The UK also has the largest offshore wind farm in the world, off the coast of Yorkshire.

3 Energy storage

Energy storage plays a central role in the transition to a sustainable energy landscape, to overcome the intermittent nature of solar and wind resources and provide power when there is no wind or sunshine. A battery energy storage solution offers new application flexibility and unlocks new business value across the energy value chain.

4 Hybrid renewables

A hybrid renewables power plant typically comprises more than one renewable generating plant, with or without energy storage using the same grid connection point. We are led to believe by market behaviour that hybrids will become the new normal for all renewable energy developers.

5 Corporate PPAs

Renewable installations were once driven by subsidies, then tenders, and there is now a surge in corporate power purchase agreement announcements across markets, supporting new capacity or adding several years to the life of existing assets.

h2 hydrogen fuel cell green hydrogen

What makes a strong renewable energy synopsis?

Creating a well-targeted synopsis or hook which will engage the publication’s audience is key to successfully placing an article with the magazine’s editor. This should consist of no more than two paragraphs, including suggested headline, a summary outline of the main discussion points, details about the author/business and perhaps some industry stats to back up your key points. Keep to a specific area of the sub-industry, stay relevant to current industry debate, and try and take the debate a step further with your business’ own insight and insider knowledge – the more controversial, the better. This will position you as a true expert and your industry views will be memorable and valued.

Checking your draft

Once you’ve produced a draft article that everyone is happy with – do a final check. Make sure you have kept to the word count agreed with the editor, and always re-read to ensure the article remains objective (i.e., non-promotional) throughout. And, the final touch – add a couple of strategically-placed backlinks to specific pages of your company website at the beginning and end of the article.

Would your organisation benefit from a renewables energy thought leadership campaign?

If you want to know more about a B2B thought leadership campaign for in the renewable energy sector, please get in touch .

If you’ve found this article valuable, and you want to learn more about thought leadership, download our PR guide for business leaders “How to Become a Thought Leader”; read how EC-PR helped ITPEnergised, a world leading energy and environment consultancy, develop a communication strategy and deliver B2B PR Campaign Planning; and print out this infographic: “10 Principles for a Successful B2B Thought Leadership Strategy”.

Or, if you’d just like to stay in touch – sign up  to receive regular insights on how to make your PR work harder.

 

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What makes a communication strategy successful?

What makes a communication strategy successful?

What makes a communication strategy successful?

To make a communication strategy successful, it must be both effective and engaging.

In order to be effective, your communication strategy must be well structured, logical, and concise. There are five key elements that provide your communication strategy with structure and will ensure it is logic and focussed.

To be engaging, your communication strategy needs to help your people to do their job, and achieve their objectives, more easily – giving them a sense of ownership and achievement, in equal measure.

Why does a communications strategy need to be successful?

A communication strategy needs to be successful because it is the plan by which you will achieve your potential.  Rooted in fact, guided by experience, and designed to inspire your internal stakeholders and engage you external audiences.

How to structure a communication strategy correctly

There are five essential components in a communication strategy that provide a winning structure.  These are set within the context of your commercial, or business, goals. These five elements are:

 the value proposition

This articulates why you exist, and embraces your customer-promise i.e. at what you strive to excel.

2 sector prioritisation

This is where you identify your low-hanging fruit.  These are your quick and easy (easier) wins because of a good fit.

target personas

By being clear about who your decision-makers are and what pain points or aspirations you want to help them will enable you to develop compelling messaging and achieve laser-accurate targeting.

positioning statements

Your positioning statements clarify why a given decision-maker should want to select your brand over any alternative.

5 messaging, for each stage of the buying cycle

Each stage of the buying cycle requires attention – from wooing to winning, each phase requires a tailored approach.

For your communication strategy to be successful, you cannot skip or short-change any of the five elements – they must be given attention and respect.

Each element should be developed in sequence starting with the value proposition. This is because the elements inform each other and co-exist enabling a compelling narrative to be created. If you are not clear on why you exist and what your point of difference is, the customer certainly won’t! If you don’t know where your low-hanging fruit are (sector prioritisation) how can you prioritise resources to address it, and if you don’t know who you are targeting, how can you create messaging that will inspire them to act or think differently in relation to your product or service.

A communication strategy should be concise. If something is brief, it is memorable. If it’s vague or filled with adjectives and long sentences – it will confuse rather than direct. Strategy is, after all, a roadmap for which you need clear, specific, and actionable directions.

successful communication strategy

What makes a communication strategy inspiring

A marketing communication strategy will only successfully inspire change if your people see its relevance to the role for which they are responsible or the role to which they aspire. Creating a clearly defined, company-wide, mission (value proposition) gives people the opportunity to buy into something special from which they can get a sense of community and status. Providing focus will give staff context to their activities and in turn, will be better able to see the value of their contribution – the more momentum, the better.

It is worth taking the time to consider each part of the communication strategy with different groups of internal stakeholders. Explain to them the purpose of each element and ask them to reflect on how this makes them feel and why. Listen to their answers and consider any resistance. Then ask them what the content and ideas within the communication strategy means to them both as individuals and as ambassadors for the business.

Remember the legendary NASA story:

“In 1962, President John F. Kennedy visited NASA for the first time. During his tour of the facility, he met a janitor who was carrying a broom down the hallway. The President then casually asked the janitor what he did for NASA, and the janitor replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.” He kept the building clean so that the scientists, engineers, and astronauts could focus on their mission of putting “man on the moon”. They did not have to worry about spending their time on trashcans, bathrooms, or hallways. He did that for them. He saw where his contribution fit in the organization. He connected his purpose with theirs.”

A successful communication strategy will be rooted in fact

It goes without saying, the reason you recruit the most informed experts within your business to help create the communication strategy is to root it in knowledge and expertise.  Expert insight drawn from your best and brightest in operations, sales, product development and customer service are critical to ensuring the robustness of your communication strategy.

The last and most precious piece of insight incorporated into your communication strategy should be gleaned though a customer validation exercise. Where your trusted advisors, and customers, are asked for their perceptions of your brand, service, performance, and marketing.  Not only can this feedback be used to fine tune the communication strategy, but it will also provide you with reassurance of the accuracy and focus of your plan before moving into the activation phase.

what makes a successful communication strategy

How do I write a communication strategy?

In our experience, you cannot write a communication strategy alone. It is a collaborative and iterative exercise. Each of the five elements need to be addressed, reviewed, drafted, and re-drafted until your elements are concise, robust, credible, and compelling.

Concise

People remember short punchy phrases not waffly paragraphs, so try and reduce the number of words with each iteration, without losing the sense of what is being stated.

Robust

Challenge your statements so that you have a coherent argument for naysayers further down the line. Remember ‘I know’ always trumps ‘I think’.

Credible

This is strategy not a fairy tale, so every claim must be underpinned with tangible evidence.

4 Compelling

Your communication strategy should excite and inspire your internal and external audiences.

For help developing a compelling communication strategy, reach out to our specialists today. Or download our simple 8-step communication strategy guide here.

Your 8-Step Communication Strategy

8-Step Communication strategy guide

A comprehensive guide to delivering your business goals using intelligent and relevant messaging.

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AzteQ – IT Services PR Case Study

AzteQ – IT Services PR Case Study

AzteQ - Pedal to the metal

How EC-PR helped AzteQ achieve focus with a communication strategy that has resulted in better client relationships and winning more business.

Context

When EC-PR approached AzteQ in 2019, it was operating as three separate technology businesses, comprising a managed services element, user adoption specialist and an ICT support provider. The three companies had been merged just before the outbreak of COVID-19, in the firm belief that together the company had a powerful, yet still undefined, market offering.

Challenge

Operating in the highly competitive technology market, the newly formed company lacked a clearly articulated value proposition – a compelling reason to choose the AzteQ brand – and as a result, the brand lacked purpose and visibility. The natural desire to chase all available sales opportunities meant the business needed focus regarding who it should proactively target, and messaging was poorly defined and inconsistent. Nevertheless, the business benefited from visionary leadership, in-depth senior expertise and a resolute commitment to doubling the size of the business over the next two years.  AzteQ is a small business and any investments, internal or external, must work hard and deliver outcomes which drive business growth.

Approach

EC-PR facilitated two Messaging Lab workshops, the output of which was the communication strategy, which comprises five key elements: the value proposition;  industry prioritisation; target personas; positioning statements and messaging.

In addition and to evidence the company’s commitment to its customer-first approach, EC-PR helped the company to document its unique approach to client solutions in a clearly defined, and therefore repeatable, step-by-step, method statement. The result of this collaboration is AzteQ CUBe, the user-first framework for digital transformation strategy.

EC-PR interviewed a cross section of AzteQ customers to obtain feedback to shape the business’ priorities and refine the communication strategy.  The final version of which was used to brief both the branding agency and web designer so that all the marketing assets, including the website, are aligned moving forward.

Separately, in preparation for the PR delivery stage, a Media Lens competitive benchmarking process was undertaken to identify the topics on which an AzteQ editorial narrative could be developed.

OUTCOME

The Communication Strategy has provided clarity and unity of purpose, across both the leadership team and the entire business.  After just a few months AzteQ has emerged with a strong value proposition, new brand identity and clear, compelling messaging with which to approach the marketplace. It is winning business, having more interesting conversations and its already motivated workforce is now focused, engaged and turbo-charged!

Its unique delivery model, AzteQ CUBe, has received excellent feedback from employees and customers. The step-by-step guide, “Building a User-first Technology Framework”, has been well received by AzteQ’s integrators and resellers, giving rise to powerful, new alliances.

AzteQ CUBe logo

“AzteQ has seen an incredible transformation, with return on our investment in EC-PR within months, particularly in building more depth of business with our current clients. From the messaging labs to the launch event, EC-PR has taken success way beyond what I thought possible.”

Pip Thomas

Customer Experience Director, AzteQ

Results

AzteQ identified the following business benefits because of the work with EC-PR:

  1. Our tenders are more comprehensive, targeted and relevant
  2. Prospects are more interested in what we have to say
  3. Starting conversations is easier and we get to the issue quicker
  4. We are clearly differentiated from our competitors
  5. Our leadership is aligned
  6. Our people are more engaged with the business and understand where they fit
  7. We are more consistent in the way we all talk about AzteQ
  1. We know exactly who we should be targeting saving time and resources
  2. We know what we should be saying to secure interest
  3. We feel we are now presenting the best version of AzteQ to the wider world
  4. There is less ambiguity in our communication internally and externally
  5. We are more visible, valued & understood in our marketplace
  6. We understand what is required by our customers is a speedy process
  7. The assets we are building are future-proofed
technology pr

Technology PR

EC-PR is a B2B PR agency specialising in Technology PR and STEM industries. Read more about our Tech PR offering here.

 

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