By Leah Hillegas
Whether you like it or not, our culture is becoming more online and on-demand as the days pass by. As a result of this digitized culture, numerous traditional marketing strategies have taken the digital route. Some of you who are reading this right now might be thinking, “This doesn’t affect me, my leads don’t originate online!” However, this thought has become dated; you have a digital footprint out there even if you didn’t create it, and it can be a deciding factor for prospective clients.
Think about it: what do you do when you want to learn more about someone or another business? You Google them. Maybe if they don’t originate online, Google is still going to pull up any relevant information pertaining to the person—which, in this case, will most likely be press hits and other news articles. That search creates a digital footprint, and leaves a lot of people seeing things that you may not want them to.
Furthering that idea, let’s put it into prospective. Imagine that you’re at a networking event, and you’ve just exchanged business cards with a potential customer. The customer seems very enthused about the services you’re providing, but still needs more information. That potential client decides to Google you to learn more about you and your business. Now, the rest of this scenario can go two different ways: one route is that the potential customer finds numerous awards, recognition and any other type of positive press that elevates their interest and lands you a new client. The other route is that the client finds a lackluster in information and a few forms of negative digital presence. Not only has the customer lost interest in your offerings, but you’ve lost the new opportunity.
If you’re concerned about your digital footprint, or just want to enhance your presence online from where it is now, here are a few proven and popular ways to leverage press and impact your PR success.
Create a Press Page, Banner and Slider on Your Website
We’ve all heard it before, but I’m going to say it again: your website is the foundation of your digital presence! Not only is it important to have a great website, you should be optimizing your website to highlight your PR success in order to leverage that third-party credibility.
Whenever you’re perusing through a professional service firms website, they mostly likely already have a company blog or an announcements page. Although these pages are great to have on a website, if you truly want to invest time and money into a successful PR campaign and improve your digital footprint, you should highly consider creating a separate page on your website dedicated to showcasing your press coverage. If you need a little inspiration on how to successfully do this, here are a few websites that have created great press pages:
If you’re more of an instant results kind of person, an “In the News” banner would be a great addition to your website. A static banner or even a slider that showcases earned media logos or specific press hits adds instant credibility to your brand as soon as the prospective client sees your website.
Share Press Coverage across Social Media
Every day when you log into your social media accounts, you most likely see other companies that you’re following sharing interesting news stories pertaining to their industry or expertise. However, it gets a bit dull at times reading articles that a company shares that doesn’t have their own insight; earning quotes and features in the media allow you to take your practice to a whole new level by sharing articles that feature your firm and your authentic insight, not someone else’s in your field.
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are the most valuable platforms for leveraging PR success and helping your firm reach a wider audience. These platforms can help a small, local firm funnel national press coverage to their audience. Similarly, it can help a national firm receive a community award with their national audience.
Send Media Hits to Your Email Lists
“You’ve got mail!”
Although we rarely hear that legendary sound today, email, especially email marketing, is still a popular and effective way for professional service firms to stay connected with their clients, prospects, and business associates.
Adding your press hits to your email newsletter is a simple and effective way to leverage your PR success with your audience. In addition to getting your audience to see press hits, utilizing your email lists to promote scheduled broadcasted appearances. Let’s say you’re going to be appearing on Fox News for a segment, you can send your email list a notification to tune in and watch it live.
The people who are reading your email newsletter want to know what’s going on and want to watch your firm flourish. Utilizing email is not only easy, but it’s a quick way to get messages out for people to see them. In our digital society, we’re constantly on our phones checking-in on emails, we’re bound to see any alerts and updates quickly.
All of these methods are generally easy to do and are inexpensive, and you’re probably already using these methods to an extent for something on your social media or website! Although these methods are simple, they go a long way in enhancing your digital footprint, and leveraging your PR success. Over time, these methods can increase the value and impact of positive press when effectively used.
Want to learn more? Download Turning Press Into Profits: A PR Guide For Professional Services Firms today!
Leah Hillegas is a current Advertising Major at Temple University interning at Flackable, a national financial public relations and digital marketing agency. Learn more at www.flackable.com. Follow Leah on Twitter at @leahhillegas.