At FIG, we have many years’ experience in planning and delivering successful PR campaigns for a range of clients across the industrial, technical and manufacturing sectors and we’re skilled at integrating PR into the wider marketing mix to achieve results.
One question our PR managers are frequently asked is: “Will PR help me generate leads?” Well, the answer is yes and no and in this blog we’ll help to explain why.
Before we talk about lead generation, we’ll start by defining what PR is.
Many people think that PR is all about media relations – how to get your name in the press, or on the radio or TV. Whilst this forms a great deal of the work we do as PR specialists, PR can also be highly effective in helping to manage relationships with customers, staff, suppliers, investors, influencers and other key stakeholders, as well as working to mitigate any crises and issues a business may come up against.
PR is all about developing positive connections between your audience and building and maintaining a desirable reputation for your business. With the aim of gaining attention for your company, PR helps to influence people and make it easier to attract potential customers or stakeholders. It is a discipline that adds value to organisations and it is the most effective way to establish credibility, authority and trust and position you as a thought leader in your industry.
PR can fuel your business, your products and services, and it does not need to incur the costs that advertising, sponsorship or other marketing activities incur. However, because it aims to earn understanding and support and influence opinion and behaviour, it will not offer an immediate return on investment and it won’t necessarily be the most effective vehicle to bring sales leads in.
PR predominantly helps to build a company profile by using a range of tactics such as press releases, feature articles, case studies, thought leadership pieces, events, in-house magazines or industry conferences. PR may also be tasked with completing a dual role of raising awareness in the media and generating leads for the company, and whilst PR can help drive sales or draw traffic to your website, it might not be immediate or instantly obvious that a lead came about because of PR unless your leads tell you.
Did a particular piece of editorial coverage prompt the lead to call, email you, or visit your website? Have they been aware of you for a while, but not been in a position to make an enquiry until now? It’s not always clear exactly where leads come from.
In short, PR will not always consistently generate leads for your business – there are more targeted marketing tactics to achieve this if that is your overall goal. An integrated campaign that involves PR, sales and marketing and is aligned to your overall business strategy will drive a greater return and generate more leads for your business than PR alone.
PR can help to build a profile and drive awareness by establishing credibility and trust in a brand. With a sustained and targeted PR campaign, media outlets will be aware of your brand and you will leverage more coverage and contribute to their news agenda more often as a result.
The golden rule to remember is that the press aren’t interested in marketing content; they want ‘news’ that’s relevant for their readers; they want to know about the topical issues and how your company helps to overcome them. Telling the right story conveys your message and helps to drive your audience from one point to the next.
With good stories, clear messaging, articulate spokespeople and a consistent approach, PR can raise awareness of your business and help to reach a wider audience. If you have a great PR story, here are a few ways that you can share it to help generate a greater response:
An integrated approach to marketing, with strategic objectives at the heart of a campaign is the best way to generate leads. Engaging PR produces great coverage in the press and also creates collateral that can be used more widely to drive sales enquiries.