SKC Insights

 

 

7 Strategic Value Adds of PR Agencies

Are you a company or an entrepreneur who's just not at all sure if a PR/Marketing agency can truly help your business? Not sure if it's really worth your time or investment?

Last month, SKC outlined why engaging with a PR firm is smart business. This month, we're diving deeper and exploring how public relations and marketing specialists add strategic value to any endeavor. From counseling management to uncovering your core story to generating investor interest, here are 7 ways we can strengthen your business:

1. Insider Expertise, Outsider Perspective

A common perception is that PR and marketing teams simply write press releases and social media posts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although it's a given your agency partner must excel in writing, one of the biggest value adds is providing a fresh perspective on your business. Agencies can analyze various facets of your company -- from what makes you unique, to your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities for growth. But perhaps most importantly, agencies can then act on these analyses with strategy and execution that deliver success. Everything we do -- yes, including press releases and social media posts -- stems from this strategic business analysis.

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7 Reasons to Partner with a PR Agency in 2021

What a difference a year makes! With 2020 in the rearview mirror, is it wise to predict what the next year holds? Our team thinks it’s worth a shot.

While "change” might still be the name of the game, 2021 already looks full of possibilities. As COVID-19 vaccines roll out around the world, the economy bounces back, and there’s a bit more hope in the air, it’s time to recalibrate and adapt your company’s goals and grand plans. We might be a little biased, but we truly believe that now, perhaps more than ever, is the time to partner with a communications agency to be successful in a brave new world.

You might be asking, “but why should I partner with an agency?”

Ahh, we're glad you asked. This is the question that most C-suite executives have to ponder at some point in time. Before we dive into how an agency partner can help with the latest and greatest in the coming year, here are 7 reasons why engaging with a PR firm is smart business in general.

1. Reap the Benefits of Experience

When partnering with a PR agency, you’re working with an entire team of experts who know about, and anticipate, all the twists and turns in the road, and the best ways to navigate them. Leaning on the experience of an agency elevates your business by supplying the know-how you need to handle any PR opportunity that comes your way. In many cases, it’s also incredibly valuable to get another—more specifically, outside—perspective on your brand and business

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4 Ways to Integrate Data into Your PR

Thanks to technology, it’s much easier to gather marketing data to boost your business. But are you leveraging that data for your company's public relations?

All the little marketing data-points — those you need before a campaign, those you get during one — come together to inform how you can tailor messages to achieve the most efficient effect. Companies that analyze and use their data can see big benefits.

Here are 4 ways to integrate data into your PR to boost your business:

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SKC's 10 Favorite Lead Generation Tips & Tricks

Generating leads - both high in quantity and quality - is a marketer’s most important objective. A successful lead generation engine is what keeps the funnel full of sales prospects while you sleep. Surprisingly, only 1 in ten marketers feel their lead generation campaigns are effective. What gives?

There can be a lot of moving parts in any lead generation campaign and often times it’s difficult to know which parts need fine-tuning. To break it down, the best lead generation campaigns contain most, if not all, of these four crucial elements: an offer, a call-to-action (CTA), a landing page, and a form.

Here are SKC's 10 favorite tips and tricks for lead generation:

1. Leverage Newsjacking

When something is buzz-worthy, it creates high demand. In situations like this, you can align offers with "what's trending." Companies will often leverage newsjacking for this type of technique and it works very well for offers, too. For example, when the personal information of millions of people were exposed by the Equifax and Capital One breaches, SKC client Stellar Cyber took the opportunity to display how their security AI could have prevented it. 

2. Create Offers for Different Buying Stages

The most common offer is "Contact Us." Sure, you want all your prospects to talk to sales, but not every one is ready. Someone at the top of the buying cycle may be more interested in an informational piece like a guide or ebook, whereas someone more committed at the bottom of the cycle might be more interested in a free trial or demo. 

3. Use High-Value Offer Formats

Not all offers are created equal. Some "formats" of offers perform better than others at converting leads. For example, what's more valuable, a whitepaper or an ebook? It's important to test different types of offers with your audience to determine what works for them. While ebooks tend to generate the most leads, you may find that reports, videos or other formats do better for you.

4. Blogging Brings in the Leads 

According to HubSpot's recent State of Inbound report, marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI. This proves that blogging is a highly effective channel for

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5 Ways HubSpot and Other Marketing Technologies Can Boost Your Business

Once upon a time, companies large and small relied on an overwhelming number of tools to market and promote their companies. Marketers were inundated by clumsy spreadsheets, a plethora of e-newsletter programs, separate social media accounts, blog extensions, and analytics tools galore. Then along came marketing automation platforms – HubSpot, Marketo, Infusionsoft etc. – with a unifying automation approach that changed the way we do marketing forever.

Today, many companies are reaping the benefits of martech and marketing automation and their belief in it is evident in their spend, now expected to reach $25.1 billion annually by 2023. This spend translates to coveted lead generation and conversion for many marketers, with 77% stating that they convert more leads with automation. What have these companies gained by leveraging marketing automation? How have their businesses and marketing and PR processes improved?

Here are 5 ways HubSpot and other marketing technologies boost your business.

 

1. Magnify Results for Your Business

If you think your marketing team is already doing amazing and don’t need any supplemental technology, think again! As Bill Gates said, “Automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.” Any team can benefit from marketing technology to amplify their best qualities and minimize their faults. Take I-Vitae, a company whose adoption of HubSpot turned their static webpage into a conversion funnel that brought in leads 34 times more than just their non-supported efforts alone. Their team members were very good, but with supplemental technology, they were gangbusters!

2. Your One-Stop Marketing Launchpad

Nowadays, businesses have multiple social media accounts along with websites, blogs, emails, and analytics pages. Logging into five, six or more different accounts doesn’t give you a complete picture. But consolidating your channels

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Overwhelmed No More – PR & Marketing in 2 Steps

It’s 3 in the morning. You’re wide awake and your mind is besieged. Your competitor just sent out a new funding press release. How do you match that? Why is it so hard to reach the right investors? The right customers? Your team throws ideas at you. Dazzle with 3D presentations. We better be everywhere – on TV, on TechCrunch, on Facebook, LinkedIn, at tradeshows, everywhere! And don’t forget blogs, white papers, case studies, and email campaigns! And on and on and on.

It’s now 4am and sleep eludes you. You’re overwhelmed. Why are PR and marketing such enigmas? You know you need it to truly grow and attract investors and customers. But how? Where do you start? To think you once thought asking Rita to the prom was the toughest thing you ever did.

Sure, PR and marketing may feel daunting. But we’re here to say it doesn’t have to be. Take a deep breath, let go of everything you think you have to do. Instead, focus on just two steps that will make all the difference: First, build your foundation, and second, build your house.

This is what we mean:

1. Build Your Foundation, aka Build Your Story

A solid foundation ensures your company stands strong while forces around you wreak havoc. The secret to PR/marketing success boils down to this: know thyself. Who are you? Who should care? What can you offer?

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5 Reasons Why You Should Care More About PR & Marketing

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two -- and only two -- basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” – Peter Drucker

For far too many companies today, the main focus is on engineering and product development. This laser focus bodes well for creating breakthrough innovations. And while these products may indeed change the world as we know it, without marketing and PR, no one will ever know about them. This gives companies with better PR and marketing, but not necessarily better products, a competitive edge.

If you’re not convinced, here are 5 reasons why you should care more about PR and marketing:

1. Stand Out or Fade Out

First up is the debilitating syndrome called “failure to communicate.” Many companies hunker down and release seriously powerful products that surpass their competitors — something that would really make them stand out – but blow it because they do not communicate their message in clear, concise and compelling fashion. They simply bleed to death through their failure to market themselves and their products. Many companies sell razors, but Dollar Shave Club stands out in a crowded market with a clear, concise and compelling message—“An Amazing Shave for a Few Bucks.” Stand out, don’t fade out.

2. Establish Your Industry Leadership or Someone Else Will

Have you ever seen a keynote speaker and wonder what they have that you don’t? You have more experience or have made bigger strides in your industry, so why weren’t you invited on stage? Chances are these speakers are seen as industry/thought leaders. When computers were just giant machines in building basements, consider Bill Gates’ and his vision to “have a computer in every home.” Elon Musk’s promise that “we will not stop until every car is electric” pivoted the world in profound ways. Both had established thought leadership in their industries. A good thought leadership program—with speaking opportunities, contributed articles, guest posts etc.—can go a long way to getting you that keynote role, and to paving the way for your company and products to dominate your industry.

3. Earn Credibility, or Risk Skepticism

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Keeping Your Edge - 14 Books to Read About PR

“A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”

While this quote comes from the pop culture explosion that is Game of Thrones, it doesn’t make it less true, especially when it comes to PR and marketing! Reading the techniques and strategies from seasoned professionals keeps communication skills sharp and inspires new ideas for your business. PR is constantly evolving and there is always something new to learn.

Here are SKC's list of 14 books related to PR that are must-reads for the executive eager to learn.

1. Cases in Public Relations Strategy by Burton St. John, Diana Knott Martinelli, Robert S. Pritchard, Cylor A. Spaulding

Case studies are most helpful when you're looking for ideas and thinking of ways to approach your next campaign. This collection analyzes cases using the RACE (Research, Action Planning, Communication, and Evaluation) model and breaks down how each successful campaign used best practices.

2. The Business of Persuasion by Harold Burson

As a giant in the PR industry for 70 years, Harold Burson reflects on his long career and how he built standards for the industry. The Business of Persuasion gives a peek at the behind-the-scenes of prominent communications events, including turning around Coca-Cola after New Coke and helping restore trust in the U.S. Postal Service after the anthrax scares following 9/11.

3. New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott

Now in its sixth edition, this book covers the best and most relevant tactics to optimize PR skills, and the step-by-step action plan can be used for any size business. The internet changed the landscape of PR and marketing, and new rules had to be defined. David Meerman Scott took on this challenge and created a classic that spent six months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list and is available in 29 languages.

4. The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and the Birth of Public Relations by Larry Tye

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How PR Changed the Lives of These 4 Startups

You’re proud of your startup, and rightly so! Building a startup is no mean feat and you want to share your company with the world. As a new company looking at the giants monopolizing your industry, this can be daunting. But a good dose of PR and marketing can give you the leg up you need.

Even the big guys rely on PR. As Bill Gates said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” Not convinced it’ll work for your startup? Just take a look around! Many startups get their foot in the door for new customers and potential investors by leveraging proven public relations and marketing strategies.

Here are 4 examples of how PR changed the lives of these startups for the better:

1. TrustGo: Executing a Multi-Prong Campaign

In a crowded mobile security market, TrustGo relied on SKC’s PR prowess to put together a multi-prong campaign that led to a dramatic spike in app downloads. Additionally, the spike in media attention and coverage led to heightened interest and overtures from bigger publicly-listed companies, eventually leading to an acquisition by Baidu, the “Google of China”! As part of the campaign, we focused our PR muscles on a tenacious media outreach program and also leveraged content marketing in the form of the Quarterly TrustGo Mobile Mayhem Report. Our case study shares how we did it.

2. Zoom.ai: Zooming in on Being a Problem Solver in Eyes of Media

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