Spring is a time of renewal and a company's PR program should be no different. It’s time to assess where your PR efforts are succeeding and where they are not.
All too often we get attached to an idea, campaign or initiative without stepping back to honestly assess its success. Spring provides a time to evaluate what is working and what is not in your PR program, and offers a chance to make changes to achieve your ultimate goals by year’s end. So open up your windows, let the fresh air in and revive your PR program! Here are five things marketers can do to clean house and get their PR programs lean and mean.
- Refresh PR objectives: Is it time to modify your brand’s PR objectives? The marketplace changes and your brand should, too. Are your PR objectives still laddering up to the brand’s business goals? Have there been any significant product, services or positioning changes that your current PR efforts are not reflecting? When was the last time you hosted a quarterly session with key stakeholders within your organization to understand where your brand is headed and how that translates to your PR efforts?
- Renew your campaigns: Are some PR efforts worth the effort or, to paraphrase Will Shakespeare, just a bunch of noise amounting to nothing? Marketers need to assess their PR initiatives and truly ask if the effort is paying back the dividends expected. If not, perhaps it is time to tweak or retire that PR campaign. If your social media effort is not yielding results for your brand, are you utilizing the right social media channels for your target audiences, and, if so, are you using them in the most effective manner?
- Power wash your content: Do your content marketing efforts need to be refreshed? If you are seeing stagnation in content shares, comments and activity across your earned, owned and shared channels, chances are it’s time to refresh your effort with some new ideas and new voices. Content that is stale is worthless. So ask, how are you getting the content out there and is it making its way into the hands of your target audiences? Or is the content itself flat and un-compelling? Do you need to add some creative elements like memes, infographics, or images to it? Is your content the same—day in and day out—without much variety? Have you updated your content calendar to reflect broader, macro events in your industry and use that opportunity to discuss what makes your brand a leader?
- Shine up your spokespeople: Do your brand advocates need new energy? Just like content, sometimes your spokespeople need to be refreshed. Maybe they need a new thought leadership platform or perhaps you need some new company subject matter experts and thought leaders in your rotation. Do some spokespeople thrive, while others fall flat? Do your thought leaders’ speaking points need an overhaul and how many times have they relied on the same analogies, the same anecdotes and the same examples with the media? Are they delivering the right messages and doing so in a meaningful way that compels listeners to engage? When was the last time your thought leader wrote an original Q&A, a new byline or blog post or was asked to present an industry conference or selected as a winner of an industry award? Can you achieve any of those things with your current spokespeople? Maybe, but you need to candidly assess if your spokespeople need to cleaned up or cleaned out.
- "Febreze" Your PR team: Finally, does your PR team itself need a refresh? Marketers, ask yourself: are you still getting the level of ideas, energy and input from your PR team that you got on day one? When was the last time you had a brainstorm session that delivered ideas that were new, exciting, executable and provided real results? Is it time to trade your team to inject new energy and creativity? Does your agency partner have a process and approach that helps keep your team fresh, enlivened, incented, motivated and enthusiastic about working on behalf of your brand to achieve PR success?
For more insights on how to freshen up your content, check out PAN's Content Fitness Test Report.