OPINION: 5 Marketing Pain Points Your PR Team Should Solve

Posted on by Dustin Siggins

Most of the time when you go to the bank, you’re engaging in the simplest transaction possible: adding money into or pulling money out of a free checking account.

But you didn’t pick that bank because it doesn’t charge you to hold your money. It’s solving the pain points of securing your cash and, should you need it, providing additional capital for growth.

Solving deep pain points is the heart of any successful operation, from sophisticated industries like banking and hospitals to simple jobs like babysitting. One major pain point for Chief Marketing Officers is building trust with, and making an impact for, target audiences. That’s why your public relations team should be doing more than sending a press release or booking TV interviews. You’re trusting them to shape the organization’s message, put it in front of the right audiences in the right way, and create additional value for the rest of your surround-sound marketing and branding strategy.

Here are a few critical pain points for CMOs that we’ve encountered over the years:

Time – You’re the expert at understanding the executive team and developing overall communications strategy. And while you should spend some time discussing PR, your job is to build the right team to increase the business’ size and profitability. Every excess minute spent crafting a message or editing content is a missed opportunity to see a new market opening, craft a groundbreaking strategy or get the executive team on board with your vision.

The best PR arrangement includes a streamlined operation that builds on what your team is already doing. It is a modest addition to your team’s time for far greater value, so you can keep doing what you do best.

Message quality – Every CMO knows how to craft messaging strategy… but the right PR team will help you break through the noise by finding new ways to say old things, identifying new opportunities with your existing communications strategy and uncovering how to hijack the news cycle.

Reaching the right audiences – The fundamental challenge a CMO faces is that knowing what to say means nothing if you can’t get your message heard. Making an impact with the right people to capture them as quickly as possible is key, otherwise, you waste your resources twice—first, by reaching the wrong people. And second, by getting back to square one.

You can maximize the return on your PR investment by understanding your target audiences and your overall narrative, and then asking your PR vendor how to shape and position that narrative in the following ways:

  • For the purpose of targeted media placement, identify which outlets your customers and prospective customers trust.
  • Consider how your company should position itself in the marketplace of ideas.
    • Should the company have an aggressive posture or a calm and academic approach?
    • Should we be the forward-looking visionary firm or the “good, bad and ugly” expert of what’s happening today?
  • Identify your best spokesperson to represent the narrative and the company’s position.
    • Prioritize those with specific expertise and knowledge about your UVP (unique value proposition) and positioning.
    • That person should also be comfortable with the outlets you’ve targeted. Stutterers shouldn’t do live interviews, and aggressive personalities shouldn’t engage in academic conversations.
  • Envision your outreach strategy.
    • Reaching the education editor at The Washington Post is useless when you’re a fintech AI firm that should be talking to TechCrunch.

Accelerating marketing outcomes – You have a limited budget that’s one of the first things to get cut when times are tough. Yet, you know that running a cheaply-produced radio ad at 3 a.m. for a week isn’t a wise use of resources. It often takes months to start seeing the indicators that new people have entered your sales funnel.

The best PR accelerates marketing outcomes by adding third-party validation to what you’re already saying and doing. After all, people might believe it when your ad says that your product works and your CEO makes a speech, but they are more likely to believe it when the Wall Street Journal runs a story about how it improved people’s lives.

The right PR vendor will work with your marketing team to ensure that your marketing and branding accelerates your social media, SEO and website content outcomes. They’ll help build a campaign that will put your brand into orbit, reaching all stakeholders with the right message at the right time.

Keeping you informed – The greatest sin as an executive isn’t making a mistake. It’s failing to correct the mistake as quickly as possible. Clear communication with your PR firm will be critical to everything, from meeting deadlines and determining messaging to either expanding the contract or cutting it off.

Many PR firms operate like the cobbler whose children have no shoes. They communicate well with the press, but not with their clients. It’s why so many people have had sour experiences—a lot of money and effort went into press placements, but there was no certainty about impact or even whether the right messages were developed and the right outlets were reached.

Clients have the right to a regular cadence of communications from a PR partner, ranging from a plan of action with metrics to regular meetings and updates. Your PR team should prioritize understanding your voice and learning from your expertise, because when it comes to your business, they’re not the expert. You are.

Dustin Siggins is Founder of Proven Media Solutions.


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