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Generating PR for yourself using Earned Media

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Having coverage in the newspapers is good, but after the day is finished the publication is gone, therefore it is important that this coverage is available online too. By listening and researching online conversations and spotting key influencers, creating interesting content and interacting with customers and other relevant people in the online world, a company can effectively enhance their business though online PR and achieve growth. Measuring these activities is possible and as a consequence businesses can benefit from Earned Media.

Press Release, the story about your product and service:

  • Include keywords.
  • Send to a media list such as www.irishpressreleases.ie.
  • Use RSS buttons as it helps distribute the word.
  • Use Photos: this is very important to include in your Press Release.

How to generating Online PR:

  • Look at blogs and reviews, find out what bloggers can benefit your business if they talk about your product or service. People trust those blogs they follow and they trust reviews from previous costumers, send a product as a tool for a review that benefits readers. Knowing what is said about you is important as this will strongly influence future leads. Blog posts are a great way to generate awareness and improve SEO. Tip: Identify Bloggers using http://www.dublinblog.ie.
  • Attending a press event that’s of relevance to blogger’s audience is a good way to contact new people.
  • Creating Digital Media Kits, make sure it includes all the basic information about your company, mission statement, products and services, samples, statistics relevant to your products and industry, etc. Tip: using Dropbox to share documents and photos for free can make it cost effective.
  • Having a websites and make sure that all earned media as well as paid media will link back to your owned media. It is important that people link back to your own content and having a website where people can find out more  is expected.
  • Social media releases: Whether you are writing a press release for traditional or social media, if your audience doesn’t find the content informative, useful or helpful, it will most likely fail.
  • Flickr is a social media networking tool for PR, because it is always visual it is good for branding. You can share photos but also posters, charts etc.
  • Developing relationships (Tweetup and Meetups): A tweetup is an event where people who Twitter come together to meet in person,  like finally putting a name to a face, these events are a great opportunity to connect with the people in your network and share more than just 140 characters at a time. A Meetup Group is a local community of people in which a group hosts meetups and are face to face meetings that happen in real life between members.
  • SlideShare presentations and e-books, companies try to get publicity and earned media via writing an e-books by getting people to sign up to newsletter.
  • Like other media: Liking posts and pages, sharing content, subscribing to blogs, following others, joining groups are great ways to contact other people. Engagement is key in this, get as involved as possible.
  • Flashmobs, some consider it a “dead strategy,” I don’t know about that but for sure it has been overused.
  • Online contests: Social Media contests have gained popularity and can be a powerful tool for spreading a brand’s message. Digital marketers are finding that social media is great for holding online contests that increase awareness and engagement for consumer brands.
  • Using podcasts, this involves recording a digital file that can be distributed online.
  • And finally, use IAB measurement guidelines.

Measuring Success on Facebook Ads

Facebook tries to show you the ads that you will be interested in. The ads that target you are chosen based on the things you do with Facebook such as liking a page, and the info Facebook receives from you and other sources. If you are not interested in an ad you can close it on the X button and Facebook will know you are not interested in that type of ads. There are two types of ads on Facebook:

1. Adverts: A business creates an advert and pays Facebook to deliver it to the people who are most likely to find it useful. For example, you might see an advert for a local gym if you live nearby, you are a certain age and like weights. If a user is not connected to a brand, ads will appear on the right-hand side of their  homepage.

Facebook Ads

2. Sponsored Stories: A sponsored story is different from an advert because it’s a story you can already see about activity from people you are connected to, pages you like or apps you use. People tend to be more trusting and comfortable as they do not consider this a form of advertising because it shows what their friends like. For fans and friends of fans, ads will appear as a sponsored story on the right-hand side, and it can also appear in news feed.

According to Facebook, placements in the right-hand side have an average of 5 to 10 times more engagement than all other places on the site.

Facebook constantly works on ways for improve measurement standards that allow businesses to measure ‘success’ and allow for cross-platform comparison.

Facebook provides measurements on four areas:

Reach: Users share their real identities on Facebook and brands can have access to the demographic profiles of the audiences they reach on Facebook.

Brand Resonance: Facebook also allows brands to evaluate whether they are achieving the desired brand perceptions. An ongoing Facebook presence and asking fans questions can provide insights about a brand. Therefore telling you what content resonates the most with your fans.

Reaction: The most important success metrics to measure on Facebook are traffic, sales and other desired reactions.

Consumer Insights: One of the most immediate value marketers can see from building a comprehensive Facebook strategy are consumer insights generated. Advertisers are able to run polls to help identify and understand their target customers. They can also use these polls to learn about the differences between their fans, friends of fans and non-fans. For example,  asking a question through the Page provides insight about your fans and it’s and engaging form of content.

Not all of the research methodologies mentioned above would be suitable for every business. It is important to identify which measurement is valuable and which one isn’t.

Adwords Case Study: The Big Switch

Bord Gáis Big Switch was one of the most successful campaign in Ireland. They integrated advertising, marketing and PR campaigns for this project and their use of Google Adwords was noticeable which proved to be a key element to their success.

TheBigSwitch.ieBord Gáis objective was to get into Ireland’s residential electricity market and developed a site that would allow people who had already made the decision of switching making it a quick and as easy process, but also allowing people who didn’t have the time to switch or didn’t have the information needed to switch on hand, to schedule a reminder or call back, and finally, help people (who were as undecided) to find out more information on the offer and let them calculate their own potential savings.

They generated online traffic from extensive media coverage including TV, print, radio advertising, sales promotion and online marketing.

The Google AdWord campaign was aiming to capture all potential traffic during the launch period generated by the PR coverage. Google pay per click (PPC) campaign was very important because the website would not have an immediate presence in Google as organic. To ensure the effectiveness of their ad, they created a series of large-scale campaigns featuring hundreds of ad texts and thousands of keywords with a consistent message, a call to action and their URL.

On the day of launch the site had over 27,000 unique visits and over 4,000 online switch applications. On the following day the site had over 27,000 unique visits and over 5,000 online switch applications. Within 30 days of launch, Google AdWords advertising generated over 30,000 sign ups  and their online channels measurement showed a conversion of over 100,000 customers via the BigSwitch.ie in just 4 months.

Big Switch campaignBord Gáis’s campaign effectiveness was also ensured by constantly analysing the traffic to the website. By doing so, they could see which keywords were most effective in attracting potential customers, what pages on the website were being viewed and what conversion rates were being achieved. They changed the keywords used to ensure that they achieved the maximum return on their advertising spend.

Their TV advertising had an immediate effect on search volumes and site traffic, indicating that more people are surfing the web while watching TV, due to this, customers are already searching for what the advertiser offer and they are more likely to engage with ads by reading and clicking on it.