Rumor has it that the economic recovery has begun, so it’s time for another edition of “Invest in the Upswing”. I know, I know –when a marketer tells you to start marketing more, hold onto your wallet.
On the other hand, who in corporate communications and marketing doesn’t want to raise the bar in PR and marketing? Perhaps more urgently, who doesn’t want to have an answer when an executive reads an in-flight magazine article about ‘the next big thing’…and wonders what you’re doing about it?
So here’s my list of 6 essential PR projects for corporate communications and marketing. If you have time, put them on your list; if you don’t, this is what I do, and I’m happy to help.
- Make web analytics part of your PR and marketing ROI reporting. I recently spoke to an industry association and asked the group, “who here watches web traffic stats?” Not a single hand went up. This may be the single biggest missed opportunity for PR and marketing professionals. Track communications activity to web traffic and you’ve started a link in the chain toward sales leads, sales and truly meaningful ROI measures. (Or, you’ll find out that your programs aren’t working – and change your strategy).
- Start a Competitive Intelligence Report. What are people saying about you and the competition in the media? On blogs and comments? On Twitter? On industry forums? Set up a daily monitoring and a daily or weekly digest – less if there’s not much out there. Share it online with the people who need to know. For free, I’d start with Google Reader and news alerts, or set up a custom, shareable homepage with feeds from multiple sources. Or you can pay folks like Radian6 for all the bells and whistles.
- Establish a Social Media Policy. Two reasons. First, you need to protect company interests. Second, you’re missing an opportunity to unleash your employees into their own networks to get the word out about what you do. More thoughts on this here.
- Meet the Media. Get on the phone or on a plane and get to know better the folks who buy ink (and pixels) by the barrel. Traditional media relations is far from dead – even if you don’t care if your company sees print, media coverage gets you an online audience, contributes to SEO, and gives you a link to share with personal and sales contacts, on the corporate website and blog, and across social networks – all of which deepens awareness and relationships.
- Add Sharing to Your Website. You put the time into writing, formatting and designing web content. Don’t you want people to share it? Don’t you want RSS users to get your updates in their reader? Or offer email and text alerts? Don’t you want to make it easy for bloggers to bookmark, vote up or share your news releases, video, customer story, new promotion or photo essay? Here’s a list to get you started…add: RSS, Digg, ShareThis.
- Be the Media. Once you’ve added sharing, you need something to share. “Be the media” means building awareness, interest, loyalty and word-of-mouth (or pixel) by creating content online that people want to read, view and share. It means “pulling” people to you via strategies that connect what you put online with the people you want to reach. And it means thinking every day about what you want your “audience to do” and how you can help get them there. More thoughts on this here.
As always, we never do these things just to do them — we do them because they move our organizations toward their goals.
Have more? What’s on your list? As always, I’m here to help.