Leveraging PR to Drive Sales

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PR firms.

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?

Maybe it’s reading a story in your industry publication or scanning over a press release?

Scott Baradell is here to tell you that it’s so much more than that.

President & Founder of IdeaGrove, Scott’s agency is one of the few that are at the forefront. Utilizing and seamlessly combining all of the latest tools, including ABM, they are elevating their clients brand authority and closing gaps in ways never before seen.

We all know that building authority for a client is always going to be more difficult to measure than pipeline. But as Scott shared, there are ever increasing ways to not only measure it, but to connect PR efforts more directly to the pipeline.

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He explained, “One thing that has changed in public relations is that in the past, you’d get a story placement in a well know publication and you’d almost expect your audience to have read it. This was because there were such few publications out there and the readership was small.”

Fast forward to today and it’s very unlikely that someone would have seen it.

So we had to ask Scott, how’s it different now?

Taking that same scenario he laid it out, “You still want your audience to know about the story placement, but now you can do things like an account based marketing campaign to promote that placement.”

He went on to explain that now prospects can click on the ad through a strategic ABM campaign, taking them through a custom news experience.

They are now in the funnel.

This is how the connection is being made with more forward thinking PR firms.

Is there still a place for traditional PR?

Absolutely, said Scott.

He went on to say, “We still do traditional PR, but you can’t end there, you have to close the loop. The one thing that PR can do that advertising cannot do as effectively, is to build authority”

It’s so common for sales folks when reaching out to a prospect, to talk about a recent article. Here’s where Scott’s agency works its magic. They can automate that through your CRM software.

When you automate that communication to prospects, you close that gap between PR and lead generation tactics. Scott chimed in, “PR can build authority through third-party endorsement of those who write about you. Marketing can only bring brand awareness. We combine the two and create something even better.”

Scott and his team work with a variety of clients and their approaches really depend on the client situation. For a number of them, they are not well known and want to get recognition in their industry space. For clients in a commodity space, he recommends being much more aggressive.

It ties directly to this, if I find out about your brand, I’m going to search and what will be seen?

Chances are, one of the first things they will see is reviews. Ask Scott said, “They are extremely important. If you don’t have many reviews, how will I be able to trust you?”

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He went on to say that they’ve had cases where clients have had many customers, but no reviews. And that’s where they come in. “We help customers build up their reviews, while promoting 3rd party endorsements through ABM and email marketing,” he stated.

And that’s critically important.

So you may be wondering how can PR support an inbound strategy?  “Inbound is centered around content. Back in the day, you used to be able to put out content and tons of people would see it. But what now has happened is that everyone is doing it and that means there is a lot of repetitive content and it becomes harder to stand out.”

PR has the bar set high. Similar to what content marketing is doing, but agencies also have to come up with an idea for a piece of content that the media would want to cover it.

This is top of the funnel and the inbound content that breaks through the noise.

In so many ways, public relations is like an extension or close friend of sales and marketing.

So how will you utilize public relations in your strategy?

This post is based on a B2B Revenue Acceleration podcast with Scott Baradell. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

Posted November 22, 2018

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