A Beginner’s Guide to Merchandising PR Results

No one reading this blog should have any doubts about the positive impact of public relations. As a way for building awareness, setting the parameters of a conversation, establishing thought leadership or helping fill the top of the sales funnel, PR is incredibly effective. Getting the biggest bang out of the PR buck, however, means putting great stories to work after they appear. Sadly, this doesn’t always happen. The good news, though, is there are now more ways than ever to extend the reach and impact of good PR results.

You might think that it isn’t that hard to find something that would work — but let me tell you, I’ve actually spoken with people (no names, no names) who have admitted to doing nothing with their press coverage. Really? I know, makes no sense but stranger things have happened.

Years ago, merchandising press coverage meant having a nice thick clip book with an impressive thud factor. That was good as far as it went, but today there’s so much more you can do! Before getting into the details, let’s review why you might want to increase the reach of PR coverage. There are four basic goals for merchandising PR results:

  1. Informing Internal Audiences — this means letting key groups and individuals in your organization know about great press coverage and this can happen via email blasts, company newsletters, slides for board meetings, etc.
  2. Expanding External Audiences — this is all about making sure customers, prospects, partners and others know about positive press; this can be done via paid amplification, social media, the company website, etc.
  3. Empowering Sales and Marketing — this may be the most important and effective reason for to putting your PR results to work: it’s is all about validation and demonstrating leadership. You should do this by updating sales decks and collateral, conducting outbound email campaigns, inclusion in corporate videos, etc.
  4. Validating Customer Behaviors — this is often overlooked but sending your existing customers positive coverage about a product or service they’ve purchased is a good reason to go back to that customer to reinforce their decision.

In putting this post together, I asked colleagues and clients for some ideas on different ways the reach and impact of media coverage can be increased and extended. There are a ton of them but maybe you have others too? Share them in the comments if you do!

Informing Internal Audiences

  • An email blast to employees
  • Inclusion in employee newsletter
  • Posting to internal communications channels (Slack, intranet, etc.)
  • Wall of fame
  • A results slide for quarterly board meetings
  • Creating a mashup of results for looping on TV displays on site or at events

Expanding External Audiences

  • An email to employees with suggested social posts to share to their personal channels
  • Inclusion in customer news digest/email newsletter
  • Post to company website (homepage & press page)
  • Post to company social channels
  • Promote with paid amplification (either through social or Outbrain, etc.)
  • Create and promote a blog/podcast around the topic of a story with a link to the coverage
  • Create and promote external blogs (LinkedIn, Medium) around the topic of the story
  • Create a SlideShare of recent coverage and post to LinkedIn
  • Develop digital advertising campaigns using stats/quotes from coverage (“as featured in . . .”)
  • Update sales materials (decks, sell-sheets)
  • Creating a mashup of results for looping on TV displays on site or at events
  • Links to coverage in email signatures

Empowering Sales and Marketing

  • Provide sales with suggested language to make it easy to share with clients or prospects
  • Work with sales to develop coverage-specific campaigns and measure performance using emails sent, meetings booked, etc.
  • Develop digital advertising campaigns using stats or quotes from coverage (“as featured in . . .”)
  • Update sales materials (decks, sell-sheets)
  • Creating a mashup of results for looping on displays on site or at events
  • Including links to coverage in email signatures

I know, it looks complicated, but it really isn’t. At the very least be sure to share media hits within your company. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. Some of the more advanced things people are doing with coverage are really amazing. The ways available to amplify, share and increase the value of press coverage are countless. It makes sense to sit down with a piece of coverage and think of the ways it can be put to work. Simply having it appear — as satisfying as that may be — is only the first step. Put your PR results to work, it will be well worth the effort!


Originally published at blog.inkhouse.com.

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