Republished with permission from ITPR's blog.
New is always scary, so when we sat down as a team around a year ago and decided we were moving away from ‘traditional PR’ to Inbound PR, it’s fair to say I was a little apprehensive.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, plus I’d only ever worked in the ‘old’ version of PR, so moving to something I didn’t have a lot of knowledge of at the time took me a little out of my comfort zone.
As it turns out, Inbound PR isn’t scary, doesn’t mean learning completely new skills, and certainly doesn’t take long to realise the benefits – especially for our clients, of which there are quite a few new faces!
Inbound PR resonates!
It’s fair to say the Inbound PR way of life has resonated with a lot of our clients, especially those who’s bosses have been sceptical in the past about the value of PR as a business function.
But it has also had a profound effect on bringing in new business. We’ve seen a sharp increase in prospects not looking for the traditional PR approach of ‘get coverage, ask questions later’, but instead looking for a measurable approach that Inbound PR brings.
So why is this? One reason is the shift to digital. I bet you can’t name one major newspaper or magazine that hasn’t got an online presence now.
The digital shift has brought benefits to the world of PR. Yes, more platforms mean more opportunities to pitch for and raise awareness of a client. But it also means we can closely align ourselves with a client’s marketing team to monitor the impact of things such as backlinks and SEO strategy and performance.
Press coverage is not just raising awareness, it’s now seen as an opportunity to drive visitors back to the client’s website.
Better ways to measure PR
According to a report from Cision, 80% of marketers said they were using data to drive decision-making. Yet I bet if you asked someone in PR if they do the same, that percentage would be a lot lower.
In a world ruled by data, PR professionals need hard metrics to prove the value of their work, but this doesn’t mean sharing advertising equivalency, mentions and share of voice, especially if you’re trying to align PR to the company’s wider goals and objectives.
With Inbound PR, measurement now means using tools such as Google Analytics, HubSpot, Moz and BrightEdge to present metrics that speak directly to marketers, such as backlinks, Domain Authority, new website visitors and much more.
Not only is this a more accurate way of tracking coverage, but we’ve found that our clients are much more receptive to this kind of information, giving them something they can show their boss to prove how PR is helping their marketing efforts.
From hearing about the millions of pounds clients had saved in advertising spend or the 25 billion people that a press release had reached, we knew that businesses needed better, more accurate and measurable PR.
So, rather than reinventing the wheel, we took the strengths of Inbound Marketing (Measurement) combined it with the strengths of PR (Content) and applied it to our work. The result is Inbound PR campaigns that use data to provide insight on campaign performance, provide measurable value our efforts and therefore enable us to provide ROI.
And, if the first year is anything to go by, I can’t wait to see what the next year will be like!
This was originally written by Jon Brown and published on the ITPR blog.