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The 4 Ingredients of a Successful Inbound PR Campaign

[fa icon="calendar"] 27-Nov-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

inbound pr campaignEvery forward-thinking PR or marketing professional will tell you that top-down, “push” messages no longer work.

We live in a world that’s gone inbound. A world where to be successful with your communication you need to rely on methods that pull people into your brand rather than interrupt them with irrelevant content.

This is exactly what Inbound PR is all about – it’s a whole new philosophy on how to do PR in the modern, digital world.

Its methodology focuses on two key areas – content and measurement.

Remarkable content created and shared on the right mediums is the most successful way to reach your audience, or as we normally say in inbound – your personas.

Measurement then is essential to 1) gauge the success of your campaigns and 2) improve as you go.

All of this sounds very logical and kind of simple but its actual execution is what most companies and professionals have major difficulties with.

Through my work as a PR professional and an agency business consultant, I’ve found that most businesses struggle to transform towards Inbound PR because of fear.

They fear change. They fear the unknown. They fear to take a risk.

But fear only holds them back from all the possibilities and opportunities that inbound and digital offer.

Change is necessary if you want to grow and progress.

I can easily give you the steps you need to follow to run your first Inbound PR campaign, but unless you and your team adopt an inbound mindset, you won’t really see any results.

So what are the key ingredients behind a successful Inbound PR campaign then?

The 4 Key Ingredients of a Successful Inbound PR Campaign

#1 True adoption of digital

First and foremost, you and your team need to be comfortable with the fact that the media is not the only way to reach your audience.

You need to adopt digital, technology and tools and learn how to use your website, your blog, your own social media channels or those of your clients to reach your personas.

Media relations is powerful and it still works but it’s not the only vehicle. And in some cases, it might be unnecessary.

#2 Use of all media types

Omni-channel is now required in a world of information overload where people barely pay attention to you and have the power to ignore or skip your messages through their phones and apps.   

Get to know the PESO model – paid, earned, shared and owned. It visualises the different media types we have nowadays and how you can leverage them to make the best use of all media types for your Inbound PR campaigns to ensure you’re there where you personas want to consume your content.

#3 Ability to do research

Before you can make decisions on which mediums and channels to use, you need to know your audience inside and out.

With inbound, we call this persona thinking. Your persona is your ideal customer or ideal media person to work with.

To be able to clearly define your goals and the tactics you need to use for your Inbound PR campaign, you need to be comfortable doing a lot of research through surveys, interviews and focus groups so that you can define who your persona is, what they care about, what challenges they face and how you can solve their problems.

Too many companies rely on assumptions when doing this piece of work but it’s so crucial that you take the time and learn how to do proper research before jumping into execution.

This way you can make informed decisions about every tactic you want to use for your Inbound PR campaign and be a lot more secure that it will actually work because you’ve based it on research and not assumptions.

#4 Analytical skills

As mentioned earlier, measurement is one of the two key pieces within the Inbound PR methodology.

To be able to properly measure the success of your Inbound PR campaigns, you need to develop better analytical skills that go beyond vanity metrics such as impressions and reach, and not to mention AVEs that surprisingly so many PR pros still use!  

With inbound, you need to learn how to think big picture and consider metrics such as revenue, ROI, traffic, leads and customers because that’s the only way to prove the true value of PR. You want to show how you can positively affect the bottom line and to do that you’ll have to learn to speak the language of executives.

Analytical skills are the biggest gap within the PR industry and if you become committed to really nail this, you’ll see major success with your clients and within your business.

And there you have it, the four key ingredients to a successful Inbound PR campaign. If you’re ready to take your Inbound PR efforts to the next level, check out my book: 

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This post was originally written for and published on


Topics: Public Relations, Inbound PR

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

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