Republished with permission from ITPR's blog.
Inbound PR has changed the way we deliver campaigns for the better. Whether it’s being able to track and present our results or the way we interact with journalists, we’ve seen a significant uptick in PR results and, more importantly, client happiness!
As we’ve spoken about before, the concept has had a profound effect in generating new business, but there are still a few challenges with Inbound PR that we’ve seen cropping up again and again when trying to implement Inbound PR campaigns.
What is Inbound PR?
Inbound PR is an evolution of traditional PR in an effort to keep up with constant changes in the digital age. While traditional PR has purely relied on coverage to prove its worth, Inbound PR goes beyond that to delve deeper into the metrics and outcomes that help meet business goals.
Don’t get me wrong – any PR campaign should aim to get you a bucketful of coverage, but if you’re not tracking who’s clicked through to your website as a result of that coverage, how will you be able to prove the effect of it?
By asking ourselves “How will what I’m doing affect other parts of the business?”, and by sharpening our SEO and link-building skills, we’re now able to prove to our clients that Inbound PR is more than just getting coverage!
Three challenges with Inbound PR
After changing our approach to Inbound PR, there have been three regular challenges that we're faced with:
As Inbound PR is still a fairly new concept to most, it’s only natural that many of those charged with finding a PR partner won’t have heard of it. Even worse is that that those that have heard of Inbound PR, are too risk averse to put their neck on the line, be an early adopter and give it a go.
The challenge we're facing at the moment is the to continue raising awareness of the merits to Inbound PR, why it's a fundamentally different approach and why it's time for businesses to adopt Inbound PR. However, with the combined efforts of a few early adopters, the passion and drive of Iliyana Stareva, author of the book Inbound PR, we are continuing to raise awareness and bring PR out of the stone ages into the digital world.
Although Inbound PR doesn’t involve learning a whole host of new skills, it does require new thinking. Inbound PR involves understanding how PR content can be tied into areas such as Marketing and SEO to drive further value for the business.
Delivering Inbound PR campaigns means understanding your audience, your content, your website and what your ultimate goal is – because if you don’t know what success looks like, you won’t understand why you’re doing it!
The challenge we face is making sure that senior business decision makers change their perception of PR from having their face splashed across the industry news to having their face splashed across industry news AND having new content for the website AND having more social media presence AND linking content to and SEO strategy AND being able to contribute to lead generation AND being able to measure impact. Believe it or not - this is still a challenge!
Inbound PR doesn’t mean throwing away all the skills you’ve developed so far, but it does take an eagerness to learn new processes, measurements and software tools to wear that Inbound PR Pro badge with honour.
The ITPR team hold accreditations in software tools such as Google Analytics, BrightEdge, HubSpot and more to help sharpen our minds and deal with problems that would have normally come outside of the usual realms of PR.
This is challenge that falls on both sides of the client/agency fence. If you don't have a client that is analytically minded then challenges arise. Similarly, if you (as the client) don't have a PR partner that understands the value of providing measurable impact then you'll find yourself fighting an uphill battle to justify your spend on PR.
How to resolve Inbound PR challenges
While these challenges are worth highlighting, the good news is that none of them are unfixable.
Awareness around Inbound PR will only increase as more and more businesses realise how it gives them a clearer picture of the results and ROI from their PR efforts.
More awareness creates greater understanding amongst business leaders, which makes the benefits of Inbound PR become widespread.
And, by becoming fully-fledged Inbound PR experts and using the software tools associated with it, you will be able to deliver Inbound campaigns that drive website traffic, lead generation and work hand-in-hand with Marketing and Sales departments.