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Your Inbound PR Methodology & Tool Stack

[fa icon="calendar"] 05-Jun-2018 10:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

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We live in an inbound world where outbound no longer works. The traditional methods we’ve been so used to when doing PR are outdated simply because they are outbound.

There are two ingredients that you need if you want to make Inbound PR work: a different mindset (a methodology) and a tool stack (technology).

Let’s start with methodology.

When I began working on the Inbound PR concept, I felt that it would be helpful to have a visual that could easily explain some of the thought processes underlying the entire notion and the tactics that would make it work.

So I took the inbound marketing methodology and flipped it into its PR version, focusing on the media as the key persona. Let me throw a quick disclaimer here: Inbound PR can work for any stakeholder group: customers, media, employees, etc.

The Inbound PR Methodology

Inbound PR

As you can see, the goal to be attained by following this methodology is to shift the media people from being total strangers to us to becoming not just publishers but repeat publishers.

If we think about the buyers, the rationale is pretty much the same: we want to turn them from being people who don’t know our brand or products to people who buy from us again and again.

In essence, the methodology comprises four key phases, and each one suggests specific tactics that would work best for each of the phases:

  • Attract aims to turn complete strangers into the visitors of your website by means of blogging, social media, press releases, and a website/online presence done well following SEO best practices.
  • Convert aims to turn these visitors into (media) leads by getting their contact details (email) through a form located on the landing page which offers more valuable content that attracts visitors in the form of, e.g., videos, whitepapers, etc. They’d get there through your CTAs placed around your website or newsroom.
  • Close aims to turn these (media) leads into publishers or customers by using a targeted email marketing or social media conversations approach or even at events by offering special, persona-relevant treats such as exclusives or executive interviews.
  • Delight aims to build strong relationships with those publishers or customers and to turn them into people who repeatedly do business with us by continuing to engage with them on social or educate them with even more valuable contextual content.

This methodology is the mindset you need to wrap your head around so that you can actually develop an Inbound PR strategy and a plan to implement in order to hit your strategy’s goals.

In the digital economy, for these steps to really work at their peak, you need technology that will support you along the way and that will tell you what’s working and what’s not.

You need the data for the attract, convert, close and delight phase because otherwise you won’t be able to make any good decisions and without good decisions you probably won’t move very far towards executing on your Inbound PR strategy and plan.

Now, I work at HubSpot so I can fully recommend its paid versions (and its free options) but if you can’t afford HubSpot, here’s how you can create your own technology tool stack that you’ll need to go through all the different phases of the methodology.

The Inbound PR Tool Stack

Here’s a list of tools and technology you can use at each of the stages of the Inbound PR methodology.




  • MailChimp or Prowly for emails and pitching
  • HubSpot for social media monitoring and engagement


With such a stack of tools at hand, you’ll make sure that you can execute on the steps of the Inbound PR methodology and track what’s working for you vs. what’s not.

Inbound PR must be a continuous learning cycle where you constantly improve to achieve better and faster results.

Have you implemented the Inbound PR methodology and used any of these Inbound PR tools?


A version of this post first appeared in Prowly Magazine.


Ready to get to the next level with Inbound PR? Get the Inbound PR book now! 

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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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