It’s the new year, which means it’s the season for forecasting and predictions. At March, we’ve been thinking about what public relations firms will need going forward. How are tech companies communicating to prospects and customers today? What channels and platforms are being used the most? Which publications and outlets are most read? What do tech companies want from a PR agency?
At the beginning of 2013, March noticed three distinct demands from clients: content marketing, research and analytics. Over the past year, we decided to see exactly what – and how – PR services fit within these emerging needs. And it’s been a pretty cool journey. Tech PR agencies that stay on top of these trends can build PR campaigns that have really never been tried before. This year, we expect that content marketing, research and analytics will lead just as many PR campaigns as they supplement.
1. Content Marketing
PR agencies have taken a central lead in content marketing. We’ve always worked with clients to develop bylines, blog posts and messaging, so building content that generates and nurtures leads was a natural next step.
Content is more than just blog posts. At March, we now have video filming, production and post-production capabilities, in-house. For our clients, that means no more scrambling between agencies to coordinate collateral. It also means that we can offer video collateral for marketing, sales and PR efforts, seamlessly creating video content for specific campaigns.
Ebooks, infographics and white papers have been another valuable addition to the content arsenal. We’ve discovered that eBooks can be hugely influential in generating leads when they’re promoted and gated behind forms that ask for prospect information. This hasn’t just helped clients generate leads, it’s helped us generate leads, too.
Another pressing need among tech companies has been contemporary industry research that drills down into particulars. With the addition of dedicated research analysts, March has been able to provide clients with competitor comparisons, sentiment analysis and market research.
We’ve been able to pitch those in-house research findings for significant coverage, too, and create eBooks that have generated leads. Research is no longer a passive statistic, it’s integral to PR and marketing efforts. By providing prospects with the research that interests them, our clients have discovered that one comprehensive industry study can be worth its weight in gold. Or at least email addresses and great coverage.
The past few years have ushered in a new era of analytics, first for marketing and sales and now for PR. Digital tools make it almost effortless to track the return on investment for everything a PR agency does – and March is dedicated to providing clients with those details.
With our one-of-a-kind analytics approach, we can offer breakdowns of each PR campaign and its SEO activities. We provide statistics such as web traffic, referring articles, click-throughs and more that are presented in an intuitive, comprehensive format – comparing the goals and strategies of the organization with the actual return.
March believes in making PR campaign as measurable as possible, because that shows clients what messaging, content and sources work best.
The Future of PR
It was an exciting year for PR in 2013. This year won’t be any different. Already, we’re thinking hard about how location and mobile will have an impact on coverage, content and lead generation. Luckily, the core of PR is always about communication. It’s just a tech PR agency’s job to find the right way to get that message out there, whatever the platform, technology or format.
This post was first published by Blaise Lucey on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.