As you know, Public Relations, or PR, is not the act of crafting a press release and slinging it onto the wire—or posting it to the dark news recesses of your web site. PR is also not about blasting the same story to everyone.
Another thing PR is not: advertising. This means you don’t have to shell out a ton of cash to get a placement, but you also don’t have much control over whether your story gets written, or where it will appear.
Instead, PR is about being organized, methodical, and strategic. It’s about having a plan, writing targeted releases tied to timely business pain points (like BYOD, for example), identifying the right journalists, and creating relationships.
In fact, I’ve even heard PR re-coined as TMR (Target Market Relations). Let’s face it, in the marketing world the “shot-gun” approach hasn’t worked for a long time (blasting the same thing to everyone, at the same time). It doesn’t work for email marketing, and PR is no different. It’s all about segmenting and targeting, segmenting and targeting…
Ultimately, PR requires sustained effort and diligence. However, the payoff can be immeasurable for your business.
Case in point: 53 Cisco mConcierge partners utilizing the Cisco mConcierge Service recently embarked on a successful 12-week PR journey comprised of:
- Video tutorials explaining how PR works, delivered by an actual agency
- Media kit and online press room assistance, physically preparing partners for reaching out to the media
- A taste of the PR experience with real-time guidance as partners actively pitched to the media with a variety of both local and national stories
In the end, not only did the partners learn how to do PR, but they secured 52 media placements with more than 38 million impressions, which resulted in increased awareness, differentiation, and new incoming leads.
This PR journey landed the participating partners some high-profile opportunities with CRN, InformationWeek, CIO, and one even scored an interview with Fox News, with more than 14 million viewers nationally (see video). It also yielded a comparable ad value of over $133,000—proof that PR done right really does pay.
Ready to Rev up Your PR--and Your Business?
So how do you get started? Here are 2 possible options:
1. If you’re already an mConcierge nominated partner, ask your consultant about getting enrolled in the next wave of the mConcierge PR training scheduled to begin mid-October. If you’re a Cisco partner and you’re not taking part in mConcierge and would like to be considered for nomination, contact your Cisco Account Manager, or submit a request online.
2. If you just want to learn more about PR in general, check out the mConcierge Tactical Marketing Guide on Public Relations. This two-page doc provides you with a succinct PR overview, best practices, steps to follow, instructions on measuring your success, and even gives you a sample timeline. This is an ideal starter guide for the partner who is new to the world of public relations.
Even if you have to start small, just start. PR can be one of the most affordable ways to build your brand, establish yourself in the marketplace, and generate new leads and business. You just have to start.