When it comes to public relations strategy, getting an article placed in a magazine or an interview conducted on TV or radio just doesn’t cut it anymore. If you’re focused on the traditional media relations-only approach to PR, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

Don’t get me wrong, traditional media still has third-party credibility. Even today, despite the blurred lines between journalism and editorial, good reporters, editors and broadcasters are still respected sources of information that PR practitioners can leverage to their benefit. While placing a piece of content on a publisher’s platform used to be the end goal (and perhaps only goal), today we consider that just the beginning of a broader, more strategic approach to public relations we call “Smart PR.”

Traditional PR strategy has its limits

Consider this. The average consumer has literally thousands of media options today. They have multiple media channels to choose from: TV, radio, podcasts, magazines, newspapers, online video, streaming broadcasts, e-newsletters, social media and blogs.

Layered on top of that is a 24-hour news cycle that moves quickly and is so competitive. An article or story that was a headline yesterday is no longer even part of the news today.

In the past, when there were fewer media channels and a longer news cycle, getting your PR story placed was a success and would have been seen by a majority of viewers. That’s not true today.

Does your media relations strategy work?

People are consuming more media than ever before. And, they’re doing it at the same time. 45% of people always or often watch TV while simultaneously using their phone. That means their attention is split. According to e-Marketer, in 2019, the average American spent an average of nine minutes per day reading magazines, 11 minutes reading the newspaper, 3 and a half hours watching TV and 6 and a half hours consuming digital media. Let’s say that your public relations strategy earned an interview on a respected local news broadcast.

Your hope is that the show’s audience consists of the right customers (and that there’s enough of them). You want these people interested in your brand and product or service. They may be watching the whole newscast. But they’re also reading something on their phone so they may miss your segment entirely.

All your public relations strategy comes down to is if your story is in front of the right people at the right time. Is your story enough to intrigue them and convince them to act if they’re only half paying attention?

But what if you can take that same story and put it directly in front of your ideal target audience with the same credibility? What if this happened at the frequency and timing of your choosing across several weeks or months using media that your audience spends the most time using?

What is Smart PR?

Smart PR leverages earned media and owned content with sophisticated audience targeting and promotional tactics. You target the exact audience you want, using the channels they prefer.

It’s using the social media targeting power of Facebook and LinkedIn. It also uses targeted native advertising through publishers to place articles within online editorial formats. Plus, it’s leveraging your owned channels like an e-newsletter to get the story out. It’s delivering these articles to your ideal audience multiple times over a period of time.

You’re not dependent on a one-shot-and-done approach of traditional PR. It’s really about the old advertising adage that someone has to see something at least seven times before they respond. Applying that concept to “selling” content to your target audience is really no different.

smart pr content flow

Getting Smart PR right

Smart PR seems simple and when you think about it, the strategy really is a no brainer. But doing it effectively requires the right tools and strategy. Plus a few extra budget dollars to account for paid placements.

For example, we use a media database called Cision to identify media sources, bloggers and other influencers who may have the most interest in the types of stories we’re pitching for a client. We can layer that with our sophisticated targeting strategies based on current clients, current prospects and lookalikes. This determines the ideal target audience, messaging and channels most likely to be effective. And we use analytics tools that provide in-depth reporting on response. This allows us to pivot on messaging if we find it necessary.

PR and earned media is still a valid strategy to bring credibility to the story you’re trying to tell. But if you’re relying solely on traditional public relations strategy without extending your reach and targeting the right audience as part of that strategy using Smart PR, you are leaving a lot on the table.

Want to learn how Smart PR can be integrated into your marketing efforts? Drop us a line, we’re here to help.