There’s no doubt that technology has changed the way businesses, brands, and audiences relate to one another. As a result, many public relations tactics that generated results in the past have been rendered obsolete. Luckily, some of them are still up-to-date – and I’m about to cover the best examples of those.
Why is it important, though? Mostly because leveraging the best PR tactics can lead to an avalanche of opportunities for any brand, including yours. It can enable you to build a stronger connection with your audience, raise brand awareness, increase customer loyalty, and boost your reputation at the same time.
In this article, I’ll walk you through a list of PR tactics that work wonders, and can be used to gain a competitive advantage in your industry.
The best examples of PR tactics to leverage
1. Using press releases to spread the word
According to a Nielsen study, 92% of consumers trust earned media. When your brand is featured in magazines, news publications, websites, blogs, and other outlets—it simply increases people’s confidence in your brand.
This is where press releases & media relations come in.
Essentially, press releases can help you create awareness for your brand, a particular event, milestone, or product launch, and attract people to your website in the process. Provided that you share the news with a relevant audience, that is.
An example of this PR tactic in use? This press release from Womply, which was used to spread the word about the brand’s latest report on how online reviews impact the profitability of small businesses. They were able to generate a ton of web traffic, 108 press placements, 161 backlinks to their site, and $350k in media value.
Protip: The success of your PR efforts often depends on your ability to consistently ship quality content. Make sure you invest in the right project management tools (or better yet—PR software like Prowly) to stay on top of your campaigns and other PR activities at all times.
2. Targeting local TV stations and media outlets
If your goal is to reach as many people as possible when sharing your brand story, you might already have your eyes set on major media outlets. Although there’s nothing wrong with this aspiration, the reality is that it’s incredibly challenging to get coverage in national media.
It’s much better to focus on getting your story on local news until you’ve gained enough merit to break into the national press. There’s less competition at the local media level, and you don’t need to have an extraordinary story to be considered newsworthy.
Targeting local media means you’ll have a higher chance of getting your story out there and ensuring your target audience sees it. If what you have to say is interesting enough, it’ll keep gaining traction until it’s picked up by the big league.
Protip: You can always find relevant media contacts with Prowly’s Media Discovery. Search by topic, industry, position & location to pick local media outlets to pitch your story to.
For example, Weavers Way Co-op, the largest grocery co-op in Philadelphia, teamed up with Food Shelter PR to create a campaign for the first-ever Philadelphia Grocery Co-op Day. They pitched to local magazines, newspapers, TV, and online outlets and secured extensive coverage across the state.
As a result, they succeeded in creating more awareness about grocery co-ops and their impact in the region. They also encouraged thousands of residents to become members of their local co-op.
3. Using PR stunts to get coverage
Publicity stunts have been getting a lot of heat in recent years thanks to brands using it for shock value and nothing else. Even though PR stunts can be tacky and annoying sometimes—when done right, they can really help your brand get noticed.
In order for your PR stunt to be effective, it needs to be creative and clever. It has to push boundaries and go against the trend in some way to get media coverage and the attention of the general public. However, when choosing the message to convey, make sure it also reflects your brand identity to some extent.
A good example of this PR tactic? Well, everyone knows that Elon Musk’s mission is to transport humans to Mars, but no one was expecting anything out of the ordinary when SpaceX launched its latest rocket, Falcon Heavy, into space.
So, when Falcon Heavy hurled a red Tesla Roadster playing the 1971 hit song Life On Mars by David Bowie into orbit, the media and the rest of the world went wild with excitement. Launching a car into space was exactly the kind of crazy, innovative, and unique idea that forced people to pay attention.
4. Participating in community and industry events
Events are a great way to promote your brand, network with important players in your industry, and interact with your target audience. The ContentTECH Summit sponsored by Content Marketing Institute or Inbound Marketing Conference by Hubspot are just some examples of this PR tactic implemented successfully.
It doesn’t mean that you can just host your own events and call it a day. It pays off to contribute and participate in events organized by other brands in your community, too. The easiest way to do so is to speak on topics you’re knowledgeable about, ask questions during panel discussions, or set up an information booth. Doing things like this will help you gain more visibility.
5. Taking advantage of social media platforms
Any brand that’s serious about their PR strategy must maintain a presence on social media platforms where their audience likes to hangout. It’s mostly because social media helps to increase brand visibility, spread your message further, and avert potential PR crises by correcting the narrative and taking control of the situation in real-time.
Don’t just set up an account and forget about it. The key is to actively engage with your network, join relevant conversations, and share valuable content that your audience will find useful and informative.
To make the most of this PR tactic, you can use social media listening tools to monitor what people are saying about your brand, products, and services in real-time and act accordingly. What’s also good practice is to offer outstanding customer service by responding to messages and solving complaints or problems as quickly as possible.
For example, back in 2017, Orchard Pig took advantage of Twitter to run their #AsHappyAsAPig campaign, which was created to spark positivity and make people smile on Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year.
Anyone who tweeted the hashtag with a picture of themselves got an illustrated caricature depicting them as happy as a pig in shit. Some lucky pigs also received a hamper of Orchard Pig cider and juice.
6. Partnering up with influencers
Studies show that 92% of people are more likely to trust recommendations from other people over advertisements and messaging from the actual brands. This is why influencer marketing is one of the fastest-growing customer acquisition channels.
Over 51% of companies have reported getting better results through influencer marketing than other mediums and seeing up to $20 in return for each dollar spent on influencer marketing. By partnering with influencers, you can tap into their extensive network of loyal and engaged followers to drive increased awareness, traffic, and conversions for your brand.
Seek out bloggers, experts, thought leaders, and other influential personalities in your niche, or whose values are aligned with yours, and get them to promote your brand by establishing relationships with them.
7. Creating some controversy around your brand
Another effective way to grab the public’s attention is to create some controversy around your message.
People love a good debate, so if you can give them that, you’ve basically got a winning PR campaign right there. You can generate lots of coverage from different audience segments analyzing your story and giving their two cents on the subject.
A good example of this PR tactic is Basecamp’s launch of its latest product, HEY, a premium email service that aims to redefine everything we know about email and make it fun again.
They created a perfect PR storm that got everyone talking. Whether reviewers, experts, and reporters hated or loved the app and the idea behind it, they had plenty to say. Consequently, HEY received more media and public attention than its makers could have dreamed of.
Get creative with your public relations tactics
There are plenty of brands and all kinds of digital distractions competing for consumers’ attention these days. To make sure your offer stands out, you should always have a list of creative PR tactics up your sleeve.
Start exploring the best public relations tactics discussed above to find what works best for your brand. Keep in mind that effective PR can help your brand stay relevant, foster valuable connections, expose you to a broader audience, and ultimately improve your bottom line.
Speaking of effective PR… Have you tried Prowly yet?