Working in PR is closely connected to sales. Although PR people don’t sell anything directly they need to engage prospects, generate leads and keep good relations with others – just like salespeople do. They can use main aspects and structure of sales to generate coverage – take advantage of using CRM, building the funnel and moving prospects from stage to stage. As soon as you realize that PR pros should use the tactics of salespeople to build good and effective human-to-human relations you can become a master in your field.
In order to be a great sales person you need to be organized. Categorizing your prospects, so in this case journalists, into specific stages of your funnel is key. As in sales, the last stage of the funnel is a won deal; in case of PR the last stage would be coverage.
How to achieve it? Take lessons from salespeople, follow their tactic and become an expert in your area.
Good relationship is a key
Robert: There is no magic in the statement that trust is crucial in successful relationship. Having full knowledge about your brand and market gives you an opportunity to show yourself as an expert, hence someone others can trust. Being one, you don’t need to beg for being asked. People would love to do that, same like buy something from someone who seems to „know the stuff well”.
Probably you already know that „Relationship is key for PR”, but… how does it really works? Most likely knowledge about journalist child’s school progress is not going to help you. Use sales folks approach – get to the pain of your journalist/editor, explore his/her topics and interests, so you can easily „sell” your content. Believe me or not, but journalists love this approach – they are tired of tones of irrelevant stuff filling their mailboxes.
The power of follow-up
Wojtek: Key part of managing sales process is measuring. Measuring everything that you can. Based on data we are able to see how we used to perform, what is going on now, and what we can expect from future. That structured process is giving clear sign what should I do next.
Being well informed gives awareness. That awareness is based on reactions. Those reactions are leading us to right next actions. The thing is to know, how our potential customers react.
If we know that, we know exactly where to put them in our process, what to do next and what expect from them. Without that knowledge, it is just going forward but with eyes closed.
CRM will help to keep your head clean
Karolina: Most of us think that salespeople remember each deal, know when to contact leads and keep control over the whole sales situation. The truth is, unless they are superheroes with extraordinary memory – they don’t. What keeps them organized is usually a CRM tool, a brain of the whole operation. That’s where they keep all their leads and that’s how they measure effectiveness of their activities.
When it comes to PR there are hundreds of influencers, journalists and bloggers to remember about. There are campaigns that are worth measuring. Good CRM tool for PR can help to evaluate which actions are effective thus increasing your chance of getting coverage.
In order to become a PR pro you need to learn how to ‘sell’ your pitch. Try to implement salespeople’s workflow into your field of work. Every time you send out a pitch your selling something, the only difference is that instead of money the value is coverage. Keep good relationship, listen to your prospects, follow them up and analyze your activities and you will master the topic in a blink of an eye.
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