Plotting Your New Course with Integrated PR Strategies
Remember when the “Buyer’s Journey” was a straight line down the marketing funnel? PR’s job was to prime awareness, which sits at the top of that funnel, and then nudge prospects toward interest before we handed them off to sales somewhere around consideration. Today, the trip down the funnel looks more like a constellation. It’s complicated because the journey looks different for every person. Here is one example, which I’ll call the constellation for “Beth buys marketing automation software”:
The good news: Once we identify the ideal customer persona, we have an unprecedented ability to understand what that journey -- or constellation -- looks like. And today, our ability to target your audience has an infinite number of strategies, while at the same time, it’s so much more precise. Today, PR now plays a role in almost every stage of the funnel. The bad news: the 24-hour onslaught of polarizing headlines has people checking out. Fear-based approaches to PR run the risk of alienating the people you’re trying to bring closer. Also, media relations is no longer enough. It’s still the best way to build credibility, but it’s lagging in its ability to drive awareness.
A successful PR strategy must begin with authenticity, be guided by empathy, and amplify its messages on the way toward building community. Digital marketing strategies must be part of the PR program: PR can no longer afford to live in a vacuum. It must be integrated with your content, search, social, other digital strategies, and yes, offline campaigns too (because person-to-person interactions are becoming important again). Here’s where we recommend starting:
Effective PR interconnects campaigns across your universe, to make sure the right message reaches the right audience at hundreds of the right times and places. The buyer’s journey is now a scattered series of moments, or touch points, where you have the opportunity to educate, increase awareness and even inspire someone to take an action. When PR takes an integrated approach, it also closes the measurement loop so we can more accurately assess the impact of your program. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more insights from our vice president of digital marketing, Angela Trapasso.
Since the early days working around her kitchen table, Beth has grown Inkhouse into one of the top independent PR agencies in the country. She’s been named a Top Woman in PR by PR News, a Top 25 Innovator by PRovoke, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Beth designed Inkhouse’s signature Storytelling Workshop to mirror the literary hero’s journey and to unearth the emotional connections that bind an audience to a brand or idea. She also uses narratives to build Inkhouse’s culture, most recently through two books of employee essays, “Hindsight 2020” and “Aren’t We Lucky?”