Why PR Doesn't Drive Sales

Christine Huynh
Christine Huynh



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In reality, sales success and public relations campaigns do not have a direct correlation. The key factor in bridging the gap that most people miss is marketing efforts .

Why PR Doesn't Drive Sales

1. There's No Science Behind PR Success Data -
Typical PR campaigns are measured by the number of media coverage / placements per month. Sure, a PR retainer includes content creation, strategy, etc., but success is typically measured by the number of hits and more recently, the number of shared media hits on Twitter and Facebook. These numbers can fluctuate month-to-month depending on seasonality of your content and news cycles. How many times do you hear a caveat with a particularly low number one month vs. another month?

2. Sales reps don't care about Public Relations
They care about the number of good leads, not the original source of the lead that introduced them to the company. The source of the lead is a marketing concern.

Integrating Public Relations With Marketing

So if you've invested a lot of money in a PR agency retainer, how do you get the top of the funnel activities to actually get the most qualified leads to turn into customers?

Luckily, some agencies are getting smarter and hiring digital natives to execute on modern PR campaigns with social media strategies to connect and build relationships with influencers, generate media coverage, and communicate relevant messages to customers and prospects.

According to HubSpot partner Paul Roetzer, President at PR 20/20 ,  "The key is to find social media and tech-savvy PR pros, who use content and social strategies to drive success. Your firm should be creating remarkable content, building relationships with journalists and bloggers, offering training and education to strengthen your internal team, and generating coverage that produces inbound links, traffic and leads."

1. Focus on Content
You've heard it from us before, but you'll hear it again. Create remarkable content. It's the only way to differentiate yourself in the noisy media landscape. Use your PR agency as an extension of your marketing team and rely on them for new, out-of-the-box ideas on the type of offers you can build to get more lead conversions.

2. Think Strategy
Sure, the glitzy ink you're getting in high-profile publications with your agency's contacts is exciting, but let's not forget that the real value an agency should provide is strategic counsel. Periodically check in with yourself and ask, is my agency thinking tactically (short-term) or strategically (long-term) on the campaigns we're executing?

3. Leads, Not Impressions
The best PR campaigns should bring you the most qualified leads. Wouldn't it be great to report to your CEO or CMO that a campaign brought in 500 leads in the past six months? The best way to do that is to drive traffic to a landing page and get a lead to convert. Instead of having your PR agency focus on getting media coverage around new functionality in a product, why not promote an ebook or webinar to get new leads?  

Bad habits are hard to break, but the first step is admitting that PR and sales are not directly related. Instead PR is one of many top of the funnel tactics to bring in new

Do you have any good experiences on how to focus PR campaigns to help marketing as opposed to sales efforts? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section.

Photo Credit: TheTruthAbout

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