Using PR to Generate New Leads Is More Important Than Ever

As the economy reopens, entrepreneurs and businesses need a strong PR play more than ever before so they can mitigate risk, secure positive exposure for their brand and and new business. Whether you want to be featured in a top-tier news outlet or even a local blog or podcast, getting included as an expert in a variety of media sources is a great way to show expertise and influence in your field.

But how do you turn publicity into actual customer conversion? Here is a five-step guide to translating press coverage into leads and new business.

Get Noticed

How can people buy your products and sign up for your services if they haven't heard of you? Getting known, or building credibilty, is the first step to generating leads. Regular coverage will result in an uptick in new business inquiries and sales, a natural byproduct of increased visibility and positive exposure. Being featured in the media, giving a talk or winning an award are proven tactics in building an expert reputation and reaching new audiences, so take all the opportunities you can get and leverage them for greater success.

Add a ‘Press' Section to Your Website

What's more convincing: your promotional website copy or a Q&A interview on a timely topic with a journalist? Create a “Press” section on your website and let everyone who visits learn about your work and capabilities through articles, interviews and media coverage. An easily accessible press section will create instant trust, and you can even track what draws the most curiosity and clicks. Capture leads generated by your press section through a simple contact form or email.

Fuel Business Development

Use your media mentions in your business outreach. “We have been featured in…” are five powerful words that have the ability to grab a prospective customer's attention. Whether you had a story or interview in a mainstream outlet or simply appeared on a modestly popular podcast, make sure to let people know! Share your media mentions in a newsletter to your mailing list, and even put your latest media hit in your email signature. Try reaching out to current, former and future customers with your latest news. “We were just featured in this story on industry trends” can make for a great conversation-starter that will enable and enrich your business development.

Businesses today struggle with social media, but the answer is simple: Use PR as a powerful social media lead generator. Create a lively social media presence where you post news, talks, awards and articles you're featured in, along with a witty caption, and use it across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook et al. Post it to both your personal and company accounts to maximize exposure. Tag relevant companies, reporters, news outlets, conferences or organizations and ask them to promote you as well. From this considerable exposure, you might get a fair amount who simply read it, but will you also get some click-throughs who sign-up and buy? The answer is yes. (And if you haven't created social media accounts for your business, now is your chance.)

Close the Deal

There will be a certain amount of natural business growth as a result of having a robust PR play. But how do you close the deal? Reinforce trust and credibility using your best media mentions throughout the sales process. Add your media mentions to your talks, pitches, and proposals. Whether you enlist the help of a PR pro or reach out to news outlets directly, focus on generating high-quality opportunities across the spectrum, from top-tier mainstream media that have a significant reach to smaller outlets that will give you substantially more airtime and opportunity to talk about your work.

Having a strong public relations strategy will not only position you and your company in the best light; it will also be the strongest, most reliable way to get introduced to new customers in a fast-changing business landscape.

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