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PR is Dead (Oh No, Not Again!)

It seems that with every new communications trend, people want to declare the death of PR. Today we’re seeing it again with the proliferation of social, digital and mobile channels — “this is how people get their information today. PR is dead.”

Once again, reports of PR’s death are vastly overrated and people who truly believe that, do so at their own peril.

In this webinar, Andy Murphy, Head of PR at LEWIS, will examine the state of PR, how its value proposition has changed in today’s digital world, and what companies need to do to transform their PR programs so they deliver maximum return on investment.

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PR is Dead (Oh No, Not Again!)

  1. 1. Reality Check: PR is Dead! (Oh No, Not Again!)
  2. 2. About LEWIS PUBLIC RELATIONS DIGITAL MARKETING Our Services CONTENT RESEARCH Wholly owned international network of 27 offices 27 Over 600+ staff, fast- growing, employee-owned 600+ Founded by a journalist 20 years ago 20 Award-winning global communications Inventive campaigns that drive awareness, demand, adoption, advocacy
  3. 3. WARNING 3 THE CONTENT CONTAINED HEREIN WAS DEVELOPED IN THE CONTEXT OF THE B2B TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY. (Although the basic principles are relevant across a wide berth of industries…)
  5. 5. Irrefutable Proof that PR is Not Dead 5
  6. 6. Why are People Constantly Killing PR? 6 It’s the ultimate “what have you done for me lately” discipline. You can’t practically measure ROI like you can with other marketing programs. It seems like it should be easy, but it’s extremely hard to do well.
  7. 7. Where PR Programs Fall Down 7 A “transactional” approach to PR Shiny object syndrome Treating PR as a silo PR IS A LIVING, EVOLVING, STRATEGIC DISCIPLINE
  8. 8. A Transactional Approach to PR 8 “We need to crank out more press releases.” PR IS NOT A COLLECTION OF TACTICS; IT’S STRATEGIC “PERCEPTION SETTING” “Give me news and I’ll get you coverage.” “Get me analyst briefings and speaking opps.” “I want to know the value of each media placement.”
  9. 9. Shiny Object Syndrome 9 “We’re moving 100% to inbound marketing.” “Why bother with the media when I can go straight to people with social?” “PR doesn’t generate leads like Google AdWords does.” MARKETING IS A TOOL CHEST
  11. 11. PR as a “Tool in the Chest” 11 YOUR STORY  Website  SEO  SEM/PPC  Organic and paid social media  Community development and management  Video and interactive DIGITAL DIRECT ADVERTISING EVENTS CONTENT PR  Direct marketing  Email campaigns  Surveys  Customer programs  Target account campaigns  Print  Online  Outdoor  Broadcast / underwriting  Sponsorships  Mobile  Content syndication  Conference and trade show participation  Association sponsorships  Roadshows  Local events  Webcasts  Speaking engagements  Thought leadership  Presentations  Videos  Blog posts  Infographics  Animations  e-Books  Collateral  Industry briefs  Media/analyst relations  Influencers/ bloggers  Press releases  Contributed articles and bylines  Award submissions  Proactive pitching YOUR CUSTOMERS, INVESTORS, PARTNERS, EMPLOYEES, ETC.
  12. 12. Why PR Always Matters PR IS THE ENGINE DRIVING PERCEPTION It is the “tip of the spear” for major corporate initiatives It is the driving force behind advancing the company story It remains the single most impactful source of validated content
  13. 13. If PR Ain’t Dead, Bring it to Life! Perform “judgment free” program evaluation Identify strengths, weaknesses and root causes Evaluate your corporate story Evaluate marketing department structure Set a baseline and grow
  14. 14. Judgment-free Evaluation Collect 360-degree feedback – don’t agree or disagree, just collect Put your own perceptions aside Compare your results with peers’ results
  15. 15. Identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Root Causes  Are we a “usual suspect” in our market, or are we not getting our fair share?  If we’re not getting our fair share, why not?  What types of articles/reports are we not showing up in?  Why are we not showing up? Do we really belong in them? Are we dull? Do we lack content?  How much of our coverage is “transactional,” and how much is creative?  Transactional = arms and legs; creative = brains  How are we managing the agency? Are we giving them what they need? Do they have time to be creative? Look at the things that matter:
  16. 16.  Why should anyone be interested in your company? (Sorry…your product features just aren’t that interesting.)  What’s a drop-dead-easy way to explain how you’re different from everyone else? (Does Mom understand what you do?)  What is the “big thing” going on in the world that creates a massive opportunity for you?  Can you prove your story? Evaluate your Corporate Story Who owns your story? And does the story drive your communications strategy?
  17. 17.  Is PR fully integrated with the rest of marketing?  Are there seamless flows of ideas, content, programs across functional areas?  Do you hold collective brainstorms and planning sessions? Evaluate your Structure ANY INITIATIVE DIGITAL DIRECT ADVERTISING EVENTS CONTENT PR YOUR CUSTOMERS, INVESTORS, PARTNERS, EMPLOYEES, ETC.
  18. 18. Set a New Baseline and Grow You can’t change the past. MAKE IT YOUR BASELINE. • Set new goals and expectations for your PR program • Include the agency on this initiative – and jointly own goals • Goals should include inputs as well as outputs
  19. 19. About PR Measurement Don’t confuse measurement with ROI  Measurement is a way to “instrument” the program to identify anomalies and diagnose issues  Measurement is a way to understand program trends  Set goals that map to real-world conditions  E.g., coverage volume is usually dependent on availability of assets  Avoid assigning automatic “annual increases” without understanding whether such increases are warranted
  20. 20. Traps Doing the same things and expecting different results Becoming distracted with requests that take you off story and off track Paralysis by analysis Confusing activity with results Trying to get it perfect – PERFECT IS THE ENEMY OF GOOD But the biggest trap is…
  21. 21. PR on Autopilot! “ACME is the leading provider of Roadrunner eradication systems…” “ACME’s Roadrunner Blaster is a disruptive and revolutionary technology that…” “I’m delighted that Wile E. Coyote has joined ACME as our CTO,” said CEO Chuck Jones. Creative Autopilot Hyperbole replaces thought Doing what everyone else does Meaningless quotes
  22. 22. PR on Autopilot! “No news = no coverage” “We can’t get ACME business coverage without household-name customer references.” “We’ll blast the news to our list.” Execution Autopilot Onus avoidance Slave to conventional wisdom Robotic tactics “We’re just doing what you asked us to do…” Expertise forfeiture
  23. 23. CASE STUDY Reviving a ProgramEncryption Situation: The “data encryption story” is old and known. SafeNet needed a way to make it interesting again. The company also needed to change the perception that database encryption is complex and expensive. Strategy: LEWIS developed the concept of a “Secure Breach” – an oxymoron designed to articulate that even if perimeter defenses are compromised, your data can remain secure – and authored a manifesto to share with customers, the public and media influencers. This term became the basis for SafeNet's “Secure the Breach” corporate marketing initiative. LEWIS also enlisted the help of an analyst to create a formula for calculating breach severity, to demonstrate that not all breaches are created equal. The Breach Level Index (BLI) became a tool for the entire industry to use when trying to determine the significance of each breach. LEWIS and SafeNet produced a quarterly BLI report, which we used to drive major media coverage. Results: The first annual report was released in February 2015, and yielded more than 450 media mentions globally, making it one of the most successful announcements in company history. ✔️ Thought leadership ✔️ Analyst relations ✔️ Research/Index
  24. 24. We’re Here to Help We help companies all over the world with their public relations challenges, and we’re here to do the same for you. Andy Murphy Head of U.S. Public Relations Email:
  25. 25. Questions
  26. 26. Webcast Recaps MARKETING AT MILE 13: Are You on Track for a Strong Finish in 2016? Learn more: