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How to get CEO buy-in for Inbound PR

By Jon Brown

Bill Gates once said that if he was down to his last dollar, he’d spend it on PR. But Mr. Microsoft isn’t exactly your average CEO, and it’s very unlikely we’ll ever see him with his last dollar!

However, this quote got us thinking – what does it take to get C-level buy-in for PR? How do you convince those senior execs that may not fully understand how PR can help the business to invest in it?

In this blog, we outline how you can get CEOs to embrace PR, specifically Inbound PR, as a key investment for their business.

Understanding the CEO

First of all, you need to understand your audience – something that buyer personas can help you with.

Your typical CEO is short on time, has the trust of employees resting on their shoulders, and is ultimately responsible for the success of the business. Every decision they make could be detrimental to the business, so it has to be well thought out.

A CEO’s main objectives revolve around increasing demand for the business, hitting revenue targets and keeping the board happy. It’s for these reasons that providing speedy results and showing how your campaign can help in the sales and marketing process is vital in getting PR buy-in.

A CEO’s actions have to be justifiable to themselves and to the board, so you have to be able to provide that justification. But how exactly do you do that?

Data-driven results

Forget about CEOs and PR for a moment and think about a scenario where you’ve had to convince someone that they need something you have – like a job interview.

The first thing you need to do is put your point across in a way that the other person will understand. That means building a strong business case that demonstrates benefits while using real examples to back that up.

Coming back to PR, wowing a CEO and getting their buy-in for a campaign hinges on delivering sharp, data-driven examples.

But this has long been the problem in PR. PR professionals have struggled, and arguably still struggle, to measure the business impact of their campaigns with the same accuracy as their colleagues in Marketing and SEO.

Vanity metrics like circulation, audience and ad-equivalency (AVEs) may have been impressive in the past when news was still published on ink and paper, but in the digital age, stats like these draw very little engagement with C-level executives looking to invest in PR.

CEOs want to be confident their investments are generating returns and helping the business in a measurable, tangible way. Something that Inbound PR can help with.

Inbound PR

Inbound PR is a much-needed evolution of the industry. It takes the things PR pros have always done well at (content creation and media outreach) and improving on what the industry has generally been pretty poor at (measurement).

Not only does Inbound PR offer a new, greater way of working on campaigns, it also presents results in a way that CEOs and C-level execs will understand.

Inbound PR is less coverage metrics and more business insights. New website sessions, referral traffic, contacts generated, landing page performance. These are the metrics you should be delivering if you want C-level buy-in.

If your PR campaign isn’t focusing on producing genuine business outcomes, then CEOs aren’t going to see the importance in it. The best PR campaigns are performance-driven, connecting objectives to organisational end goals.

Data is the new currency and the key to C-suite buy-in for PR. If you have the data to back up your pitch, then you’ll get the backing of the CEO.

Register for our next webinar on 27 March 2019 to discover what metrics you should be focusing on to help get CEO buy-in for Inbound PR.



Tags: Inbound PR