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How to get CEO buy-in for your Digital PR Strategy

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 your Digital PR Strategy? How do you convince those senior execs that may not fully understand how Digital PR can help the business to invest in it?

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

Understanding the CEO

First of all, you need to understand your audience.

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 Digital 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 case that demonstrates benefits while using real examples to back that up.

Coming back to Digital 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 some 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 in ink, but in the digital age, stats like these draw very little engagement with C-level executives looking to invest in a Digital PR Strategy.

CEOs want to be confident their investments are generating returns and helping the business in a measurable, tangible way. Something Digital PR measurement can do.

Is Digital PR worth it?

In short, yes. We would say that wouldn’t we.

The difference today is that the digital tools exist for PR professionals to actually prove the impact they are having on a business through website traffic analytics, conversion and keyword ranking.

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

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 Digital PR Strategy isn’t focusing on producing genuine business outcomes as well as bags of media coverage, then CEOs aren’t going to see the importance in it. The best Digital PR campaigns are performance-driven, connecting objectives to organisational end goals and including elements of SEO and PPC to drive even better results.

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




Tags: Digital PR