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How we would spend your PR budget

By David Beesley

They are questions we get asked by every prospect during the early conversations we have and “How much is a good PR budget? And what will I get for my money?” are usually in there.

Now, not to sound evasive, while it’s understandable to want to know what you’d expect to be spending, these questions only ever get met with one answer – what are you trying to achieve?

Understanding your campaign goals, business objectives and what success looks like to you will help to determine what you’d be willing to spend. For example, handing an agency £1,000onth a month and saying "I want to raise brand awareness" isn’t likely to end with your company splashed over the pages and websites of the national press.

But, to give you an idea of what you could get for a reasonable PR budget, in this blog we’ll layout what kind of campaign you could expect with a budget of around £35,000 a year.


Using your PR budget to make an impact

If you are committed to investing in PR you should already have a good understanding of your objectives and perhaps a few key titles in your industry where you want your business to appear by brand name.

The real challenge is to build a PR campaign that will grab a journalist's attention, create interesting stories and be able to fuel press coverage with new, fresh content for a sustained period of time.

Creating a PR campaign based on a piece of market research report is what we specialise in, so if you want to enter a new market or define where your business sits in your industry we’d look to engage a research project and have that as the focal point of the campaign.

One thing to be clear on here is that when we speak about “market research” we’re not creating a report to solely guide your business decisions, the market research has multiple goals. From our PR perspective, the key goal is to generate interesting news stories or controversial headlines that journalists will be interested in – so don’t be afraid if an idea sounds a bit left field.

Done properly market research reports are an excellent asset for your PR and wider content marketing strategy.

Not only do you have a large content asset that you can use on your website to drive leads, the headlines and insights taken from the results can provide journalists and their readers with interesting stories. This significantly increases your chances of getting press coverage, brand recognition and, perhaps more importantly to the business, provide an opportunity to create genuine, high value back links from these news websites to your company website.

Organic link building through PR can prove extremely useful in increasing the overall SEO performance of your website and help you rank higher in search engines results, therefore making it easier to be found by potential prospects.

So, with a piece of research in the bag and a pool of interesting stories, the next thing you need is press office support.

This involves time “selling in” the articles from the research to your target media, but it also includes media monitoring for news stories we could get your spokespeople involved with. These can be opportunities to comment on breaking news, or adding a comment to a wider feature, or even get some profile stories for your executive team.

Including press office support, along with the research, forms the solid basis of a more “traditional” Earned PR strategy.

Once we’ve launched the market research and gained press coverage of the key results it's time to move on to the next phase of the campaign. 


Making the most of your Owned media

With a plan in place for your Earned media outreach, now we come to putting effort (and time and resource, therefore budget) into creating unique content for your own website and social media.

A steady stream of blogs on your website, optimised for targeted keywords based upon your keyword strategy, and aimed at your buyer personas, not only helps boost your website SEO efforts to get it ranking higher in search engine results, but it compliments your media activity to present your business and executive team as “thought leaders” in your industry.

The great thing about a good piece of market research is that the detailed industry specific insights can be used as a basis for your blogs. Your blogging activity can be geared towards answering the questions raised within the research, and the questions your buyer personas are asking. This type of content is a key part of the buyer journey, converting an audience from visitor into a lead and – eventually – into customers.

Social media cannot be ignored either, and your PR budget is invested into amplifying your content over social media platforms. Be it a bank of Tweets promoting the stats; LinkedIn posts for the company account; your company spokespeople using content to post into LinkedIn groups; or sharing their opinions on their own profile pages - by breaking down the results from the market research for your social media channels you can engage your target audience on multiple channels.

Why not take the top results from the market research and design an infographic?

Adding this social media activity will compliment your media coverage and continue to grow your brand’s reputation. 


Measuring success

With all this activity happening at the same time, one thing you’ll need to track is the impact this Earned, Owned and Shared PR activity is generating on your website?

Using a suite of analytics software, our data driven approach to measurement will tell you exactly what impact our PR campaigns are having on your website.

Whether it’s increasing the amount of organic or referral traffic coming to your website, increasing your website's ranking in search engine results or increasing your media presence and brand awareness, we’ll plug you into our measurement processes and ensure you get to see clearly the benefits the activity is having.

Gaining measurable insight will guide future PR activity – an essential when dealing within any budget – to ensure the content we create for the media, your website and social channels is engaging your audience and creating leads.


All that for approx. £35k?

By building a PR campaign on a piece of well constructed market research we can work with you to create a steady flow of content for the media to get you those headlines and links; and also a stream of regular blogs for your website and social media posts. This will boost your online visibility and reputation within your industry.

This is just an example of what we could do within a particular budget - and misses one big element of PR - video. Creative content through the use of videos in your PR campaign can very quickly move your business from zero to hero and if you have budget, producing video content is something that you should look to invest in.

Sound interesting?

If you want more information on our PR campaigns, why not book time with a  member of our team and we can talk about how we could support your business.