Where PR and Marketing Meet

Trapper-Collova-26619_90x90It’s 6:08 p.m. and you’re watching the local ABC affiliate’s evening news. You know it’s coming soon. Then, at 6:10, there it is: a glorious, 2-minute, 18-second feature on your community’s new water aerobics program. Your phone rings–it’s your boss congratulating you. A text message lights up your phone–your neighbor just saw the story and wanted to tell you how great it looked. Another call–your mom is gushing over your massive PR score.

For 2 minutes and 18 seconds, over 200,000 people watched an unbiased, nonpaid, third-party promotion of your community and its aerobics programs. They saw your residents brag about their community on camera. They saw the passion conveyed by your activities director. Best of all, they saw how nice your community looks and they heard the name (three times!), as well as the location and internet address.

You’re on their radar!

You know tomorrow is going to be a record day for phone calls and tours booked at the community. You know Google Analytics will surely show a gigantic spike in web visits. You’re beyond happy and you can’t wait to give your agency account manager a high-five, hug or maybe both the next time you see her.

Then she calls you and, after sharing your joy says, “Okay, now let’s push this news even further.” “Beyond the market-leading affiliate’s 6 p.m. news? How?” you wonder. Now comes the brainstorming.

PR_reachFirst, the link to the station’s webpage featuring the story needs to be plastered on your website’s home page, blasted via Twitter and touted on LinkedIn. Next, you’ll share the link on Facebook and put a paid “boost” campaign in place, ensuring that 35,000 age- and location-qualified Facebook users receive the story directly in their news feed.

Now comes the really fun part. Tell your agency to kick it into high gear and get a direct mail piece out to every one of your hot leads, medium leads and another 5,000 qualified prospects. If they have the resources and knowledge, they’ll know how find local income-qualified households that have both a 60-something “adult child” and an 80- or 90-something parent living with them. Perfect!

By the time the mailer hits, you’ll have purchased the rights to the clip for a small fee and embedded it on your own website (along with YouTube and Vimeo, of course). That way, when your leads get the mailer, they’ll be directed to your website to view the story.

It’s still not time to stop yet. An attractive single-page “flyer” about the coverage will come in handy. The marketing team can include it in every information packet that goes out, and your outreach staff can share the piece with local discharge planners, who would certainly love to recommend your water aerobics programs to their short-term rehab patients who require low-impact exercise.

Don’t forget those outbound calls! Remember Mrs. Palmer who toured and loved the pool but wasn’t quite ready to move? Your staff has a perfect lead-in to reignite the conversation.

The point here is that the tools to market your PR success are abundant. You could include a blog post, email blast, pay-per-click ad, print ad, on-site signage and more. By coupling the PR message with your own marketing, you’re delivering a powerful combination of third-party validation, direct promotion and call-to-action, all while maintaining the flavor of the original, unbiased news story.

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