Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Merchandising PR – How to Make the Most of Strategies and Success

RESULTS! They are the reason we get hired and the key to sustaining long-term relationships with our clients. Yet, far too often, they get relegated to an Excel spreadsheet and filed away in a client’s office somewhere, never to be seen again. While quantitative reports are certainly important, there are many other ways PR results can (and should) be “merchandised” for added exposure and value.

Add sizzle to sales presentations. In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, showcasing PR initiatives and results can help make a sale. A launch campaign with strong PR components can demonstrate to business partners a company’s level of commitment. Likewise, early media interest can be a strong indicator of sales potential. After all, if a product or program can attract media attention, odds are it will attract a strong following from targeted end-users.

Toward that end, we often encourage clients to arm their front line sales reps with PR “show-and-tell” materials – such as creative mailers and copies of media placements – and to highlight PR plans and outcomes during sales meetings, line reviews and trade shows. In addition to adding visual punch to presentations, these elements can add perceived value to go-to-market strategies and give salespeople more leverage with customers.

Engage employees. Few people are more invested in the success of a company or organization than those who work there. Sharing PR successes internally is an easy and cost-effective way to keep employees engaged and excited in their work. Intranets, newsletters, e-mail blasts and online social groups and networks all are effective vehicles for showcasing PR throughout an organization.

Incite Investors. Investors are another audience that is keenly interested in the success of a company or organization. Incorporating PR highlights into investor presentations can reaffirm the company’s commitment to strategic marketing support while providing a refreshing recess from the typical transmission of facts and figures.

Effectively merchandising PR results works to everyone’s benefit. Clients get credit from their customers and investors for making smart, cost-effective marketing investments. The marketing team gets noticed for supporting sales and contributing the bottom line. And we reinforce our role as a trusted, go-to resource for – you guessed it – RESULTS!

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