Driving Revenue Through Public Relations and Media Placement

At a basic level, generating a profit in business revolves around a simple formula: revenues – costs = profits. In other words, the goal is to bring in more money than you spend. This is what makes the marketing function so tricky for many businesses. Marketing – if done properly – drives revenue. At the same time, marketing can be a significant part of an organization’s budget. According to a recent CMO survey, marketing can account for as much as a quarter of the overall budget for the consumer packaged goods industry, and ten percent for industries like retail wholesale and healthcare/pharmaceuticals.

So, any time you can find a way to do successful marketing on the cheap, it’s a great idea to take advantage. Using PR and free publicity to drive revenue is one of these methods, and here we examine what it takes to be successful.

Identify Your Target Outcomes

Identify the specific outcomes you’re hoping to gain through your PR activities. For some of our clients, this may be as simple (and somewhat “fuzzy”) as establishing themselves as “thought leaders” – they want to appear in major publications in their niche area to enhance their expertise/status. In other cases, the objective may be to drive speaking engagement opportunities, consulting clients, etc. One of the key benefits that we see through these efforts is driving website traffic. For some of our clients’ website referrals (backlinks) from media placements represent the highest percentage of referral traffic.

Identify Your Target Audience

This means both the media channels and the ultimate readers or viewers. Prioritize those targets. This involves literally creating a list of the outlets you want to target, evaluating audience interests and determining how your expertise could address those interests.

Reach out to develop relationships with the editors/producers/writers associated with those channels. It’s called public relations for a reason. Getting media exposure isn’t about blasting every media channel with your news releases or pitches – it’s about focusing on a specific, narrow and likely-to-be valuable list of outlets that reach your target audience.

Avoid the Shotgun Approach

Sign up for services like HARO and ProfNet to learn about what reporters are working on and the kind of input they need. We’ve found that this is one of the best ways these days to generate coverage –pitching randomly takes a lot of time, has the potential to “turn off” reporters (if not done as described above) and generates marginal results in most cases. When responding to HARO/ProfNet queries read reporters’ instructions and follow them, be detailed in your responses and avoid being self-promotional. Focus on providing real benefit to the audience.

Track Your Results

Monitor the coverage you receive. Some reporters will let you know they’ve included your comments and send you a link since they often benefit from the additional exposure; others don’t – and you shouldn’t expect them to. It’s easy enough these days to do online searches, or set up Google Alerts to find places where you’ve been quoted/sourced.

Toot Your Own Horn…

When your input has been used, leverage this coverage through your own content channels–share links through your social media accounts, posts to your online “newsroom,” include in news/e-letters you may send to clients/prospects, etc.

…But Not in Your Content

Most importantly, and we’ve alluded to this earlier, but it bears repeating: DON’T view this as self-promotion. Yes, you obviously want to benefit from this activity, but successful PR is not about blatantly selling your services. If you focus on providing real value, and useful information, to your audience you are much more likely to receive coverage and build strong relationships with the media than if you blatantly hawk your services or your firm. Writing for Entrepreneur, Grant Cardone recommends the 80/20 approach: “Eighty percent of your content should be information based, not promotional. In the beginning, you may even shift that to 95/5, where 95 percent is information. No one is going to come to you because you posted something promotional because no one is even following you.”


Keep in mind that free publicity is very rare. While you can generate some solid sales leads and name recognition through public relations without spending a dime, your time is certainly valuable and should be taken into consideration. Additionally, when signing up for PR services like ProfNet and HARO or hiring PR specialists, you should expect to make some level of investment to support your PR needs. At the same time, the results from your PR efforts often far outweigh traditional advertising in terms of marketing ROI. You certainly can drive revenue with public relations.

Want to learn more? We can help. We work with clients regularly to help them establish themselves as thought leaders through media coverage and content marketing.

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About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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