Shifting budget away from in-person events to PR can build stronger client relationships 

With large-scale, in-person industry events still on hold, it’s likely your event budget is looking a lot different these days. While nothing can replace valuable face-to-face connections, there are other proven and effective targeted communication strategies that can help ensure you’re engaging with customers/clients frequently during this time.

As you know, we’re big believers in the power of a strategic thought leadership programme. Often, the PR budget is focused on media outreach and isn’t given the latitude to frame and shape a thought leadership approach that can support your marketing and sales goals while building brand awareness. With limited budgets and a multi-prong communication strategy, which typically includes big ticket items like industry events, it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.

In our current environment of restricted in-person events, more investment in PR could prove to be a silver lining worth exploring, especially considering 92% of consumers trust earned media over paid advertising or owned media.

Here are some ways a thought leadership programme can help you stay connected and top of mind with your prospects/customers:

Share your expertise in a more authentic way. Any company that has ever tried to land a speaking session at an event knows it’s not easy. Same for securing press briefings onsite. Instead of spending time and resources chasing these opportunities, focus PR efforts on arranging for one of your internal experts to write a guest blog or article for publication, which can reach a broader audience and give you a platform to craft and articulate your messages and share your insights while positioning your company as a thought leader. Relationships with customers are built on trust and the more you can show them the value of your expertise and solutions (beyond a demo at your stand), the more this helps to pave the way for working together.

 

Make more targeted, stronger connections. Let’s face it, swiping someone’s badge and exchanging pleasantries at an event doesn’t always lead to results. While PR does require patience, it can result in a deeper relationship with your prospects and customers. PR is the first step in engagement and when it’s executed well, it can influence sales in significant ways. For example, a C-level executive is far more likely to see a quote from one of your experts in a leading publication versus stopping by your stand to learn more about your latest product launch. And let’s take it a step further and say the exec shares the link to the article with one of his director’s and tells them to reach out for more information, this starts a dialogue and your sales team can work to secure a deal from there.

 

Combine it with other targeted marketing initiatives to get more return on investment. Shifting more investment to PR along with paid search or paid social can increase the number of qualified leads as well as build your brand presence by extending your reach to new channels. A targeted campaign where PR is working in collaboration with the marketing team can make a bigger impact.

PR is content that drives direct communication.  Make it work harder while events are on-hold to stay top of mind with your key audiences. We can help make PR a strategic and operational success in your organisation, let’s work together.

 

To read more about how to make PR a strategic and operational success in your organisation, please contact us on 0044 (0) 203 322 8928.