PR - Old School or Hot Topic?
This topic is not on top of the agenda of today’s startup in times of multi-media-omni-channel-marketing-targetgroup-something-forgot?. There is an assumption, that the company is present online and will discovered anyhow.
And a part of the team has skills for coding and search engines. But we talk about something different.
Shift to Content
There is lot of attention on SEO (some say hype), but there is a change coming up. The focus shifts to content and targeting. And this makes sense. We do not talk about target group. We need to identify the address and revisit the topic market segmentation. It is vital to analyze the relevant segments which we need to address.
We need to make decisions, which segment we want to focus on. The resources are limited and need to be effective. Next step is to decide which information shall be routed to whom.
Good to explain using the example of a coffee-machine. Coffee-machines will be used from private consumers as well as from hotels and caterers. The message must address the appropriate content for the respective group. Each group has a different expectation for the machine. The private consumer is looking for taste and depending of the machine on status. Hotels and caterer are professionals. They are more interested in reliable, economic, robust and mobile operation. The messages must be different to match with these expectations.
One or more brainstorming-sessions will be the best format top collect the information. The session needs to be facilitated with a time-keeper. Otherwise it ends in nowhere. One or two externals can be helpful, to keep on-line with the real world.
The information needs to be based on: authentic, true, genuine, direct
One team member needs to take the lead for the action-list. Information and ideas must be sort, consolidated and converted into messages. A dead-line need to be agreed for next meeting. The lead can have 1 or 2 assistants.
The lead will invite the team for the deadline to a second meeting. The result will be presented. There is no right or wrong – the team must agree in a common message. And this message will join the product during the launch to the market. The message may change over time following the feedback after launch.
Collecting market data
Another important point is who to approach. Another lead must take responsibility for this topic. This will involve comprehensive research in the net (generic and social media). The real world can also provide helpful hints. It is essential to visit key events for the segment. These can be exhibitions, conferences or workshops. Events provide a god image and impression of the market as well as contact to relevant media-experts. Journalists and media-people are always interested in new activities and willing to provide feedback from the community. They are an invaluable source and should be treated with respect.
At this stage we have consolidated product-messages by segment and relevant contacts to approach. A huge piece of preparation has been done. And it was another learning-experience about our product.
Was this all? Did we finish the PR? Just emailing and posting on social media? Not at all!
Next is not always popular but vital: follow up. We need to get in dialog with the stakeholders.
This was the first run and we need to plan the second run. The frequency must be accommodated with the habit of the market-segment. The feedback upon the first run will be limited. If the message is well set, it will open the awareness for the brand. It is extremely important to have the second run available very soon. Recognition can be expected from the 3rd run. The frequency of posting need to be under control. The community will pay attention for a steady stream of valuable messages.