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3 Avenues of Influence Beyond Media Coverage

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Today we bring you a guest post by Jennifer Donovan, founder of San Francisco’s Nova Communications. Follow her on Twitter.

This post is presented by AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR performance. The San Francisco-based technology company is passionate about using data to show the true impact and value of PR.

Anyone who has worked in PR knows that media placements have long been considered the holy grail of the industry. I’m sure everyone remembers the first piece of coverage secured for a client and the sense of accomplishment/relief that came with it. But we also recall the stress, fear, and uncertainty about identifying and securing the best outlet for our clients.

It reminds me of a project my family used to tackle every holiday season – finishing a major puzzle together. We’d spend days working on it only to have my little brother hide the last piece. That’s how media outreach goes too. You just can’t succeed without all the pieces perfectly in place.

Luckily, there’s a major shift underway in the Communications industry that is impacting client, media AND influencer relations. I’m not saying that media coverage is not important, but today there’s more than one way to skin a cat. As Rebekah Illif of AirPR said at the PR Summit conference in San Francisco, “Hits are how idiots track success.” It’s time to move beyond the traditional notion of PR success.

Many companies think a placement in the Wall Street Journal or TechCrunch will put them on the map. While those outlets are fantastic and can be impactful, a company’s target customer might not be reading those publications and there may be other avenues to cultivate that are a better use of time and resources.

Below are 3 non-media focused outlets that can lend as much, if not more, credence to your business than traditional media placements. Each of these is ripe for the picking and can have a tremendous impact on your business objectives.

1. Empower Your Customers To Be Brand Advocates

Engage consumers, especially those with a niche audience, who have demonstrated that they care about what you’re offering. The most powerful brand messages today come not from brands themselves, but from consumers who have the power to drive action. Craft campaigns specifically for your mavens or simply provide them the tools to tout their adoration. Doing so not only provides you with fantastic word of mouth, but also demonstrates your appreciation for your most invested customers.

2. Capitalize On Your Earned Social Media

When someone not associated with your brand talks about you online, you’ve acquired a piece of earned media. Earned media comes as a natural extension of the content you produce and promote through various channels and platforms. Even more so than traditional earned media, the increasing return of earned social media is supercharged due to the exponential viral potential of any piece of content. Treat your earned social media like you would your traditional hits and watch your brand soar.

3. Tap Yourself And Your Employees

Many people are unfamiliar with the world of social media and how it can be used to drive business objectives. This lack of education coupled with fear stifles their involvement, however with some training and information, your employees can be the most powerful storytelling force your company possesses. Set parameters, involve your team in crafting your compelling narrative, and empower each employee to tell the story of your brand. They are, after all, closest to the source.

There are amazing opportunities to reach millions quickly, directly communicate with influencers and leverage consumers as brand ambassadors. Go beyond traditional outlets and see the results flow in.

Jennifer DonovanJennifer Donovan is the Founder of Nova Communications, a communications and social media consultancy based in San Francisco. She can be reached at jennifer@nova-comms.com or @jendonovansf

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