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Lead generation in public relations

Last week PRmoment held an Ideas Kitchen – an event where senior in house communicators can discuss a mixture of thoughts and concepts. The topic of the event was the role of PR as a lead generation tool. This event was hosted at the lovely Nelson Bostock‘s offices.

The event was off the record, but I’ve summarised some of the thoughts and ideas that were discussed below:

# The impact of reputation on sales – When the reputation of a business suffers, 9/10 sales will also decrease. So do not think of reputation in isolation of sales. The two are inextricably linked.

# PR is a broad church - Different businesses have different PR requirements. For most PR practitioners impact on sales is part of a wider brief of reputation management, brand awareness or public affairs. Be sure where your priorities lie and focus on them.

# Understanding the sales cycle of your business – To impact on sales you must understand the sales cycle of your product. How long is the sales cycle? What are the barriers to purchase? Who are the competitors? And, what do your sales teams need, to overcome objections? If you understand these elements, you will be able to more positively affect the sales cycle.

# The role of Google – Google (other search engines are available) plays an important role in many B2B purchase decisions, at least as an initial prospecting tool. Make sure you are aware of your search engine key words and that you rank for as many of these as possible. How successful you are in this may depend how competitive your key words are.

# PR as a content provider – As part of your role, think of yourself at the provider of relevant, high quality, timely content to your sales teams. If you do this, you should become an invaluable resource to them.

# Understanding the role of resellers – Make sure you are aware of the role of any resellers of your product. PR can play an important role in supporting resellers. Needless to say it’s vital that your activity doesn’t conflict with that of the resellers.

# Making sure that you can measure your impact on sales - When your boss asks you what have you achieved this year, if you can’t point at some robust outcomes that are important to the business, chances are, you’ll be out of a job. (Or at least you deserve to be.)

# Educating internal stakeholders on the role of PR – PR is amusingly difficult to define and because it can encapsulate so many different elements the danger is that the role of PR for the business becomes clouded. It’s important you educate internal stakeholders on what the role of your public relations department is PR is, what is possible, what isn’t and how PR impacts on the business.

# Lead don’t follow – Time and resources are limited so make proactive decisions to prioritise activity that is going to work.

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