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Ten top tips for using LinkedIn for PR

Launched in 2003, LinkedIn has 930 million members from 200 countries and regions worldwide. This gives you a huge audience for your PR efforts, so to help you make the most of it here are top 10 tips.

1. Have a clear strategy

Nick Wheywell, head of social at agency Whiteoaks International: “It goes without saying that before you use LinkedIn for PR, you need a strategy in place to guide you, especially when it comes to defining your objectives, what you actually want to use LinkedIn for (brand awareness, lead gen, etc.) and relevant KPIs to measure your success against. Regardless of your objectives, one of the most important things to consider is your content. You want to create social currency; give your audience relevant and valuable content that they can get something from and share with their own networks. This is a great opportunity to humanise your brand. So be engaging! Don’t just broadcast news about your company; take the opportunity to create connections with those commenting and sharing your content, and ultimately develop and drive conversations.”

2. Encourage clients and your team to share

Matthew Robinson, senior PR and digital strategist at B2B PR agency Definition: “LinkedIn is the biggest B2B publishing platform, making it an absolute goldmine for PR. Unlike traditional media, LinkedIn lets you to see exactly who is interacting with your content. Imagine spotting the CEO of your dream customer engaging with your company’s post - that's a clear sign that your PR efforts are hitting the mark!

“Optimise your spokespeople’s profiles for SEO to make them easily discoverable. Encourage them to consistently share informative, opinionated, and newsworthy content, as well as engage with content from journalists, customers, investors, and partners. After all, LinkedIn is all about building networks - and they will help to amplify your PR efforts. Rally your entire team behind LinkedIn - having 100 employees actively participating is a far more powerful visibility booster than just a handful.”

3. Use the analytics

Matthew Robinson: “Don’t overlook LinkedIn's analytics. They're fantastic for measuring and demonstrating PR value. Keep a close eye on metrics like impressions, engagement rate, and follower growth.”

4. Don’t be too salesy

Kerry Ganly, account manager at agency Penguin PR: | A PR Firm based in Derby and Serving the Midlands “LinkedIn is brilliant for brand awareness and creating professional connections but, as former journalists, we know that human-interest stories work best whatever social platform you’re using, with LinkedIn no exception. Think carefully about the content you post - no more than one ‘salesy’ post a week.”

5. Use the newsletter feature

Kerry Ganly: “Perhaps our best tip, is to use the newsletter feature of LinkedIn and encourage employees to regularly upload their own thoughts and insider tips. We write one blog post per week and is a great way of showcasing your talent.”

6. Remember that people buy people

Hannah Monaghan, account manager at agency Viva PR: “We use Linkedin to share client success stories and added value knowledge, as well as showing what it’s like to work here and highlighting our team.

“Linkedin used to be primarily where you went to find a job - it’s still very much a recruitment tool, but the focus now needs to be on the employers to make sure their brand is in the mix for potential new employees.

“Every time we proudly share a photo or video of our people, the engagement goes through the roof. People buy people, after all.”

7. Use LinkedIn News

Giles Shorthouse, head of business development and marketing at B2B agency Octopus Group: “LinkedIn news can be extremely well read, it has become a media outlet in its own right. LinkedIn News is curated and written by a group of editors at LinkedIn and often focuses on breaking news. From a PR point of view, you can interact with LinkedIn News posts and get your client/spokesperson featured in the handpicked commentary that is under each LinkedIn News article. The news is often by sector as each LinkedIn Editor has their own beat.

“Ways of doing this include - 1) Writing your own post using the hashtag LinkedIn has used to create the news (It does not always use a hashtag). 2) Commenting on the original post that the news piece might be based on. 3) Commenting on one of the comments that is already appearing below the news article.

“To illustrate here is an example, at the time of writing this has 53,509 views.

Alex Barinka wrote this post linking to the same Bloomberg article that LinkedIn News source - her post is then featured below the news.

Then Carol Hernandez commented on Alex’s post with this - Carol’s comment is also in the handpicked commentary under the news article.”

8. Meet journalist needs

Dylan Patel, social media director at agency “LinkedIn is great for building personal profiles, but it's also useful for securing earned media coverage. Try the following:

“Connect with journalists: Seek out journalists, reporters, and media professionals who cover topics relevant to your clients' industries or target audience. Search them out and send personalised connection requests expressing your interest in their work. If you have an existing relationship from a previous pitch, even better. Build genuine relationships by engaging with their content, commenting thoughtfully, and sharing valuable insights.

“Publish Thought Leadership: Publish articles on LinkedIn Pulse to showcase your industry and sector expertise and thought leadership. Craft insightful pieces that provide value to your audience (especially the journalists you've connected with!). When your articles resonate with media professionals, it may lead to them reaching out to you for expert commentary or to feature you in their stories.”

9. Use it for media relations and influencer programmes

Chris King, joint MD at tech PR agency Wildfire: “As well as a channel to amplify campaigns, done well LinkedIn is a great way to augment media relations and influencer programmes. For a long time Twitter was the channel of choice for many journos, but with all Elon’s nonsense there’s definitely a gentle shifting towards LinkedIn (Muck Rack's latest State of Journalism 2023 research supports this).

“When spokespeople connect with key journalists, their LinkedIn profiles become another channel to get eyes on interesting stories and/or viewpoints. By engaging with relevant journalist posts, spokespeople can also enhance relationships and stay front of mind with the people that influence key audiences.

“Of course, this must be done authentically and insightfully (being creepy and spammy is bad). Whether LinkedIn is done directly by spokespeople themselves, or (as authentically as possible) as a managed service by a PR team, either way, we’re definitely seeing a rise in media opportunities that originated through the platform.”

10. Focus on views, not news

James Hart, director of digital at agency TDC PR: “LinkedIn should be an integral part of your overall media strategy. It’s important to identify relevant journalists, influencers, industry experts, and opinion formers on the platform and engage with them by participating in discussions, sharing insights, and responding to comments. Use LinkedIn as a listening tool to monitor industry conversation and gain insights into the topics journalists research and write about.

“People are on LinkedIn for a purpose; users are more intent-driven than any other platform. They’re looking for breaking views, not breaking news. Your thought leadership should showcase industry knowledge, provide insights, and address current trends or challenges. We regularly find that our clients’ LinkedIn posts are picked up by journalists for inclusion in feature pieces. Key spokespeople’ voices should promote the company's key messages and values. Consider offering LinkedIn workshops to optimise profiles and establish a consistent posting strategy that aligns with the overall PR and marketing calendar.”

From a journalist point of view, LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for writing PRinsight features , so a big thank you to everyone who responds to our #journorequest appeals each week.

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