With all the competition out there today for customer mind share, and all the conversations taking place online, there are multiple ways executives can take a stand and voice an opinion using the power of the media. But at the same time, many traditional media outlets are tightening their belts, and letting go of their staff, making it more and more difficult for executives to brief journalists and let them do the writing.
In addition, social media provides execs with a powerful platform to speak to readers directly. Using Linked on, Facebook and Twitter they can share ideas on industry developments and comment on conversations, building their image as thought leader.
So now, in addition to running a company, executives are becoming corporate scribes. With customers’ insatiable digital content, they are expected to stand on the soap box and communicate with vision and flair on a regular basis. The pressure is coming up with a steady stream of stories that are unique, interesting, and convincing.
Here are three directions companies can take to increase customer engagement by pumping up the volume of PR stories.
1. Pick a number any number
If you scan online journals for top stories, you’ll notice that there is one thing that dominates the screen – numbers. Either there are ‘5 Ways to…’ or ‘a percentage of consumers that use Android vs. Apple’, or any number of measurements that provide viewers with another piece of finite knowledge. Using numbers that describe best practices or how people interact with technology are extremely popular as they are easy for reader to absorb and remember.
2. Ride the wave of current events
There are notable milestones in the news that can be used to generate an opinion on, or to measure changes in the business environment. When reporters cover these milestones your company can provide a vantage point based on how your product is used, how your customers are responding or how it helps consumers adjust. These events can include the Super Bowl, a new industry policy or regulation, the launching of a new version of an app we all know and love, or the emergence of a disruptive technology that is a game changer.
3. Listen to the talk on the street
The best source of stories can be the opinion pieces already written by other market leaders who have a unique vantage point on the industry. Remember that PR stories don’t necessarily have to be 100% relevant or specific to your industry. As a matter of fact, if you take your story up a level to 20,000 feet, you demonstrate leadership by showing that you understand the big picture, and have a clear vision with a bright future.
Everybody loves a good story, and the wonderful thing about PR is that with a lot of research and a touch of imagination, the combinations of facts and opinions can generate an endless stream of content. Staying on the radar screen of your customers, is not that difficult as long as you lift your head, smell the roses, and make the connection with your core messages. If the story resonates with your audience they will come.