When it comes to effective public relations do you need to take a long-term strategy and invest in a retained agency or is it better to do short bursts of PR activity alongside other forms of marketing?
Both approaches have their merits. A long term view will provide a more sustained message and therefore deeper penetration of brand awareness. But long term campaigns can get stale and need to be constantly refreshed. A quick burst can be more responsive and agile and can cut through the noise, but the results can quickly be forgotten.
The most effective PR campaigns combine the best elements of each approach, marrying speed and agility with sustained outreach over months and years to stack up truly remarkable levels of results.
This is particularly true when it comes to digital PR such as we do here at Motive. Our campaigns generate big results, not least in SEO backlinks into our clients’ websites from some of the web’s most trusted news sites. These high authority links can transform a company’s performance in search and power them up Google’s rankings.
However as most e-commerce experts agree, the key to longterm SEO benefits comes from creating an organic backlink profile. Consistent digital PR and media outreach is a brilliant way to do this. But if a short-term view is taken then campaigns can become stop / start affairs with the resulting link profile having more peaks and troughs than the Himalayas.
This can be viewed as rather dodgy by Google and is unlikely to have anything like the long term SEO benefits of a consistent approach over many months or years.
Another reason to take the long term view is the lead times that many media outlets still work to. If a client only agrees a short term remit with a PR agency then there really is little point in that agency targeting titles with a four or five month lead time. The client is effectively tying the agency’s hands and this restriction means they will miss out on lots of potential media attention. It’s mainly the heavy monthly glossy mags which still work to long lead times so this consideration is particularly important for fashion PR or for anyone else who could benefit from this kind of media attention.
That’s not to say it’s never ok to engage in short term bursts of PR activity. If your business isn’t focused online, or if you have so many organic links flowing in that you can afford to take your foot off the pedal and coast for a while then it could work for you. But for most brands these days the advantages of steady and consistent PR outreach will definitely outweigh any perceived disadvantages.