The media industry is evolving and it’s not a surprise that inbound PR has been a hot topic for the past year. Therefore, I decided to attend the Prowly Academy webinar with Iliyana Stareva and learn more about it.
The time of PR being only a “strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and their publics” has passed. The misconception that PR equals media relations still exists, but it needs to change. PR involves so much more now: from crisis management through internal communications to digital communications. More and more campaigns are based on the PESO (Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned) model and practitioners take advantage of the new technologies and social media platforms.
What is Inbound PR and why it might be the future?
Traditional PR is outbound. As Iliyana mentioned in the webinar, it interrupts, and it doesn’t attract. Journalists receive thousands of emails everyday and the chance of opening the one with your press release is minimal. Therefore, companies need something that points the journalists in their direction.
Inbound PR combines the PR’s biggest strength (writing content) and biggest challenge (measuring the results). With inbound, agencies target the journalists indirectly – via blog posts, thought leadership pieces, videos, etc. It’s a content that has been created for a particular audience in mind and it’s pushed on the right channels.
How to do Inbound PR?
As every campaign, you need to set your overarching goal. What are you trying to achieve and how much are you willing to invest in PR? Once you have mapped out your goals, nail your stakeholder personas. Do your research! At the centre of inbound is the target audience. Follow the journalists on social media and find out their interests, how they prefer to be reached and how they engage with brands/agencies. Knowing them inside and out will help you to plan the content they might use and then you can promote it on the relevant channels – website, social media accounts, etc.
In the end, compare the results to the original objectives. Use the data from Google Analytics and social media analytics. Focus on the outcomes, not outputs. Iliyana suggested using the AMEC integrated evaluation framework as a starting point and always have the stakeholders in mind.
With inbound PR you don’t push content to journalists, you pull the journalists in.
 PRSA definition
Close your eyes and think of how creative you are. Give yourself a number from one to ten as one meaning you don’t know what creativity is.
Now that you have evaluated yourself, I can assure you that the number doesn’t matter. The importance is not how much creativity you have, but in a what way you are creative.
Last evening, I attended the PRCA event with Mark Simmonds, founder of Creative Creatures, to learn more about the creative archetypes and the fundamental behaviours critical to the creative process.
As the talk was about creativity, Mark decided to lead an interactive session instead of a boring presentation, and I’m glad he did. Divided into teams, we were given a challenge to help Marks & Spenser make a profit of all waistcoats they have ordered in advance of the World Cup semi-finals. I guess the football fever hasn’t passed yet.
We started by brainstorming ideas on sticky notes and we were presented with the first archetype – The Stimulator. This phase of the creative process is all about fresh thinking and exploring diverse ideas. And seniority doesn’t link to creativity. So, if you have a meeting at work (or at University) invite people with different experiences as they will generate a multitude of initial thoughts. Who knows? You might actually find the Big Idea!
Once we had a dozen of sticky notes with ideas, we had to find interesting connections between them and unearth the big, valuable ideas, which leads to the next type in the process – The Spotter. Being this person in a team is very valuable. You might not have hundreds of initial ideas, but once you go through several “sticky notes” you can spot the potential in one of them.
The third archetype is The Sculptor – the person who can bring the big idea to life by creating tangible solutions and presenting them clearly to the team. Some people have the great skill of turning one thought into a great masterpiece. And in a team, you don’t necessarily have to be the person, who came up with the idea in the first place as long as you can make it happen.
After all teams had written down their big ideas on a piece of paper, we had to go around and vote for the best idea (and no, we couldn’t vote for ourselves unfortunately!). We were in The Selector mode. We had to choose the idea with the most potential considering the commercial impact and the brief. Usually, in an agency or a company, this person would be someone who can make hard decisions and have a view of the big picture.
And finally, the fifth archetype is The Supporter – trying to support the team and facilitate the meeting during the creative process. And this doesn’t mean making tea for the colleagues but keeping the team on track and encouraging them to be as bold and creative as they can be. Because as Edward de Bono said: “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in different way.”
According to Mark, people can be a mix of few archetypes and a given situation affects which one dominates. It’s essential to remember that we are all creative and we have a different role in our teams. So which archetype are you?
Hi there! Welcome to my blog about PR and things that I find fascinating.