PR and Marketing: Never More Important

The business environment during the coronavirus pandemic has been surprisingly good for PR firms like Bospar. That’s because we’re laser-focused on helping clients tell their stories about pandemic-relevant offerings, like telecommuting and telehealth. When it comes to the recovery, my current feeling is “cautiously optimistic,” and I’m confident that many companies will survive and emerge even stronger.

Surviving is about adaptability, and seasoned pros know the time is now to get creative and flexible and to become more enthusiastic and proactive marketers. During economic difficulties, the reflexive response is to cut budgets, but today’s leader companies are making strategic investments in marketing ahead of tomorrow’s recovery.

Firms can minimize the damage by focusing on fundamentals and by implementing programs that address the pandemic and its impact on their clients, their customers and other key constituencies. Virtual work is the “new normal,” and what was once a trend is now mainstream. Ensuring that regular work is underway with minimal disruptions is a first crucial step.

The next step is focusing on strategic issues, and, for firms like mine, the strategic process began with creating actionable client plans involving factors like staffing, crisis communications and proactive messaging aimed at the customers, prospects and partners of our clients.

Working together with our clients, we’ve developed outbound messaging and campaigns that offer assurance and illustrate our clients’ roles as critical solution providers. This strategy isn’t new, as the brands that were successful after the 2007-2009 recession were the ones that met the moment by offering solutions and perspective.

Marketers can show concern by projecting stability, holding human values high, and demonstrating empathy through their actions. Customer relationships, driven by relevant and thoughtful campaigns, can help mitigate fear and uncertainty, assuring people that corporations are in it for the long haul, along with their customers.

Building brand equity is a powerful technique, because customers will have a reserve of goodwill when the recession abates. Examples include loan deferral programs from the auto industry, free services from internet providers, and payment assistance from financial services companies, ensuring that customers are not devastated financially in addition to dealing with the pandemic.

What’s more, companies can obtain earned media coverage during troubled times. Flexible and timely pitches, including approaches showcasing corporate ingenuity and giving, will resonate with key audiences during the pandemic. Marketing will benefit from connecting with the cultural zeitgeist, and attracting top-of-the-funnel leads is still doable, as are lead nurturing and the ability to close sales.

Additional good news is that PR, social media and content marketing remain the most cost-efficient tools in the toolbox, providing a measurable pathway for driving brand visibility and articulating a company’s values and value proposition. PR enables “doing more with less,” and tomorrow’s top influencers should use this time to share their stories and thought leadership perspectives. Simply put, leaning into PR and marketing today will reap dividends tomorrow.

Why PR Is Important for Tech Companies

Arguably the gatekeepers of all newsworthy information, public relations professionals liaise with reporters, producers and editors every day about most, if not all, of the articles and stories you read online, in newspapers and watch on television.  But why is public relations important for technology companies in particular? Read on to find out:

Boosts Valuation

Well-placed, third-party articles that mention or quote a company and/or its leadership attract venture capitalists and investors and also help establish awareness and credibility. Further, in order to have successful mergers and acquisitions, investors must be aware of a company’s leadership, which can be a result of media visibility. Third-party articles can even change perceptions and boost valuation.  

Talent Recruiting and Retention

Media coverage helps to legitimize a company for potential new hires, who typically do research on their future employers. Additionally, seeing press coverage boosts employee morale and fosters a sense of pride, which leads to better employee retention rates.

Supports Sales

There are many ways that public relations can be a valuable tool for sales. At the top of the funnel, media coverage generates awareness and interest. It also helps to drive lead generation campaigns and empowers sales teams to follow up on warm leads. The credibility gained from coverage in the press creates a sense of trust among prospects, which is critical to closing deals. Plus, customers are more willing to speak on your behalf if you have a demonstrated history of public recognition.

Clear, Controlled Messaging

Public relations, the practice of strategically managing the spread of information to the public, allows for a controlled narrative and ensures message clarity and consistency. A dedicated publicity program also strengthens the aggregated impact of all business efforts, from development to sales, for maximum ROI.

If you work in technology and your company does not have a public relations program, maybe now you’ll consider spearheading the implementation of one!

8 essential podcasts for PR pros + 10 quick daily news podcasts

Podcasts have been surging in popularity and have quickly become a main go-to for new information in our increasingly digital world. According to a January report from Oberlo, there are currently 850,000 active podcasts and over 30 million podcast episodes, with 32% of Americans listening to podcasts on a monthly basis.

For PR professionals, podcasts also provide a platform for their clients to share their message firsthand, in long form, to educate other industry colleagues and reach potential clients. While traditional programming resources experience fading audiences, podcasts have become a vital resource for business professionals to learn about new developments, as well as to share their own experiences with their peers and like audiences.

Here is a list (in no particular order) of PR podcasts that offer a variety of topics and tactics for PR professionals. You’ll also find a short list of 10 informative “daily news” podcasts that will offer quick headline intake while you work.

 Marketing Smarts Podcasts

Dig into a plethora of podcast episodes that feature in-depth interviews with smart marketers from all walks of life. Hosted by MarketingProfs, this 30-minute, weekly podcast delivers actionable insights and real advice to help you market smarter. The archives can be a handy quick listen for real-time tactics to include in your PR and marketing efforts.

Harvard Business Review (HBR) IdeaCast is a weekly podcast that features the latest thinkers in business. The podcast is most suitable for marketers who want to know the general trends in business and media. Sarah Green Carmichael, an executive editor at Harvard Business Review, hosts the HBR IdeaCast podcast.

On the Media is a Peabody Award-winning podcast that examines how the “media sausage is made.” By listening to this podcast, you can uncover the week’s big stories and hidden political narratives. Hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield examine threats to free speech and government transparency, cast a skeptical eye on media coverage of the week’s big stories, and unravel hidden political narratives in everything we read, watch and hear.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE If you are having a hard time scanning numerous media sources to keep yourself updated with the latest news from the industry, then this podcast may just solve your problem. Listen to an engaging conversation between host Shel Holtz, an accomplished communication strategist, and an expert panel that analyzes the week’s digital and social media news for PR professionals. 

The PR Week Podcast offers weekly episodes from NYC that are at the forefront of the industry, designed for PR pros who enjoy listening to top PR and communications stories, industry news  and the latest headlines. This is one of the best ways to stay on top of everything in the PR industry, and you’ll no doubt want to subscribe to this podcast. 

Hacks and Flacks is a podcast from March Communications that dissects PR, marketing and media from the inside out. Hosts talk with influencers, colleagues and experts about all things marketing, media, public relations, and communications. They are past winners of podcasting awards from the Publicity Club of New England and The Holmes Report. They also share stories and insights from the award-winning March blog, PR Nonsense.

Better PR Now hasn’t aired much recently, but the episodes from host Mark Russell Phillips are worth going back to. In fact, listen to them multiple times, because you will gain new insight from the PR pros featured. Their content will surely help leaders build strong brands and stakeholder relationships with effective communication.

The EnTRUEpreneuship Podcast features the energetic Wes Wang, who goes behind the scenes of what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur. Wes skips the glitz and glamour that’s more commonly associated with entrepreneurship to tell the real stories of what it’s like to build a business, find clients, and overcome adversity. It’s a great podcast to share with clients that are newer startups and looking for tips on how to tell their story.

Ten informative “daily news” podcasts
Today, Explained from VOX
Up First – NPR
The Daily – New York Times 
Global News Podcast – BBC
The Gist – Slate
Tech News Briefing – WSJ
Daybreak – Bloomberg
Industry Focus – Motley Fool
Nightly Business News – CNBC
Recode Podcasts