Setting Yourself Up for PR Success in 2023
By Sylvie Picard, Account Coordinator
We don’t think anyone will argue that 2022 was a rollercoaster year. As we transition into 2023, many take a step back to catch their breath and plan for the year ahead. As the slower holiday news cycle begins to pick up again, we wanted to share a few pointers for PR planning and success from some of the team here at Waters Agency. Watch the bottom line but don’t sacrifice opportunities just for quick savings: Senior Account Director, Maria Loupa shares this advice:
In 2023 Budgeting and ROI will be more important than ever. With inflation, cost of living, energy prices and more, it will impact critical financial decisions for most tech companies. PR is not a budget that should be cut. It needs consistency and incremental effort to ensure success; if you drop the ball, your competitors will leapfrog you. As Bill Gates said: "If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”
Get the most bang for your buck, with a flexible, proactive and dedicated PR team – one that leverages topical dates and the news agenda to insert your message and brand in the news on a regular basis – working as an extension of your in-house team. This type of collaboration isn’t just highly valuable, it is an art form, and you’ll get your money’s worth when you have an experienced and knowledgeable team to advise you on efficiently developing content that adds something to the conversation, all without overtaxing your own internal resources.
As we enter 2023, strengthen your relationships with your PR team or agency. Really bring them into the fold, the inner circle, or at the very least into the critical conversation so they’re able to understand the company vision and direction better, to provide insights into the subject on your behalf. This has never been more important than now, when capturing journalists’ attention is ultra-challenging.
The key to PR success in the new year will be meticulous planning – preparing a robust yet clear PR plan that taps into everything from your product pipeline, events calendar, marketing and overall business objectives. This focus on planning will save time and provide more value from comms budgets further down the line.
Social Media – Keep a Constant Drumbeat Our social media lead, Chris Lovejoy shares that while the first part of Q1 historically marks a slower season for news, there is an important thing to keep in mind: social media. Pre, post and all through any holiday period, prospects may not actively be checking their favorite publications for the newest industry related articles, but they absolutely will be checking their favorite social apps. Your best bet is to keep a steady social media cadence any time of the year and that requires creativity. Keep content bite-sized and informative, because as readers come out of the holiday season, your followers will be grateful for consumable content, not heavy TLDR (too long, didn’t read) posts, or overly sales-focused messaging. Oh, and don’t forget to keep an eye on the journalists that are tracking your space as this will help you keep a finger on the pulse of the important conversations. If you can, dive in and comment – media appreciate the engagement. Obtainable, Realistic and Relevant PR Goals COO & SVP, Client Experience, Tracey-Ann Mee says, “As we plan for PR success in 2023, it’s important to set clear objectives and KPIs that are not only attainable, but which make sense. A target of five pieces of coverage with four of them in Tier 1 business media, is only attainable if you’re Apple or up to no good. And yet a great many startups only value Tier 1 media coverage, forgetting, perhaps, that their customers don’t look to the New York Times to help them decide which modern data stack solution is best suited to their needs. Instead, they look to the trade media who speak their language and have deep knowledge of the subject matter. “Rancher Labs is a great example of a Waters Agency client that fully appreciated the importance of all media – the company seized upon every opportunity presented to them. Co-founder and then CEO, Sheng Liang would rearrange his diary at a moment’s notice to speak with any journalist who wanted his input. This recognition of the importance of trade media, in particular, coupled with a peerless product offering, meant that it didn’t take Rancher long to become the dominant voice in its field. Notably, it was a voice that was heard across the entire spectrum of trade and business media, and the company, which was founded in 2014, was acquired by SUSE in November 2020. “The point then is that while it’s important to shoot for the stars, you need to remain realistic and not underestimate the value of coverage in the trades and the role those media play in building your Share of Voice to the point where breaking through to Tier 1 is that much easier. So, maybe adjust your Q1 2023 KPIs so that four out of five pieces of coverage emanate from Tier 2 and 3 media and allow for one Tier 1 piece. Success will come easier and before long, Tier 1 will no longer be a stretch goal.” No matter when you firm up your PR planning and initiatives, it’s important to find that balance between budget, realistic goals, investing time with your PR team or agency and planning. With this type of focus, you’ll find your organization enjoying more of the limelight, and of course, more PR success in 2023 and beyond.
Consider Consolidating PR Across Key Regions
Founder and CEO, Declan Waters concludes: “We’re seeing a trend in which companies increasingly choose to consolidate their PR with a single agency that has a strong presence in both the US and Europe. As a result, our teams on both sides of the Atlantic work together on several accounts, and the results speak for themselves. Our clients enjoy the simplicity of a single point of contact for North America and Europe and the agility of working with a team that can pass the baton across time zones so that the sun never sets on their PR efforts. And as 2023 finds its stride, we are already talking to several more clients who want to enjoy these benefits.” Looking to ramp up your 2023 PR and social media initiatives, and consolidate PR across the US and Europe? Contact Waters Agency to learn more about how we can help.
About the author:
Sylvie Picard, Account Coordinator, Orlando, FL is an honors graduate of the University of Central Florida where she majored in Communications with a focus on international studies. Preceding her role at Waters Agency, she was the founder and C-suite of her eCommerce business. Sylvie consistently implements creative thought behind all her endeavors.