Coming from a media relations background I’ve learned a few lessons when crafting a story or coming up with a new angle on a particular topic. One of those golden rules of PR has been that reporters like numbers. Surveys, statistics, or any other kind of metric you can offer based on your company’s presence in the space, whether that’s law, banking or any other professional service and includes solid thought leadership, is like gold to reporters.
One of the other golden rules I picked up – you can’t be second, or worse, third. If the goal of the project is to be thought leaders you must be first. After that first story is written, all other things being equal, there won’t be an immediate story with your client in the lead.
So what do you do when a competitor releases a set of data similar to what you were ready to publicize … a week before you were planning on releasing the information yourself?
This exact scenario, and others like it, is why it’s absolutely vital to have an active social media program in place – now.
In our scenario, after pouring over the data to backcheck your figures and ensuring you can explain any statistically significant differences from your competitor’s results you now roll out Plan B, using your social media program as a platform for information, if traditional outlets seem like an unlikely coverage source.
This properly established social media presence for your professional service client will now be the cornerstone to release your content to the public – the entire public: customers, clients, competitors, press – literally everyone. Since the thought leaders at your B2B firm have been engaging on the selected platform(s), for at least a little while, they’ll be tasked with tapping the folks within their own digital footprints to spread word.
Parse the available data into appropriate bite sized segments for the blog (video channel, etc.) and redo your editorial calendar. Decide what data gets published and when, ensure you’re using proper keywords and have good SEO in place so the search engine crawlers get everything they’re looking for and notify the appropriate media and online contacts once it goes live.
This time around it’ll also be your (and your client’s) job to make sure the study has a shelf life. Link back to the blog posts in message boards, pitches, subsequent press releases, etc.
You might be a day late, but with careful planning your Plan B strategy won’t come up a dollar short.
Image Courtesy Kevin Dooley