Every firm wants to attract attention and portray their services and experiences in a favorable light. Blog posts and press releases cover a range of company messages. These tools are communication methods for maintaining a positive image and essential to building a solid reputation.
You may ask, “What is the difference between a blog post and a press release?”
The following is a listing of occasions that require either a blog post or press release:
A blog is the practice of generating content about industry news and/or best practices in a “post” to capture the attention of desired audiences. It is best to save company-oriented news for the pressroom because it will reduce the credibility of the blog.
The following events that require a blog post include:
- A dialog about the latest industry news.
- A dialog about local regional news.
- Attendance of events, tradeshows, and conferences.
- Discuss best practices with a case study.
- Discuss and demonstrate the use of cutting edge technology.
- Discuss industry trends and methodologies.
A pressroom is the practice of gaining exposure to a company’s audience by using newsworthy topics in the form of a "press release" to generate media coverage.
The following events that require public relations efforts:
- Announce a new or enhanced service offering.
- Announce a new client.
- Announce a new partnership
- Announce the completion of a new project.
- Significant company announcements such as increased sales, revenue, profit, or market share.
- Significant employee announcements such as notable awards and recognition, or new employee.
Develop a Plan for Your Professional Services Blog and Public Relations
Now that you have a general idea on the occasions that require a blog post or a press release, it is time to develop a plan. Take the first steps by understanding the company’s internal and external factors that will affect your approach to communications. Document these factors in your Professional Services Blog and Public Relations Plan. Internal factors may include the following: company’s mission and vision statements, key people biographies, service descriptions, company statistics, policy statements, procedures, damage control, and any controlled communication. External factors may include the following: archives of past media coverage, media lists, journalists and columnist relationships, partners or groups with similar interests, company surveys, schedule of past events, important company dates, list of government and/or political connections, and documentation of any relevant government guidelines, and legislation and regulations.
After you have a clear understanding of internal and external factors that affect corporate communications, it is important to define blog post and press release goals and objectives. Identify and list messages as it pertains to target audiences and make sure these messages are in alignment with the firm’s goals and objectives.
When you are satisfied with your messaging, it is time to figure out communication tactics. Tactics include message and media tactics. A message tactic is a method for communicating the company message. A media tactic is a method to get picked up by media to publicize a message. Communications may be in the form of a blog, press release, advertising, email, podcast, or RSS feeds.
A schedule and budget for planned blog post and press release events and activities is important. Costs can be estimated by listing the event or activity, providing a description of the event or activity, and associating deadlines for each event or activity. It also helps to have list of tasks needed to completely cover each event and activity.
Launching the Professional Services Blog and Public Relations Plan
Execute the blog posts and press release activities in accordance with the schedule outlined in the plan. As you complete the tasks associated with each of these activities, mark them off the blogging and press release schedule. Measure and record the response and size up this response against the planned goals and objectives.
Evaluate and Refine the Professional Services Blog and Public Relations Plan
Review the schedule of activities and monitor the progress. At the end of each blogging or press release activity, review individual responses and evaluate overall results. Create a progress report to note objectives, achievements and identify areas that need to be revised. After reviewing activities and understanding what is working and what is not, you may make the decision to adjust the plan accordingly.
Blog posts and press releases are tools for covering a range of company topics. Both tools are used to create a positive perception of a company and its’ professional services offering. Every firm should consider employing both tools to effectively cover topics that attract desired audiences.
If you found this article interesting, you may want to read Marketing Automation 101 for Professional Services.
Incorporate your professional services blog and public relations plan in your campaign plan for marketing automation.