As a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at a B2B company, you want to use your resources as effectively as possible for the best results. This can be challenging, especially if you are working with a communications team who provides public relations (PR) for your organization.
After all, a publicist can spend hours researching and pitching a story, but the outcome is under the control of an editor, producer, director, or someone else at the media venue. Your organization needs PR to get third-party credibility in the press you can’t get any other way so how do you pursue these activities without wasting time, money and effort?
5 Questions to Ask Your PR Team for the Best Results
1. What is the Action Plan?
Before any communications activities begin, have your team develop a strategic plan for the year ahead.
What messages do they want to get across relative to your organization’s overall sales goals?
Have them develop a very specific plan that includes tactics, deadline dates, goals, responsible parties, and more.
This will help organize the process, and everyone involved will know what’s going on, expectations and what they are trying to accomplish. By planning in advance, team members can pursue all pertinent opportunities, save time and money on resources and avoid missing deadlines.
2. What Kind of Results Do They Expect?
While press opportunities can’t be guaranteed (unless you pay for them), your team can still prepare a guideline of what they expect to happen with their tactics. Part of their action plan mentioned above should include the potential results they expect for each activity. This way, there will be set goals, and this data can be reviewed each year to see what worked and what didn’t.
Plus, as the CRO, you can review this document to know exactly what your team is working on throughout the year and how it may affect other things going on within the organization. It will also hold your team accountable for completing specific actions, even if media clippings are out of their control.
3. How Do They Track Processes and Results?
As your team moves forward with their tactics, ensure they have set processes in place to track their activities and the results.
For example, if they are pitching a particular media venue, they should be able to tell you why and when they pitched a specific press member and what the results were. Even if it’s simply that the editor didn’t want to do the story, they can document this for future reference.
Not only will this enable you to see what’s going on with your communications team, it will also help your staff members document all of their time and effort pitching the media.
4. What Are They Doing That’s Different?
When starting new publicity-projects, inspire your communications team to go for it! With the high level of B2B competition, it’s essential to try new things and be creative. If your staff members are just coming into work, doing what they’ve always done and going home, you are not going to experience success.
It’s better for everyone involved to be creative and develop innovative ways to communicate your organization’s marketing message. Look at webinars, podcasts, videos, live events, radio, direct mail, and other venues and technology formats. And if you are stuck for new ideas, look at what your competition is doing, and try something completely different. You can also get inspiration from companies outside of your industry.
Not only will this process make it more exciting for your team members to come to work, but you’ll experience better results and actually have fun in the process!
5. What is The Follow-Up Process?
Once your team finishes a project, it’s essential to review the results and see what you can do to improve your activities as you move forward. Also, don’t forget to send important follow-up communications like thank you cards to media members, thoughtful gifts to partners who may have helped you, messages to customers, and more.
Add follow-up procedures to all of your PR plans, and ensure they are completed. This creates positive word-of-mouth for your organization so that more people will want to do business with you in the future.
Is Your PR Team Providing Value to Your B2B?
If you don’t work with your public relations team, you simply will not get the full value from their efforts. Have them create a specific action plan that covers specific tactics, responsibilities, deadlines, expected results, follow-up actions, and more. This will let you know what’s going on at all times, save time and money and see how these activities affect the overall revenue for your organization.
Also, develop an environment where you reward team members for creativity and pursuing new ideas. Not only will this give you a competitive advantage so you see better results, but you and your team will have more fun in the process!