Marketers understand how to drive results with engaging content, strong technology platforms, and quality execution. They are going to define their markets, test messages, craft pipeline-building sequences of content, and gauge response rates. It’s an agile orchestration based on best practices, experience, and experimentation to maximize outcomes. A marketing team can explain and describe the earliest signs of progress, the key performance indicators, and calls to action that help them drive momentum.
PR is its own system within the larger marketing ecosystem; it’s unique in that its strategies and tactics can create far-reaching momentum, generate unparalleled top-of-funnel outcomes, and define entire markets. Category-creating tech PR has its own set of practices, early indicators, and KPIs. It has its own set of dynamics to catalyze momentum and create results that accelerate marketing objectives. Just as marketing executives know what spot-on execution looks like, the PR leaders at anthonyBarnum understand what has to unfold to deliver the narratives and placements that will build value and pipeline.
*Let’s first break out this concept of experience. Despite all of the best practices, marketers in tech platform companies need more than examples, they need optimized technology and great sequencing to make it work. They need experience. They need their own sets of experiences to compare and contrast outcomes. And the wise ones assess what worked well in the past, as well as what produced fewer compelling results. They then use those experiences to help construct tailored initiatives for their markets. Nothing replaces experience to define meaningful paths forward.
The value of experience is true in PR as well – anthonyBarnum’s high-cadence PR outcomes are built on a set of methods honed and documented over years. Our PR building block methods have been defined in standards to be a replicable, scalable set of best practices rooted in experience – specifically the experience needed to take a differentiated technology platform from minimal visibility to maximum exposure.
To build a category-defining or redefining campaign, below are three of the key building blocks and accompanying tactics based on the experience that has solidified our methods.
1) Thought Leadership is King –
To create scalable, message-rich outcomes in earned media, thought leadership is central to programming. Unless the deal is absolutely pressing and timing is unnegotiable – such as an acquisition or major funding – anthonyBarnum will always recommend warming up the media via thought leadership over a period of 8 to 12 weeks. That means, if an innovation company has a major product launch in January, our team recommends that thought leadership commence no later than October. Based on case studies that gauge the value of earned media placements and their concentration, we have determined the strongest overall outcomes for a product launch necessitate a premeditated and longer-term set of proactive outreach. During the initial 8-to-12-week thought leadership ramp-up many opportunities will be secured. However, to inflect with a product announcement that is critical to a company’s objectives, starting in advance pays dividends in terms of results.
2) PR Campaigns Must Originate, Not Follow –
Any old concept will not get you the desired coverage. To be impactful and meaningful, an innovation company’s thought leadership must be unique, compelling, and well substantiated. Instead of thinking of thought leadership as one-dimensional newsjacking where a company attaches to any old trend or generalizations, the PR needs to go deep. It needs to shape advanced and multilayered narratives that are highly compelling to the elite reporters the campaign is targeting. More is not better – advanced, insightful, structured, and data-supported thought leadership about the problem and how technology can address the pain point is vital. Without shaped and on-point logic-based arguments, the PR campaign will generate tag-along coverage and mentions as its primary outcome. Lightweight story inclusions do not change how target audiences think about the problem or solution. To create the most value, PR campaigns must truly go into the news environment with original concepts. Doing so, however, is not for the inexperienced. anthonyBarnum leverages a combination of research and original thought leadership ideation to create the narratives that differentiate platforms.
3) Research and Fine-Tune Outreach –
PR campaigns require not only ongoing and advanced trend research, but also require a commitment to targeting concepts to the right editors and reporters. It’s better to be surgical and develop relationships and awareness among a targeted set of reporters than it is to reach a larger number of outlets. Reporters and editors will not cover concepts that are not specifically developed to align with their audiences’ needs. They have an audience to serve; for the balance to be productive, the PR team must be working through that lens to be successful. Strong outcomes will always be correlated to the precision of the targeting. Like marketing, it’s completely unproductive to target the wrong audience. Creating a precise and refined set of targets may seem like a given, but the reality is that it is a very research-intensive task, even with the technology available today. As of yet, nothing replaces an astute eye, digging deep to build out lists of targets and continuously researching reporters to include in the outreach effort.
No category-defining PR campaign can be successful at scale without these three key facets. While other approaches can deliver initial results, they will fizzle or only result in streams of small mentions. Category creation requires thought leadership where the PR team is generating ever-evolving original concepts—and presenting those concepts to media who need to engage in the subject matter presented to inform their audiences. At anthonyBarnum, our focus is on bringing these three elements together to create campaigns that engage the media and generate opportunities that present new solutions and advancements.