By Zac Lambert @ Oct 31, 2012
Halloween is my favorite holiday. There, I said it. The autumn weather, great food, NBA and NFL – all my favorite things come together this time of year. The costumes, scary movies, and the trick-or-treating all add up to the perfect season.
I will say, however, that the term ‘trick-or-treat’ has always confused me. I remember thinking, as a kid, “What if this next house gives me a ‘trick’ instead of a ‘treat’? Is that even allowed?” Honestly, if someone put a pencil or plastic finger puppet in my trick-or-treat bag, I considered that as rude of a ‘trick’ as they could pull.
Nothing quite compares to the disappointment that accompanies a Halloween treat bag full of cheap off-brand candy, pencils, and Halloween joke books. The exact opposite is true if your bag is full of king size candy bars. We all know the feeling.
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The same is true when it comes to analyzing the results of your PR efforts. Just like Halloween treats and candy, not all PR results are created equal.
Are your PR efforts leaving you with a king-sized Butterfinger or a Halloween-themed eraser?
To answer this question, here is a look at some of today’s trends when it comes to PR results: the ‘tricks’ and the ‘treats’ of each.
By now, most business people understand the basics of Facebook and Twitter, the two most popular social media platforms. What confuses many companies is how to use the two effectively.
Tricks: You have 5,000 Twitter followers and 12,000 Facebook likes. Great! Now what? The number does not mean a thing unless you interact with your following on a regular basis. Interacting means posting more than just product updates, links to coverage about your company, and irrelevant babble. Oh, and avoid offensive posts in an effort to be clever or funny.
Treats: You will truly grow and benefit from your social media following if you can nurture interaction. Ask your followers questions that invite comments. Hold contests or exclusive giveaways for your followers. Sure, people want to know what is happening with your brand, but truly give them some value beyond just information and news updates. Most importantly, have some fun with it, whether it is through humor or something very creative.
This includes any news outlet (newspaper, blog, TV, etc.) covering your brand, products, or news. Whether it is a spotlight piece or just using you as a source, coverage is often times the goal of PR efforts.
Tricks: You spend several hours, 50 emails, 45 re-writes and three meetings to get a blogger to write about your company. Come to find out, after all your work, the blog has a following of only 13 people and is relatively unknown. Is the result really worth the effort? There are plenty of ways to get the media to talk about your brand – make sure the outlet and its audience truly fits your needs before you waste your time. While most coverage is good coverage, make sure you work smarter and not always harder.
Treats: Positive media coverage starts with building relationships with the right people. Identify which media person or outlet has a strong influence with your target market and develop a relationship with them. This not only leads to increased coverage of your brand, but also gives you a tool that keeps on giving in the future. Develop your relationship with media professionals by giving them the news they want and the resources they need to do their job effectively.
Although these are just two examples of results that PR efforts bring to a company, they show that evaluating your results on a regular basis is a great way to better achieve your goals.
Make sure your PR efforts are leading to the good stuff – the type of ‘treats’ that all trick-or-treaters hope to see in their bags this Halloween night.