2016 will doubtless see the closure of more local newspapers and a decline in the number of people who read those that remain. As somebody who began his career as a journalist on my hometown paper, I am saddened by the trend. But, as I now make my living in public relations, it is a reality I have to adapt to.
When I started working in PR in 2008, success was still measured in newspaper and magazine column inches – or to be more precise – Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE). As it suggests, this calculated the cost to a client of placing an advert of similar size to the editorial coverage achieved through a press release and photograph. Clearly, big circulation newspapers could charge high advertising costs and this was reflected in the AVE reported to clients.
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AVE had many flaws but it did provide a mechanism to gauge the effectiveness of a PR campaign or piece of work. Of course newspaper, magazine and broadcast coverage is still important but it no longer reflects the whole picture. Social media has changed the game and in particular the role of public relations. Coverage – through traditional or new media – is just a stepping stone. Our task – through a story, photograph, interview, video, vine or Tweet – is to generate sufficient interest and curiosity in a client’s brand or product to encourage a visit to its website. Our job is then done. It is now up to the client and his or her team to translate that lead into a sale.
This is where I come in! (Amy) How can you make this happen? Here’s some key things which your website should feature in order to make that sale happen.
- It needs to be really obvious what you do. What exactly do you help people with? What problem do you solve? What are you actually selling?
- What do you want people to do? If you want to make a sale then how do they buy? Is there a payment button or a contact button?
- Is it simple? Your website should have a clear path for people to follow so that they know where to go and what to do. Can they easily find out more about you? Can they find your blog? If they want to find out more about you through social media, where do they go? Make the whole thing a doodle.
Thanks to Andrew for this guest post – if you have a story that would make an excellent stepping stone to get people onto your website then visit the Newsmaker PR website to see how they can help you out.
Other guest posts by Newsmaker PR: