How can organizations personalize e-mail communications based on various target audiences?
"Most organizations have various audiences to communicate to, including employees, customers, prospects, partners, and investors," says Ajay Goel of JangoMail.
Each of these audiences has its own needs, hence a one-size-fits-all message cannot be used effectively, and even within each target audience, there are demographic differences that should be catered to individually, Goel notes.
E-mail communications tools allow organizations to create targeted lists based on different constituents and then send very focused messages. There are big customers and small ones, those who have made a purchase in the last month and who haven't, and those who have bought a specific category of product and who haven't. Each condition can be used to tailor specific content to specific customer subgroups.
Sophisticated e-mail marketing applications allow you to compose and send a single e-mail template to your entire list, and then the application decides which content should go to which recipient, based on their demographic profile.
"This... is especially critical in PR when distributing press releases to journalists and industry analysts," Goel adds.
Search engine marketing
Can I use search engine marketing (SEM) to support my PR campaign?
"Why try to reach your audience through one medium when you can fight your PR campaign on multiple fronts?" asks Sandra Fathi from Affect Strategies. "Search engines are prime vehicles for disseminating your message and are easily incorporated into most PR campaigns."
Companies should look at all of the different places and opportunities they have to connect with customers. "Search engines are vital for reaching prospective customers, media and key influencers, and actively searching for a product, service, or solution," Fathi adds. "Using Google AdWords or Yahoo Search Marketing ensures that a client's message is up-front and visible in search results or content-driven advertising, next to relevant stories or articles."
Small budgets are not a problem. Fathi notes: "Companies can set daily budgets and bid on individual key words most relevant to their business. Prices start at 5 cents per click and increase depending upon demand. But clients only pay for click-throughs [actual visits to Web sites or landing pages], making SEM campaigns easy to measure and evaluate."
How can I use video to get my story on television?
"When producing video, focus on what stations are most likely to use and back your effort with a strong media relations effort," says Doug Simon of D S Simon Productions.
In terms of visuals, Simon remarks that much time is spent crafting sound bites or creating a package that is unlikely to be used in its entirety. It's better to identify what the three best visuals are that would be hard for stations themselves to shoot. Stations are also open to using stills or JPEGs.
"Keep in mind that the length of the average news story continues to shrink," he adds. "Put your most compelling video up-front."
In terms of media relations, pitch stories, not video. Line up spokespeople in key markets. Offer stations the opportunity to have them in-studio or produce it themselves as part of a ground tour with video support.
"The most important thing is the video has to be part of an integrated media campaign to be successful," states Simon.