I had the pleasure of recently joining Trust Relations’ PR Wine Down podcast to discuss key ways you can align your marketing/PR and business goals. As I have seen too often, this crucial step is overlooked, not only during the client onboarding process, but through ongoing relationships as well. And as April White, founder and president of Trust Relations shared on the show, many PR agencies get caught up in mapping campaign metrics to media hits, while other KPIs might be better aligned to a client’s overarching business goals. Separating these is critical if you expect to truly achieve meaningful metrics.
In the PR world, some newsjacking opportunities aren’t always “on brand” for a particular client. A PR agency might submit a spokesperson for comment on a breaking story that they have no business in speaking to or lending expertise about, and which ultimately has nothing to do with their business model. While it may seem that the coverage is nice, using this as a measurement tool may not be valuable, as this is a vanity metric that’s not meaningful in moving the needle forward on the company’s brand narrative.
You could say the same about influencer campaigns that many companies use to target Gen Z and millennial audiences. They often shell out a lot of money to have someone with a notable social media following talk about their brand. I refer to this as “flopularity,” as companies hope to drive up sales by having influencers talk about their brand, but the reality is they end up spending much more on hiring the influencers in the first place and end up seeing negligible returns.
Again, these tactics often map back to short-term goals. It’s our human nature to only look ahead at what’s coming straight at us, and to try to plan accordingly. When aligning business and marketing goals, we should really plan for the long term and ensure the objectives we put in place now are robust enough to withstand time and help us achieve our longer-term business goals.
I’ve found it helpful when working with clients at my own agency, Three Piece Marketing, that we set objectives and realistic timeframes right out of the gate. If a client pushes back on that, we may decide it’s not in our best interest or a suitable partnership and simply move on.
If it is a fit, our team will put together a detailed roadmap, allowing the client to track campaigns and progress month-by-month. We set the expectation that the first month is all about learning about the brand and what is meaningful enough about it to take to the public. It may not be until 3-4 months into a client relationship that real results and metrics are available.
As we discussed on the podcast, ultimately, in working with clients (or clients working with agencies) the overarching key factor that determines success is that there needs to be trust. If you can trust us with the inner workings of your brand — the good, the bad and the ugly — and you can trust us and believe us when we set objectives and timelines, then we will get more positive results. Conversely, if trust is lacking, or there is pushback on things which are important, goals and objectives may not be met.
To get the full scoop on what else we discussed on the show, check out the full episode.