Let’s face it, few people spend the time you do reading the news, watching for announcements in your industry, or even referring to the press center to see what their own company is up to. You’re the expert on what’s happening in your company’s world, so you have an opportunity to empower time-starved employees and executives by serving up whatever is most important for them to know. The best way to do that is via an effective, curated PR newsletter, which is a new capability TrendKite launched today.
How a Company Newsletter Can Show the Value of PR (If Done Well)
We often hear PR pros say, “We need to educate our company on PR’s impact.” We empathize because this was traditionally hard to do. Thankfully, impact measurement is getting easier with metrics like social amplification and digital metrics via Google Analytics, but now it’s about generating awareness of your impact internally.
A great way to showcase your impact is to shape and share a weekly PR newsletter that reports key PR metrics. Akin to content marketing, it’s all about creating something people find interesting and useful to read, while educating them about what you do, and positively shaping their perception of you. If you are sharing your biggest, business-driving content on a weekly basis (top articles driving traffic, top articles share on social, etc), your company will quickly become aware of how strong the PR lever can be.
The Best and Worst Practices of Newsletters
Have you ever put the effort into creating a PR newsletter only to find months later no one is reading it? Yikes…been there. If you aren’t careful, email open rates will rapidly decline after the newsletter isn’t “new” anymore – unless you abide by some best practices to keep things fresh and interesting.
The Do’s of Newsletters
1. Carefully Curate Content
You have extremely limited real estate and attention span in a newsletter. It should never exceed 10 articles, and you must mix it up to cover all topics so people can trust you’re keeping them fully ‘in-the-know.’ What people want to read:
- Featured articles about your company
- Executive features
- Competitive developments
- Educational industry content (give them some context on why it’s valuable)
2. Know and Segment your Audience
If you don’t have the bandwidth to do separate newsletters and one must serve all, then the rule of thumb is 10 articles max. If you can afford to though, personalize them a bit.
- Executive audiences: share five articles or fewer, and really prioritize the highest-value industry articles, breaking news, “wowza!” brand coverage, and of course anything about them (yes, petting an ego makes a newsletter sticky).
- Marketing teams: showcase the articles with greatest impact on the marketing funnel - articles that drove traffic, goal completions, revenue (read our Google Analytics ebook to learn how to use these metrics). Be sure to tout the articles you landed the golden backlink in. (read: The Most Valuable PR Activity You Should Be Doing).
- Internal customers: consider newsletters for groups you’re running campaigns for – so they can see the coverage they’re getting on their initiatives.
3. Include Your Metrics
This newsletter is your chance to show your impact! Always include metrics like number of shares, readership, traffic and revenue driven. If the csuite is reminded weekly how you’re impacting bottom line, chances are you’ll have an easier time negotiating budget next year.
The Dont’s of Newsletters
1. "Meh" Content
Avoid including every brand mention for the week. Instead, share the mention number in the newsletter summary, and then heavily curate the top three articles to share. For industry and competitive articles, make sure they’re thoughtful - not “Review of competitor X tool.”
2. Offering Social Sharing Capability on Off-Brand Content
Great newsletters make it easy for employees to share and amplify on-brand coverage. Great newsletters are also honest, and educate the company on not-so-palatable coverage (e.g. market reception to a price increase, a competitive acquisition, etc). If one week you need to share this kind of content for awareness, it’s important to switch off the social sharing feature, so your employees don’t accidently share something negative or off-brand.
PR Newsletters for Non-Company Audiences
PR newsletters can be used for more than just internal education. They can be a big hit with external audiences as well. Here are few examples:
- Alumni associations: if you’re a university, an alumni newsletter with content about your brand and industry will keep them engaged and feeling connected.
- Strategic partners: You can inspire respect and confidence in your company if you keep your strategic partners abreast of your impactful brand coverage, and of course any coverage on your partnership.
- Your own customers! Just like your fellow employees, your customers are time-starved as well. They would equally appreciate someone hand-picking the worthy-reads for their profession, and it could be a great conversation piece to keep them engaged with your customer-facing employees.
What’s Awesome is You Can Curate and Send Newsletters in TrendKite!
What makes this blog post truly actionable is that TrendKite just launched a new product, PR Newsletter. Our customers who used to use other tools for newsletters told us it’s the easiest and quickest they’ve used.
Here’s how you can implement some of these best practices using TrendKite:
- Tag the articles you’d like to report on or showcase (e.g. “executive highlights”, “alumni news,” “backlinks,” etc)
- Populate the tags you want to share into an eye-catching newsletter template
- Select the metrics to show for articles to showcase impact
- Choose to enable or disable social sharing
- Add a summary intro and brand it with your logo
- Share with your targeted stakeholder audience (we don’t limit the number of recipients)
Interested to learn more about PR Newsletter? If you’re a TrendKite customer, contact your Account Manager. If you are not yet a TrendKite customer, reach out and we’ll be happy to show you this capability in action!