Business Surgery: How to make email marketing part of your PR strategy

Dawn Strange of Media Matters
Dawn Strange of Media Matters
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PR is so much more than a simple press release.

Today, PR strategies have to cover an ever-widening set of audience channels.

One specific tool which is often disregarded when it comes to PR is the e-newsletter, or its shortened version, the e-shot.

So, why not use email marketing to enhance your PR activity?

We regularly prepare e-newsletters for clients who need to share information and news with their audience.

In the traditional realms of a press release, this would mean submitting a carefully crafted article to your chosen media where you will be competing for column inches or online space alongside all the other releases fighting to get read and considered at the top of the editor’s inbox.

A good story coupled with well groomed media contacts should guarantee you coverage but when this is not the case, and you are leaving the possibility of coverage to chance, you have to question the value of this approach.

Why not cultivate your own audience list (via email marketing) and then target exactly what you want to say to these interested groups of people?

They are interested as they have already subscribed to receiving your information so you are immediately talking to a ‘warm’ audience.

When it comes to the content you want to share, unlike a release that has to have a meaty news angle, or a quirky image, to earn its place on the page or online, the e-newsletter approach allows you to control the messaging and tailor it to suit you.

All of a sudden you can talk direct to your audience and ensure every word is in the right context, is meaningful and relevant to the recipient.

This does not mean you compromise on the content or even the news value.

The best e-newsletters are packed with useful information and news that people can use.

There has to be credibility and added value for recipients to continue to read and follow links so choose subject matter carefully but definitely use it to your advantage and even include commercial messaging, where it is appropriate to do so.

E-newsletters allow you to reach new audiences (as new subscribers join your database list) which is a great PR tool in itself.

Even better, they are excellent for retention with the obvious ability to send regular (but not too regular that they become irritating) e-news to existing customers and clients with special offers, new services and links back to your website – all great for up selling.