After winning two Stevie Awards for their expertise in creating and executing cost-effective, low-budget public relations campaigns, Calysto Communications has released five tips for budget-conscious PR and social media strategies. Written by Laura Borgstede, CEO of Calysto Communications, the tips are straight from a true PR professional and is guaranteed to help companies with their 2012 budget planning.
The first cost-cutting tip tells you to consider launching a focused, “project-based” PR campaign. For example, if you are launching a new product in conjunction with a major trade show, hire an agency a few months prior to help spread word of your announcement via a press release, pitches and social media outlets. Instead of spending a fortune to exhibit, these activities will help your company maximize its existing investment in a trade show and can get your news “heard” for less than $10,000.
The second tip Borgstede gives is to leverage your content in multiple ways. Implement social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs and get your news heard by multiple audiences. According to an analysis by PR Newswire and Crowd Factory, doing this increases your total audience by 70 percent where as an average press release not shared via social media generates an average of nearly 2 click-backs to the original release.
As our world increasingly becomes more global, Borgstede’s third tip is to avoid overspending while trying to reach a global audience. Instead of investing in a large agency with offices scattered across the globe, go with a boutique firm that offers one-stop shopping to support your PR needs. Just make sure to ask if they handle in-region PR support on a country-by-country basis and if they have the flexibility to allow you to target a particular country on a project basis and others on a recurring basis.
Another cost-cutting tip is to insist on a VP-level team with expertise in your industry. Often, large agencies will place cheaper junior associates on your team and your company gets billed for it, meaning your marketing funds are ultimately subsidizing employee training at your PR agency. Borgstede believes a senior-level team is more productive and you must demand their presence in order to receive measurable results with very little ramp-up time and no rookie mistakes.
Most importantly, the fifth and final cost-cutting tip suggests that you hire an agency with the right tools. Going through your PR agency for researching editorial contacts, accessing media lists or tracking social media buzz or editorial coverage might save you money rather paying a third-party company. Calysto knows this is possible first-hand being that they’ve spent more than a decade building its proprietary PR Vibes Media Catalyst of more than 15,000 communications industry influencers, saving their clients $20,000 or more per year.