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PR Benchmarks: Measure Your Impact

PR Benchmarks: Measure Your Impact

Public relations is not reserved for strict, traditional media relations anymore. What PR encompasses is changing everyday; but as it stands today, PR is everything from television, print, social media, online news sites, apps and more. And for health and wellness organizations, clients are using every piece of media to find information and make health-related decisions. So, when you’re kicking off a new campaign with a health-focused client, remember to look at these various PR elements and set concrete benchmarks so you can effectively measure success and identify insights at the close of the campaign.

Setting benchmarks

Views, clicks and impressions are classic ways to measure the success of your earned media. While it’s important to keep track of the number of people viewing your content, there’s more value to be found in measuring how many people within your target audience were reached and how they interacted with your content. When setting benchmarks, keep in mind your target audience and adjust goals accordingly.

Measuring impact

Measuring impact may seem subjective by nature, but there are ways to concretely show you’re reaching a specific audience. Start by analyzing the effects of earned media. Employ your online tracking tool of choice and take note of how effective earned media was at driving traffic to your website or landing page. It’s also valuable to take note if media coverage is merely a mention versus a larger feature story. Impact can also be measured by what – and how many – proprietary assets were shared during your campaign. You can check social shares, hashtag usage, etc., to determine which pieces of content were picked up or what assets were shared.

Success doesn’t always look how you thought it would. By measuring these different facets of impact, you can find ways to effectively measure how targeted audiences received and interacted with your campaign. But remember, it all starts with setting the proper benchmarks.

Healthcare PR pros: What other benchmarks do you find helpful to set with your clients? Tweet us at @CSG_health!

 

Source: PR’s Changing Benchmarks: 10 Questions to Make the Most of Measurement
3 Ways to Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts

3 Ways to Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts

Content creation requires a significant time commitment, which can make it all the more frustrating if what is produced doesn’t resonate with your audience. Even if you’re doing it all by the books (i.e., proper graphics, detailed audience segmentation, etc.) you still may not see the payoff.

Here are three suggestions to keep in mind if your content isn’t resonating:

1. Avoid self-serving content. No matter what industry, you will have competitors. This is especially true for health and wellness organizations, which reside in an industry primed for exponential growth. With others already offering similar goods and services, it’s not sufficient for your content to be solely focused around what you sell. Any one of your competitors has the opportunity to take this same approach, so it’s vital to differentiate your brand.

Furthermore, your audience will lose interest if your approach is too self-centered. In order to build trust amongst your audience, speak to them and not at them. How do you do this? Instead of pushing new products, like your company’s most recent medical device, make sure your messaging revolves around your mission of helping your patients have a better quality of life.

2. Internal goals come second to audience needs. Talking points are often crafted with the company in mind, not the audience. Business goals are dependent upon the needs of the audience, meaning you won’t see progress until your content builds a rapport and trust with your audience.

Build this relationship by making sure your content centers around your mission, while also engaging with your audience whenever possible. One of the best qualities of social media is that it allows companies and individuals to connect like never before. Check out relevant hashtags and involve yourself in the conversations affiliated with them. Not everything you say has to relate back to your company directly; the focus should be on building goodwill amongst current and prospective audience members.

3. Identify why you exist. A seemingly philosophical notion with a simple answer: your company or brand’s purpose is to offer the best solution to the problem that originally brought your organization into existence. In this sense, healthcare organizations companies have an edge. Their missions are often noble and palatable, something an audience can easily get behind. Now all that remains is to make sure the content you craft serves the mission.

For example, a hospital benefits from keeping the local community’s health as its top priority. Therefore, the content you create should speak to the local community and its health concerns. Do you have a large pediatric patient base? Focusing on flu seasons and concussion safety will resonate with parents.

Keeping content aligned with why your brand exists is easier said than done. In some cases, being audience-focused might require a shift in your brand’s mindset. To know for sure, start by conducting a content audit and identify what types of content your audience finds most engaging. Then, determine how to maximize those types of content to not only engage a broader audience, but also drive new patients or customers.

Have any stories about maximizing your own content marketing endeavors? Share them with us @CSG_Health.

Source: Content Marketers: Your WHAT Doesn't Matter if Your WHY Is Lacking
Public Relations Trends: What PR is Now?

Public Relations Trends: What PR is Now?

Change is constant, something PR practitioners may know better than anyone else. Developments in both clients’ industries and media landscapes mean PR professionals must stay ahead of changes as they occur. PR Newswire recently conducted a survey asking PR professionals what modern PR is and looks like, revealing some notable shifts. Yes, some traditional mainstays were among the results, but other top answers reflect the importance of current business trends. 

Here are five things fellow PR professionals noted that modern PR is: 

1. PR is…relationships.

Maintaining relationships with the media has always been a cornerstone in public relations. And for PR professionals in the health and wellness industry, this now includes a myriad of bloggers along with traditional journalists. When you can stay in-step with the media outlets and reporters and bloggers your audience turns to for health information, it will ensure your clients are at the point of need.

2. PR is…marketing.

Modern public relations plays a large role in creating content that demonstrates thought leadership, which in turn can drive leads in a traditional marketing sense. If your healthcare client is primarily B2B, exploring bylines in online trade publications and LinkedIn long form posts that offer “trackable” links can directly tie PR efforts to incoming leads.

3. PR is…data-driven.

Measuring data is no longer a novelty, it is the norm. Healthcare companies with a social media presence need to be able to properly track how many potential customers or patients come to your website and if potential customers convert at a higher rate through a specific social media platform, i.e. YouTube versus Twitter. This will allow PR professionals to make strategic recommendations on how to best allocate resources to secure new customers. 

4. PR is…multichannel.

Use your varying platforms to your advantage. Format content for different channels in order to connect with more diverse subsets of your audience. For example, if you have a client in the aging industry, Facebook may be best for reaching seniors’ adult children, while a blog could be most beneficial for connecting with fellow senior living professionals. Research may help to discover when and on what platforms your specific audience is most receptive, but a staggered approach is essential to reaching the niche audience residing on differing platforms.

5. PR is…real-time.

Issues can escalate quickly and at any time of day; and our global economy demands there is always someone on hand to deescalate potential crises. PR professionals can be invaluable in establishing protocol detailing what constitutes as an issue, how it should be handled and how to quickly take the issue offline in today’s Internet- and social media-heavy world.

What else do you think modern PR is? Let us know at @CSG_health.

Source: 2016 Public Relations Trends: Are You Ready for What #PRisNow?
Preparation, Participation & Pondering: How to Maximize Conference Attendance

Preparation, Participation & Pondering: How to Maximize Conference Attendance

By Liz Gossens, Senior Associate, Education Practice

Industry conferences are an incredible opportunity to become immersed in your field, learn about policy and best practices, and make valuable connections with colleagues and peers.

Conferences can also be exhausting, time consuming and generally overwhelming. Whether you’re preparing to attend your first major industry conference, or you’re a seasoned convention center veteran, taking the time to plan is a critical element for long-term success. These tips can help you make the most of your experience.

Preparation: Make a Plan

Planning your schedule in advance (while also being open to impromptu opportunities) will ensure that you’re able to maximize your time at the event. Laying out your schedule helps you get to the sessions you want to attend, as well as connect with speakers you’d like to meet. Having a plan also allows you to identify downtime, which can be used to network, check emails, or simply relax and digest all of the inspiring things you’ve just learned.

Most large-scale conferences publish their schedules online in the weeks leading up to the event, which makes it easy to create a personalized plan. Some conferences, like SXSWedu, have developed official apps that allow attendees plug in their schedules.

Additionally, if you can, check the attendee list and set some times to connect with people in your field. Some conferences have social networks that allow for searching by field and occupation, as well as direct outreach to targeted participants. Make a list of people you want to meet while you’re at the conference and start setting times to grab a cup of coffee at least two weeks in advance.

Participation: Talk. To. Everyone.

Even if the idea of “networking” gives you the jitters, it’s important to remember that everyone attending the conference has at least one thing in common: an interest in, or connection to the subject area.

These events are an incredible opportunity to make connections with folks who are involved in the industry in a variety of ways. Education conferences, for example, often involve policy makers, researchers and thought leaders, teachers and administrators, and sometimes even students. Be open to striking up a conversation with the person sitting next to you after a keynote, or someone who you might see in several different sessions. You never know who you will connect with, and these conversations can lead to a number of opportunities (not to mention friendships!).

If you exchange business cards with someone, take the time to write a little note of the conversation (on the backside if you can), to remind yourself later. You’re going to meet a lot of people and it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of everyone you’ve connected with and want to reconnect with, when you’re sorting through a stack of business cards after the event.

Ponder: Identify Action Items and Next Steps

You’ve spent a week immersed in content, energizing your passion for your field and making new contacts. It’s easy to get on the plane and promptly revert back to your regular work routine. Don’t fall into this trap! Use your time in the airport or on the plane ride to go back through your notes and identify action items.

Was there a speaker you were particularly interested in? Follow them on Twitter. Did a piece of research resonate with work you’re doing? Make a note to share it with your colleagues when you get back to the office. And don’t forget to sort through your business cards and connect with everyone on LinkedIn and other social media channels, as appropriate. Identify the folks you want to follow up with and put a reminder on your calendar to reach out in the next week.

Lastly, remember to have fun! Conferences are an opportunity to reinvigorate your passion for your field, and while you may be exhausted by the end, your attendance will be worthwhile with all of the knowledge and new connections you’ve gained. 

Can Businesses Circumvent Traditional Higher Education?

Can Businesses Circumvent Traditional Higher Education?

By Liz Gossens, Senior Associate, Education Practice

A recent report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation detailed their recommendation for businesses to develop their own “talent supplier and recognition system[s],” working directly with content providers and open educational resources (OER) providers to develop courses that are better-aligned with their business needs. As the question of employability is increasingly raised alongside of concerns about the high cost of a college degree, this recommendation has the potential for significant disruption of the traditional higher education model.

The Brookings Institution shared their thoughts on the report, including the following highlights:

  • Only 11 percent of business leaders feel that current college graduates are ready for the workforce.
  • Many employers are already partnering with institutions to create courses and majors that fit with corporate needs.
  • The report recommends a three-step process for developing this type of business-specific accreditation, focusing on collaboration, program design, and implementation.
  • This kind of shift would require adjustments to existing Federal loan programs, though that conversation has already started as more students are taking non-accredited MOOCs.

Why It Matters

The education sector has recognized the need for a stronger focus on college and career readiness, resulting in new approaches to both classroom and curricula. However, while a variety of disruptions are making significant changes in K-12 education models (including a focus on project-based and blended learning, STEM/STEAM initiatives, and more), higher education has yet to see a major shift that changes outcomes for students. The idea that businesses could develop tailored online courses that are better aligned to the realities and demands of the modern workforce has the potential for significant disruption of higher education. With increased access to MOOCS and OERs, as well as a spotlight on the need for college graduates to be better-prepared for their career, this concept is certainly possible. This may not be something we’ll see in the next year, but it’s an idea worth keeping in mind for institutions looking to adapt to the realities of employability.

Source: Is business about to disrupt the college accreditation system?
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