Merchandising!

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By Kyle Kappmeier, Account Director, R&J Public Relations

I can still recall the first placement I was able to secure for a client. It was a small write-up in a trade magazine – not necessarily a home run if you will – but to me it was huge. I clipped that piece of coverage as if it were a front page hit in the Wall Street Journal, and in addition to sharing it with the client, shared it with friends and family showing them the fruits of my labor.  I was proud of it.

Fast forward 12 years later, and I still get excited over coverage that comes through. Taking pride in your work is something we as PR professionals must never lose sight of and we absolutely must help our clients climb aboard that same bandwagon. I mean our success IS theirs, right?

How do we do that? One word —merchandising.

While PR is obviously much more than just media placements, it’s the sexiest part and what gets most clients excited.  And in all honesty, it’s one of the easiest ways to communicate results. So take a step back and think about how you’re merchandising these sexy results. Are you just adding it to a clipping template along with impressions, the logo of the outlet, adding it to a tracker report and forwarding it along? If so, you’re doing yourself and your team a disservice.

Think about romancing the coverage a little more – communicate the efforts that went into securing it, a little about the media relations strategy and even some feedback from the media. Also, think about providing your clients with counsel on what to do with this coverage outside of just keeping it for their records.  How can and should they share this great coverage with consumers and other constituents? Just as important as sharing the results with consumers, is sharing it with the sales team and in a timely manner!

From conversations I’ve had over the years with clients’ sales teams and reps, I can tell you that there’s one common denominator across them all no matter what industry they’re in – they are desperate for content to show to their accounts, specifically what’s being done to support the brand and drive interest in the products they’re looking to place.  Maybe discuss with your client the idea of having a plan in place for packaging up a great placement and putting it in a format that’s easy to forward and will have the greatest impact for the sales team to wow their customers.

And while we’re talking about sales, think about your own agency’s sales team.  While your new business team is hard at work trying to secure potential new clients, keep them in the loop when something great happens, especially if it’s relevant to the industries they’re looking at. Leading with a great result that your agency was able to pull across the line isn’t just timely, it shows that your agency can deliver results and has the media relationships that matter.

So take a moment to get excited about that great media hit you’ve just delivered for your client.  You deserve to be proud of it.  But don’t let the excitement end there.  Leverage your achievement to realize even greater success for your client and your agency.






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