The 4 Key Ingredients of a Successful Inbound PR Campaign

DigitalK Conference 2019 (May 30th – May 31st, 2019) is fast approaching and we are proud to share that United Partners is the official marketing communications partner of this year’s edition. This week, we have a guest blog post by Iliyana Stareva (Hubspot) who shares the 4 key ingredients of a successful Inboung PR campaign. If you will be attending DigitalK 2019, do not miss out the United Partners & Hubspot workshop dedicated to Inbound PR on 31st May at 09:45 (EET) at Second Hall (more info about the full event agenda here).

Every forward-thinking PR or marketing professional will tell you that top-down, “push” messages no longer work.

We live in a world that’s gone inbound. A world where to be successful with your communication you need to rely on methods that pull people into your brand rather than interrupt them with irrelevant content.

This is exactly what Inbound PR is all about – it’s a whole new philosophy on how to do PR in the modern, digital world.

Its methodology focuses on two key areas – content and measurement.

Remarkable content created and shared on the right mediums is the most successful way to reach your audience, or as we normally say in inbound – your personas.

Measurement then is essential to 1) gauge the success of your campaigns and 2) improve as you go.

All of this sounds very logical and kind of simple but its actual execution is what most companies and professionals have major difficulties with.

Through my work as a PR professional and an agency business consultant, I’ve found that most businesses struggle to transform towards Inbound PR because of fear.

They fear change. They fear the unknown. They fear to take a risk.

But fear only holds them back from all the possibilities and opportunities that inbound and digital offer.

Change is necessary if you want to grow and progress.

I can easily give you the steps you need to follow to run your first Inbound PR campaign, but unless you and your team adopt an inbound mindset, you won’t really see any results.

So what are the key ingredients behind a successful Inbound PR campaign then?

The 4 Key Ingredients of a Successful Inbound PR Campaign

#1 True adoption of digital

First and foremost, you and your team need to be comfortable with the fact that the media is not the only way to reach your audience.

You need to adopt digital, technology and tools and learn how to use your website, your blog, your own social media channels or those of your clients to reach your personas.

Media relations is powerful and it still works but it’s not the only vehicle. And in some cases, it might be unnecessary.

#2 Use of all media types

Omnichannel is now required in a world of information overload where people barely pay attention to you and have the power to ignore or skip your messages through their phones and apps.   

Get to know the PESO model – paid, earned, shared and owned. It visualises the different media types we have nowadays and how you can leverage them to make the best use of all media types for your Inbound PR campaigns to ensure you’re there where you personas want to consume your content.

#3 Ability to do research

Before you can make decisions on which mediums and channels to use, you need to know your audience inside and out.

With inbound, we call this persona thinking. Your persona is your ideal customer or ideal media person to work with.

To be able to clearly define your goals and the tactics you need to use for your Inbound PR campaign, you need to be comfortable doing a lot of research through surveys, interviews and focus groups so that you can define who your persona is, what they care about, what challenges they face and how you can solve their problems.

Too many companies rely on assumptions when doing this piece of work but it’s so crucial that you take the time and learn how to do proper research before jumping into execution.

This way you can make informed decisions about every tactic you want to use for your Inbound PR campaign and be a lot more secure that it will actually work because you’ve based it on research and not assumptions.

#4 Analytical skills

As mentioned earlier, measurement is one of the two key pieces within the Inbound PR methodology.

To be able to properly measure the success of your Inbound PR campaigns, you need to develop better analytical skills that go beyond vanity metrics such as impressions and reach, and not to mention AVEs that surprisingly so many PR pros still use!  

With inbound, you need to learn how to think big picture and consider metrics such as revenue, ROI, traffic, leads and customers because that’s the only way to prove the true value of PR. You want to show how you can positively affect the bottom line and to do that you’ll have to learn to speak the language of executives.

Analytical skills are the biggest gap within the PR industry and if you become committed to really nail this, you’ll see major success with your clients and within your business.

And there you have it, the four key ingredients to a successful Inbound PR campaign. If you’re ready to take your Inbound PR efforts to the next level, join us at Digitalk on May 31st for a longer session on Inbound PR that will give you a blueprint of 8 steps on how to create your first Inbound PR campaign!


Iliyana Stareva is Global Partner Program Manager at HubSpot, where she plans and executes cross-functional change across global teams and drives a partner-first approach for company-wide initiatives. With a background in PR and agency business consulting as well as a fluent speaker and writer in Bulgarian, English, and German, she is the author of Inbound PR, Social Media and the Rebirth of PR and Social Media: Key for Sustainability Communications.

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