With Muckle Media, Managing Director Nathalie Agnew, Director Rosemary Gallagher and guest speaker The Herald’s Business Correspondent, Kristy Dorsey.
Channels is a discussion we feel needs to wait until you have the right audience and strategy in place. It may feel quite late on but when you’re looking at a big, creative and strategic plan it is usually best to keep consideration of channels to near the end.
Are your channels working together to deliver the key message?
At Muckle Media, we love using the PESO model (paid, earned, shared and owned media) to map out channels. This is overall a good starting point for mapping out your channels, however Nathalie believes since it was created the lines have started becoming more blurred, for example if you’re working with an influencer the activity could fall into a few of these categories. It’s also important to not see the PESO list as a to-do-list – you probably can’t and shouldn’t be on all of these channels.
Unless you are a huge organisation with a large budget, you shouldn’t expect to be using every channel. Nathalie advised that it’s best to focus on what is going to work for you and get the most bang for your buck.
- Earned Media – This tends to be the most common starting point for those working in comms. We’re beginning to put more spend behind things but earned is where our brains are typically wired to compared to other departments. From a public relations perspective Nathalie believes influencer relations is something we’ve always done in one way or another and although it’s not new, we’re seeing it packaged up differently, it’s all about how we take the story and best deliver it to the audience.
- Shared Media – Here we can think about communities and how you can build on your community advocates that use your organisation. It’s all about using your biggest fans and turning them into superfans! This will help spread your message across their network as well as your own. Beware too of any detractors, who should be considered in your stakeholder mapping. Brand ambassadors are also another example of shared media. This could be through the form of celebrities or even case studies using real people with real stories to tell people about your brand.
- Owned Media – This is really important channel to consider particularly when thinking about your content. It’s the stuff you control and sits on your channels e.g. blogs, video content, podcasts etc. Search Engine Optimisation should have its own plan but well considered PR and social can also help to move your brand up the search engine ranks.
- Paid Media – It’s really worth while to include paid in your strategy depending on your budget. We often see people putting in huge amounts of effort into shared and owned media by creating great content but only reaching a small organic audience. E-mail marketing may feel like an outdated channel but Nathalie advocated that it’s still an incredibly effective method. If you have a solid marketing list and magical content, email marketing can really help drive sales, engagement and sign ups. Nude’s Adultish is one of our favourites.
We’re increasingly starting to see comms teams moving away from just serving earned media and catering more to the other channels.
That’s where reputation comes in, we’ve covered this more extensively in our previous #CommsCamp episode, which you can read about here
, but ultimately it’s thinking about things like thought leadership, trust and credibility and benchmarking your organisations reputation.
Attracting new business to your organisation
One of the areas that sits across the full PESO model spectrum is inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is effectively people coming to you. It generally comes from creating great inbound content and taking people on a journey and effectively ending up with them in some form of engagement funnel.
If you’re in the B2C market and have products to sell, this could involve people self-serving, looking at the products, putting them in their basket and completing the sale. If you’re working in B2B this might revolve around lead generation or service sign-ups for the third or public sector.
A good starting point to learn more about inbound marketing is the Hubspot certification program. Here you will find a huge number of training programmes that are completely free and you can sort by beginner up to expert. The HubSpot CRM is also a great free starting point, then when you build on your strategy you can pay to add on more services you may find useful.
An interview with The Herald’s Business Correspondent
Muckle Media Director, Rosemary Gallagher, gained some interesting insights into what it’s like to work for a business desk in one of Scotland’s national newspapers.
American native, Kristy Dorsey believes that not everyone may appreciate business but it’s something that affects all of our lives and plays a vital role in the economy. Over the years, she has found her role becoming more ‘condensed’ and explains that once upon a time a journalist’s job would be to read press releases, write stories and interview people. However, with digital journalism now being so key, you’re expected to put the whole story together (headlines, social aspects, pictures etc). These all use to be separate jobs on their own but have since been merged into one, meaning the inevitable impact is that time is the most precious commodity to journalists.
As you’d imagine, compelling content is the main factor that drives readership and is something Kristy is always on the hunt for but she explains it doesn’t need to be offered as an exclusive (however, don’t pitch something as new if it’s already appeared elsewhere!). She goes onto explain that smaller firms make the opposite mistake of being slow off the mark with stories, pitching something that happened 6-8 weeks ago. “It’s in the name ‘news’, it’s new not something that happened months ago!”.
Kristy concluded that good picture for the online world is not an ‘advantage’ it’s essential, the visual for anything online is absolutely imperative along with video.
Something to take away
To help you establish a channel plan, try using this simple format to get you started.
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