There are four key steps to PR Engineering:
#1 – Develop a simple and compelling message that every storyteller can understand and support.
The core message must be emotionally compelling and simple, likely less than ten words. If the message resonates, then multiple storytellers will carry it forward and likely create their own version of the message, which still ladders up to the core message. A great example of this is 3M’s recent brand-wide shift to core message “Science. Applied to Life.” Through this simple statement, 3M shifted the way consumers think about the brand – which is typically associated with Post-Its and Scotch tape. In reality, the company’s products and inventions touch nearly aspect of life from the cars that we drive to the fillings in our teeth. All PR activities are thus executed in order to support this simple, concise, message.
#2 – Tell a complete story via fully controlled owned media.
While the message developed for mass consumption must be concise in order to be effective, the company can tell its complete, long-form story via owned media to offer color and context for the core message. Owned media, such as a company blog, Medium or LinkedIn Pulse articles authored by key brand executives, or even another digital property which is controlled by the brand (such as Adobe’s CMO.com), are effective channels for testing core messages and building relationships with both current and future customers. Fun fact: AirPR data show that thought-provoking, compelling owned media content (especially when posted on LinkedIn Pulse) is as effective as most earned media for driving traffic and enabling narrative spread.
#3 – Amplify the message via authentic, mass storytelling
If other storytellers (journalists, bloggers, influencers, your mom) emotionally connect with the core message, they can dramatically amplify the company’s message and carry forward the story in extended environments: social media, blogs, newsletters, etc. In an innovative PR world, any reader of a brand’s story has the potential to become a storyteller, effectively increasing the probability of a message going viral, or in the very least – having an element of “virality.”
#4 – Measure desired business outcomes, then refine the message and story
By accurately attributing PR activity to desired business outcomes, while also understanding which messages are resonating with key audiences, brands hoist themselves above the noise and position themselves as thought leaders.
This communications strategy has a clear business outcome — drive thought leadership.
Through thought leadership, this communications strategy can drive:
- qualified leads (registrations, web signups, etc).
- win rate
Effective PR data and analytics can help measure these business outcomes.