With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the temptation for many PR people, and let’s face it, journalists, to jump on the romantic themed bandwagon might for some be hard to resist. But what can us PRs learn from the most romantic day of the year?
Finding your loved one a last-minute present at the petrol station is unlikely to bode well! Leaving your Valentine’s PR campaign to the last minute is just the same – it also isn’t likely to be effective. You might reasonably expect that most if not all florists will have been preparing for 14 February 2019, since, well this last time year! For small businesses such as florists, there is a particularly strong argument for planning ahead and building local links to aid your marketing campaign.
If you’re planning your content marketing calendar for the year ahead, take a step back and have a think about the subjects, issues, special days and other notable dates that will give you a platform to provide comment upon or use them to build a story, from a PR perspective.
Or, if that’s not your bag, have a think about a themed initiative, email marketing campaign, product giveaway or discuss working with another local business to join forces to promote your business in a way that will help to make it stand out from the crowd.
Speaking of links – backlinks that is – they remain as important ever to the make-up of Google’s ever-changing algorithm. And while some journalists might not either understand or even enjoy being asked to provide an external link within content to a business’ website, it remains an imperative part of SEO.
Getting your partner a small present, such as a box of chocolate, is a nice touch that they’ll appreciate, but making them their favourite meal and showering them with thoughtful gifts is going to get your far more brownie points and help boost your relationship.
‘Linkless mentions’, that is mentions of a business without a hyperlink in on or off-line content still remain helpful to SEO – think of this as the box of chocolates. However, a quality link from a high-ranking domain authority site will feed into your own site’s ability to be found by prospective customers. To help grow a site’s domain authority, its sometimes best to take the opportunity to ask for the link at the outset. However, most journalists, in our experience, are happy to help once content has been published. Think of these links as the homecooked favourite meal and thoughtful gifts – they’re going to be much more powerful in boosting your domain authority and SEO.
Journalists and PRs alike are looking for a ‘hook’ or opportunity to comment upon and while a seasonal or a special awareness day might not in itself constitute the basis for an actual story, it certainly makes it a lot easier for businesses, large or small, to provide topical comment. Ideally these need to link directly or otherwise to the nature of what it is you do or the service that you offer, otherwise it will seem irrelevant and possibly inappropriate. Imagine taking your love interest to a steak house for Valentine’s Day only to find out they’re vegetarian – your romantic gesture isn’t going to have the desired impact! Knowing your audience and making your PR and link building relevant is similar to this, you need to know your audience for maximum impact!
There are brilliant marketing opportunities, including Valentine’s Day, that can be built upon, which if you can square the circle and make the connection between your business and the PR driven ‘story’ then it’s an opportunity to make a name for yourself. In doing so, you’ll be bringing your business to the attention of more potential customers. And that’s something that all business owners, small, medium or large, will always be happy to hear about.
Author: Judith Dow, PR Account Manager