We’ve known for quite some time that content is king. Likewise, we are well aware that distribution is queen. All the same, theory and practice are often far apart. Everyone knows that a mix of paid, earned, shared and owned works best for achieving your goals. But for PR professionals in B2B, all too often the first idea that is put forward is: “Perhaps if we put out a press release…?”
If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Constantly keeping the PESO model in mind when determining your communication tools only becomes a reflex after a little practice. We have an excellent grasp of this skill by now and ensure that our clients can also make the most of PESO on an ongoing basis.
BCD Travel: from EMEA trends press release to global trends campaign
Travel management company BCD Travel keeps its finger on the pulse of new developments in the business travel area. So, in October, it came as no surprise when we were asked to start thinking about a ‘Trends 2018’ press release already. The only thing is that every man and his dog want to do something with ‘next year’s trends’. So how could we stand out? What’s more, we’re very much of the ‘if we’re going to do something, we’re going to do it well’ school, so even collecting the input for the trends promised to be a major accomplishment.
Our answer to the client was therefore as follows: we would love to crack on with the press release, as long as we are given both the time and the access to make it absolutely top quality. And if we’re working for you anyway, could we also set up a landing page, social media campaign, social media ads, interviews with experts and the client communication at the same time? Pretty please? They said yes.
Step 1: developing the right content
Content is king
As everyone knows, it can be quite painful but always benefits the content in the end: writing involves a lot of crossing out. And putting things together. And still trying to fit in that interesting piece of news somewhere. Our puzzle-in-a-puzzle eventually consisted of six parts:
- Fly for business
More air traffic, tighter security precautions and networking on the plane. That’s what business travellers need to hear.
- Sleep for business
Bleisure is both hot and cool simultaneously. Business travellers want the same treatment as people who are going on holiday, and new apps simplify the booking and payment processes.
- Secure data privacy for business travellers
We certainly don’t need to tell you that GDPR is on the way.
- Travel for business responsibly
Green thinking is bang on trend, including for companies. Video conferences, trains and virtual reality can all help us to travel by plane a bit less often. Could the number of business trips drop in 2018?
- Prepare for the future of business travel
The future won’t stop once 2018 is over, what about 2020, 2025 or 2030? Automation, invisibility, digitalization.
- Use travel technology for business
Our showpiece: technology. Anyone who isn’t focusing on digitalization at this point will fall hopelessly behind, and thankfully our clients understand this. Technology can make a huge difference to the future of business travel, and in fact to the future of every sector. Imagine: a virtual personal assistant for everyone. Flight delayed? No panic. Your assistant will automatically reschedule your appointment, change your flight or make sure that the hotel is aware of the change in plans. Mobile payments will make everything easier for both business travellers and employers. Our focus in the press release…
Step 2: Enter PESO
Distribution is queen, and she wears the pants
No matter how interesting your content may be, if you don’t get the message across in the right way you might just as well not bother. If we really want to make the most of it, there’s only one way to go: PESO.
Start with Owned
A PESO strategy always starts with owned, as this is something you have complete control over. For BCD Travel, this was their own website. A mock-up of our idea for the landing page brought up the question: ‘Couldn’t we turn this into a global campaign?’. It’s always good to see the client responding positively to something you are working on with passion. However, a global campaign requires global approval. And in this case, it worked in our favour. We now had our pick of experts it would otherwise be hard to get hold of. Result: more input for the landing page, the press release and the interviews with international experts. If only we had known beforehand that things could be so easy… The news also made it into the BCD Travel newsletter, so we could be sure that the customers would read about what was coming their way.
You have to Earn it
Once the website went online, we could start to put it out there (sadly, going viral in B2B is more of an exception than the rule). Everyone loves a scoop, and that included the journalists who we contacted with our story. For each language region, we selected the types of media: general, business, vertical and trade. A journalist wanting an interview? OK: first come, first served. Local spokesperson or someone who specialises in the technological side of the story? The journalist could choose.
Sharing is caring
A social media campaign is a lot of work, but thankfully it also brings many benefits. We designed images based on the landing page. A suitable post for each theme and then some reflection on the practical aspects: how long do we want the campaign to run for, how often will we post, should we be taking trending topics into account? Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. With suitable posts for each medium at various different times. After all, repeating the message makes it stick. And would the staff mind sharing it too, please?
No billboards or advertisements, instead think social media advertising. Alternating with the organic posts on Facebook and LinkedIn, we also created a few paid posts. This is the easiest way to reach new people without a massive budget. For just a fraction of the price of a print advertisement, you can target whoever you like. As a result, you know that your message will reach people who are genuinely interested in it. All you need to do is make sure that it attracts and retains their attention.
Step 3: Measure the effect
This is the most nerve-racking step in the whole process. The campaign had cost us blood, sweat and tears, or certainly sweat and overtime, but what effect did it have? The initial results were positive: journalists quickly showed an interest in interviews with the local and international spokespeople. Articles were published in several major newspapers, trade publications and specialist journals.
In Belgium and the Netherlands, interviews appeared in:
Alongside the interviews, several specialist media also picked up on the press release, which helped to make the campaign a success.
The landing page experienced several peak moments. The first time was when we contacted journalists with the interview pitch. And the other peak moments? They pretty much coincided with the posts on social media. New post? New visitors. This was followed by the evaluation. What did we think, and what did the client think? Everyone was enthusiastic during the process, but did this also apply after the campaign? The experience of BCD Travel was evidently pretty similar to ours. The campaign was one of the highlights of 2017. And better still: one of their goals for the future was to set up more campaigns like this one. Always good to know that your approach is appreciated. New PESO followers: check!
Practical tips for working with PESO
Take a piece of paper and draw 4 circles on it. Start with owned media: how can you publicise what you have done on the media over which you have complete control? Repeat this for paid, earned and shared and before you know it, you will have discovered the direction your campaign should be heading in. Lost your way a little? No worries, sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees either. If this happens, a handy tool is the PR deck, obtain them here.