You want to start engaging with PR activity to raise brand awareness and support SEO efforts, but the question is, should you invest in a long-term PR strategy or take a short-term approach? 

When deciding between a long-term or short-term PR approach, it’s important to remember your overall business goals and objectives and what you hope to achieve from leveraging PR tactics. 

What is a PR strategy? 

A PR strategy is a collection of methods and tactics backed up by research to support a business moving from its current situation to an end goal. This goal might include raising brand awareness, positioning the brand as a thought leader in its industry, generating traffic and lead generation, and improving keyword positioning, among other goals. A PR strategy might include activities such as traditional PR and digital PR

Long-term PR strategy 

A long-term PR strategy is all about building a sustained and meaningful presence within your industry. While short-term PR can provide quick (but potentially fleeting) results, long-term PR focuses on creating a lasting impact and driving consistent brand engagement. 

Benefits of a long-term PR strategy:  

Sustained brand awareness: A prominent benefit of engaging with a long-term PR strategy vs. a short-term one is sustained brand awareness. By ensuring that PR tactics are utilised over a more extended period, brands are more likely to be top of mind for their target audiences and journalists. Being present within relevant media will create brand recognition—this is important for businesses, as this type of awareness influences purchasing decisions, and this association with a brand will make consumers choose them over competitors, ultimately creating loyalty. 

Sure, a business will benefit from some level of brand awareness if it engages in short bursts of PR activity. However, if momentum isn’t continued beyond just one or two PR campaigns, the level of awareness and recognition will wear off even if results were largely positive (e.g., brand mentions and links generated from PR campaigns, increased traffic to priority pages, etc). To amplify these positive outcomes, ongoing efforts are necessary to maintain consistent results.

Credibility and trustworthiness: When a consistent level of brand awareness has been achieved through a long-term PR strategy and recognition is gained, key target audiences will start to view an organisation as credible and trustworthy. If a brand receives regular brand mentions, it will indicate to readers that it’s a reliable source and leading expert within their area. Not only this, but once this confidence has been established towards a brand and exposure within their industry is consistent, they will become front of mind for journalists covering the topics and themes within their industry. 

A good example of this is when working with fertility educator Fertility Matters at Work, where we positioned them as a credible and trustworthy source within the fertility space. Through a long-term PR strategy which included a mix of traditional and digital PR tactics, the brand’s experts became a go-to source for fertility insights, so much so that journalists would regularly get in touch with our team without us having to pitch to them, requesting unique insights and commentary for an article. 

SEO benefits:  Engaging in a long-term PR strategy significantly supports SEO efforts. While brand awareness is often a primary objective for businesses utilising PR, other important goals include enhancing online visibility, driving traffic, and generating leads. To do this, building a solid backlink profile and gaining regular brand mentions over a longer period is vital. 

Before developing a PR campaign, it’s important to consider its aim. Brand awareness is often a given, but we need to consider other objectives for an SEO-driven campaign, such as gaining SERP positioning for a certain keyword, driving traffic to priority pages, and gaining backlinks in relevant publications. Once you know your objectives, you can create a highly targeted campaign to deliver specific results. 

Achieving meaningful and impactful SEO results takes time. SEO benefits are rarely instantaneous; they require commitment, consistency, and ongoing refinement to achieve and maintain. Relying solely on generating large PR campaigns after PR campaigns for the purpose of scaling backlinks from any old publication or website is not sustainable or effective. 

Google values authenticity and trustworthiness, so it’s beneficial to consider creating smaller, targeted campaigns with accompanying SEO-optimised blog content and engage in a variety of other PR tactics, such as press office monitoring and thought leadership. This approach, sustained over a longer period, will position your brand as a source of valuable insights and engaging stories. Additionally, it will help diversify your backlink profile, enhancing your SEO efforts. 

Measurement and adaptability: Unlike a short-term PR strategy, a long-term approach allows tracking and measuring efforts and effectiveness over an extended period. Reporting on this data is crucial, as it allows for understanding what works and where informed adjustments need to be made. By analysing performance, metrics and trends, a call can be made on whether refinements need to be made to align with factors such as the competitor landscape and the media landscape or a brand’s own goals and objectives that may have shifted compared to when the activity started. 

Short-term PR strategy 

For businesses engaging in more traditional PR tactics, where you might want to shout about a recent business win, new hire, or you want to promote recruitment, short-term bursts of PR definitely has its benefits. Similarly, engaging in more digital tactics, such as gift guide activities can be beneficial during seasonal peaks, such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day, where eCommerce brands want to see their products in key publications. 

Why is developing a PR strategy important?

Developing a comprehensive strategy is essential regardless of the activity you choose—be it PR, social media, or an integrated approach. This involves analysing the competitive and media landscape, defining the brand’s objectives for the activity, determining its place within the sales funnel, and clarifying its role. Additionally, setting clear timelines and expectations is crucial to ensure all involved parties understand the strategy, deliverables, rationale behind them, and expected outcomes.

Starting any activity without research and rationale is a risky game. For us PRs, this is a surefire way to chase unclear outcomes and feel increased pressure, and for brands, this can leave expectations open to interpretation, which can cause strained relationships. 

Investing in a long-term PR strategy can help a business achieve maintainable growth, strengthen its brand reputation, and support SEO efforts. Compared to a short-term strategy, which might focus on quick wins, a long-term approach focuses on long-lasting and measurable results that directly impact the business. 

Contact us to discuss how we can develop a bespoke SEO-driven PR strategy for your business. Alternatively, you can book a 30-minute introductory call with our Managing Director, Katrina Cliffe

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