If you want to create end-to-end PR campaigns that can be monitored, measured and readily improved, HubSpot is a perfect choice. In this blog post, we explain why you and your PR department should be using HubSpot to take your PR to the next level.
Tired of being unable to justify the impact of your PR activities to your CEO and CMO? Want to automate the more repetitive tasks of your PR outreach programme? Need a better understanding of what’s being said about your brand and where?
We’ve got a simple solution for you: HubSpot.
You might not have considered HubSpot for PR – after all, it’s widely known as a marketing automation platform – but if you really want to take your PR to the next level, demonstrate its impact and create incredible campaigns, keep reading.
In this blog, we’re going to explain why you and the rest of your PR team should be using HubSpot (if you aren’t already)!
1. Attribute value to website visitors and contacts
In the past, the main challenge for PR professionals has been attribution – showing how their activities benefit the business. The reason for this came down to a lack of sophisticated analytics; there was no way for PR professionals to show the CMO or CEO how content creation, outreach or coverage influenced (either directly or indirectly) leads generated or sales opportunities.
Back then, PR professionals only measured impressions, reach and advertising value equivalent (AVE), all of which are vanity metrics and considered unimportant in the modern business landscape.
But thanks to the tools that exist today – hello, HubSpot – PR professionals are moving away from these outdated and inaccurate metrics, and can now connect the dots between activities.
Using tools like HubSpot, you can see how a PR outreach or content creation programme contributes to an increase in website traffic, conversions or sales. And that’s keeping it simple.
For example, by setting up a campaign in HubSpot and associating all PR activities with that campaign (this is as easy as setting the campaign tag for each activity done via HubSpot), you can track everything related to it. This includes views, conversions, new contacts, deals created, sales revenue related to deals and much more.
You can alsocreate custom tracking URLs and include them in the content you pitch to the media. This will enable you to track inbound traffic to your website from external sources. Also, it will build domain authority (especially if that article is published by a prominent publication) and show the capabilities of your outreach programme. Our advice? Make sure the tracking URL links to another piece of relevant content (or even a downloadable piece of content) so that you can drive conversions through your PR activities.
2. Manage journalist contact records
The most successful PR professionals keep an up-to-date record of the journalists they deal with – particularly those who regularly cover their clients’ areas of expertise. But when you’re engaging with hundreds of journalists each week (with only a fraction being actively interested) it can be hard to keep track of everything that’s going on.
A notepad won’t cut it. Neither will a Google doc filled with email addresses (and we all know that’s hardly GDPR compliant).
HubSpot provides a cost-effective and scalable journalist management solution through their CRM. HubSpot’s CRM allows you and your team to not only build records for the journalists you engage with, but also set up tasks, notifications, meetings (which can be great when you’re jostling for time with journalists), take notes and much more. With HubSpot’s CRM, you have a real-time record of all your journalist contacts – from when they open your emails to when they speak to one of your team.
A few other key benefits include the ability to automate emails (helping your team reach out to more journalists) and record calls. Never forget the context of a PR call again!
PR is all about communication, but do you know what’s being said about your brand or those you represent? If you’re not in a position to check (i.e. you don’t have social media monitoring tools) – you’re missing out on an opportunity to manage the way your brand is perceived.
Monitoring the media (particularly social media in our digital-first age) is a core part of any PR strategy, but many – once again – lack the tools to see what’s being said, including when, where and why. This is whereHubSpot’s social media monitoring tool can help.
With HubSpot’s social media monitoring tool, you can:
See conversations happening about your brand and add specific terms you want to monitor (these could be branded terms, products or phrases related to what you do)
Publish content and messaging directly to your social networks in the same place you build campaigns
Tag social media efforts to PR campaigns, allowing you to track performance
Connect with people who love your brand and content
View every interaction with your messages
Tie social media efforts back to your business’ bottom line with out-of-the-box social reports
For you as a PR professional, social media is one of the most important and pivotal channels. Knowing how people interpret your messages online will help you to steer your campaigns in the right direction and provide your target audience with the content they need.
Imagine if you could quickly build blogs and web pages to support your PR campaigns without asking your marketing team or a website development agency to do it for you? Things would be beautiful!
However, this is often far from the case.
We all know just how reliant PR campaigns are on the production of new content and downloadable collateral, but normally there are limitations on how quickly that content can be published. PR professionals do the hard work of producing the press releases, news announcements, blogs, opinion articles and market research reports – but then the content is left with marketing to “build” and “publish” because they’re the only ones who know how to use the “super complex CMS”.
Platforms like HubSpot make it easy for anyone – regardless of their background or skill level – to publish new website content (blogs, web pages, landing pages, thank you pages) for campaigns with ease. The HubSpot CMS uses a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editor, meaning as you build a page, you can see exactly how it will look once it is live.
Another cool thing about the HubSpot CMS is that everything is drag-and-drop. You don’t need to know how to code to make your pages look amazing. It’s never been easier to do things on-the-fly. There’s also an SEO recommendations toolbar on the left that provides advice on how to improve a page, meaning you don’t need to be a Google wizard, either.
As with all the other tools mentioned thus far, any new pages you create using HubSpot can be linked to a campaign – once again giving you complete visibility of your activities and how they contribute to the business’ bottom line.
Emailing journalists and editors to see if they will cover/publish your story can consume a lot of your time and your team’s time, especially if you’re having to write every email from scratch.
Even with a stock response, you still have to fill in the recipient’s name, attach the piece of content (or a link to it), reference the client and add the best ways to get in touch with you.
Doing all of this can take hours out of your day each week, so why not automate the process using HubSpot’s email automation?
With HubSpot’s email automation, you can put PR outreach on autopilot, giving you more time to focus on delivering value. Just choose from a list of email templates and task options and enrol a contact from your HubSpot database (which was covered earlier).
You can then personalise the email using tokens and/or contact/company details relating to the recipient (which will again be stored in your CRM), making your emails more human and engaging.
For the best results, consider creating separate lists for your journalist and editor contacts, i.e. those you work with frequently versus those who aren’t interested, so that you can quickly pull contacts into an automated email workflow.