Looking to get up to speed on a topic fast? Join us for a full-day, intensive workshop this October 12 in Boston.
Listen
NEW! Listen to article

The 2016 book Play Bigger introduced the world to the idea of a marketing "lightning strike"—an approach now core to many marketers' strategies.

Just like the flash of light that instantly draws attention to the sky, the right amount of planning can enable your brand to implement its own proverbial lightning strike to support your product marketing strategy and momentarily capture attention within your market.

Creating a lightning strike moment all comes down to your ability to coordinate messages across the company for that single flash of impact. It might sound simple, but it's often easier said than done—especially for enterprise companies that have a lot going on across their various business units. From employees' social posts to a CEO's keynote presentation to email drip campaigns that hit customers' inboxes, everything must point to one coordinated message.

No matter how coordinated your marketing machine is, though, you're missing a major opportunity if PR isn't part of your lightning strike planning. The biggest mistake a company can make is siloing its PR campaigns from the rest of its lightning-powered energy. PR can and should support your marketing lightning strikes. Here's how.

PR can enforce a marketing narrative

Every lightning strike has its own unique narrative, and media coverage is the perfect way to enforce that narrative outside of your company's four walls (or your digital walls). From interviews to contributed articles, your thought leaders—the people representing your company outwardly—can reinforce your message by focusing their attention on your lightning strike narrative.

For example, if you're a B2B enterprise marketing company focused on launching a new product that exclusively uses first-party data to inform its actions, it could be the perfect time for your CEO to join a few marketing-focused podcasts to talk about why third-party data is dead, or for your product lead to write a contributed article for a trade publication on why to make the switch from third- to first-party data sources.

Such pieces of coverage are components of a well-rounded media strategy, and they also help create a "hit from all sides" approach to relaying your most important message. Time the coverage just right, and you'll have those interviews and articles to share across your audience base alongside your new product news to create a messaging flash that makes sense.

Your audience will not only see the product news but also associate your thought leaders as experts on the overarching subject matter as they dive deeper into the topic through media coverage.

PR can showcase third-party buy-in

You can talk about how great your company is all you want on your blog, LinkedIn, and email newsletter, but tooting your own horn can go only so far. Media coverage gives you the opportunity to build up your brand outside of your own channels.

So, as you turn on your own marketing machine, let PR support the process through third-party collaboration. Buyers tend to take in five pieces of content before talking to a sales representative, according to TechTarget research. Imagine if those five pieces of content were all third-party, reputable sources.

Media coverage such as a contributed article in Fast Company or TechCrunch or an interview with your industry's most prominent trade publication can give you the extra bit of credibility to really make an impact with your audience. That coverage shows your audience that the message you're putting out (your marketing lightning strike) is important enough for a third party to put out into the world, too—and that's something even the mostly perfectly designed drip campaign can't do.

PR can extend your reach

Beyond enforcing your narrative and creating third-party validation, media coverage opens up your brand to a new audience you may have never previously reached with your lightning strike. Whether they're the niche audience of a trade publication such as CMSWire or DevOps.com or the broader business crowd of a national publication such as Forbes or The Wall Street Journal, those readers are likely people you may have never interacted with if your name hadn't popped up in their favorite publication.

The plus side of media coverage is that you can get as targeted or as general as you like. You have the option to reach a broader business audience with publications such as Inc. and Entrepreneur or the choice to home in on your own unique industry crowd with a targeted trade publication such as Supply Chain Quarterly or DevOps Digest.

* * *

Your marketing lightning strike can be more than an email campaign and a pretty booth at a tradeshow. In fact, it should be! By coordinating your external voice through a well-timed lightning strike of marketing and PR, your brand's most important message can be at the heart of everything you do—and top-of-mind for your audience.

More Resources on How PR Supports Marketing

How Marketing and Comms Can Team Up on Earned Media [Infographic]

A PR Primer for Marketers: Five Steps to Bigger Buzz | MarketingProfs Webinar

How to Make Public Relations Drive SEO

Sign up for free to read the full article. Enter your email address to keep reading ...


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image of Lydia Beechler

Lydia Beechler is a director of success at BLASTmedia, a B2B SaaS PR agency. Using her knack for storytelling, she has secured placements for her clients in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Fortune, Forbes, and more.

LinkedIn: Lydia Beechler