Education marketing – getting more value from PR

Going beyond sales conversions

Many prospective clients ask me: How do we measure the value of a PR campaign and understand the return on investment? It’s a good question to ask. Certainly, online coverage has made it easier to understand how people are reacting to content, which makes links to sales more tangible. But perhaps it is because of this that the additional benefits of PR are often overlooked. There are other ways to dig deeper and measure campaign success. And by rethinking your education marketing campaign activity, you can also increase the value of your PR.

Incorporating PR into your SEO strategy

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to how a search engine determines where you rank in its search results. A key factor is the number, and quality, of backlinks to your site from other web pages and how authoritative and relevant Google deems those links to be.

PR is a great way to increase the number of websites linking to your own site. Google is far too savvy these days to let you boost your ranking by placing coverage on random ‘link farms’, so the best route to securing links is through targeted PR generating quality online coverage.

So, liaise with your education marketing team to make sure your press release is as optimised as your website, including keywords in headlines and main paragraphs of news content.

Also, the more online coverage you get, containing the right keywords, the more Google real-estate you’ll own on a search result. And with research showing that the first page of Google receives 95 percent of all web traffic, it is clear why PR needs to be part of your SEO toolkit.

Incorporating PR into your content and education marketing strategy

For many organisations, content is now fundamental to their education marketing effort. PR generates content, whether that’s a press release, images, videos, reports or research and it can all be repurposed as part of your wider content marketing strategy. Here are some of the ways you can create content from your PR:

  • Convert a press release into a news item or blog
  • Take data from research and create simple infographics in a program like Canva
  • Combine images into a collage and share it through your social channels
  • Share coverage through your social channels and e-newsletter
  • Upload a research report and ask people to provide their email details to download a copy

So, make sure you squeeze the maximum value from the content created by PR, it’s a gold mine.

Using PR to support sales

When a business secures positive PR it acts as a great resource for the sales team. They can get in touch with prospects to share a link to the coverage, even providing a tracking URL so they know how many of their prospects clicked on the link. An impartial, third party endorsement from a trusted platform is a fantastic asset to add to a sales presentation.

So, you see there is a lot to be gained by incorporating PR into your wider content marketing and SEO strategy. But that’s just the beginning! Thinking about PR as simply a way to generate leads means you can overlook some other great benefits too.

Building trust and credibility

In the words of marketing guru Guy Kawasaki, “Brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you’re saying about yourself.” Creating engaging content is an important part of your marketing strategy but if no-one trusts you as a source, your content is less likely to reach a wide audience and start conversations. Trust and familiarity are fundamental in driving your audience to share your content. That’s where you can leverage PR to build awareness about your organisation.

Editorial coverage is gilt-edged and demonstrates that the wider world is interested in a company and what it does. It is an implicit endorsement and makes coverage a valuable way to build your credibility and protect your reputation now, and for the future. It can also help to establish trust with prospective investors too.

Diverting attention from competitors

Of course, PR isn’t simply about making your brand the centre of attention, it’s also about keeping the attention away from your competitors. Every mention, article and feature written online about your brand or product helps detract from your competitors, so don’t just analyse your own outputs, measure against the competition.

So there you have it. Simply measuring PR in relation to direct sales does not give you the full picture of the value of PR to your entire organisation.

PR helps to generate awareness, establish credibility and develop and protect your reputation. These foundations are crucial in influencing people’s decisions to do business with you.

Take a whole-organisation approach to PR and you will instantly begin to gain more value.

To discuss the ways that we can help you get greater value from your PR campaign, please give me a call on +44 (0)7813 938 020 or drop me an email to