5 Data-Backed Tips for Boosting Your PR Response Rate
As a brand, your public image matters. However, it is important to note that 55 percent of people have a natural distrusts for brands. In the internet age not only do people discover information in a split second, but they can actually influence a brand’s future depending on what they share. It is up to you to take charge of your brand and control how you are perceived.
Simply ignoring your brand, or taking a lackadaisical approach to your PR and hoping things work will no longer work. You have to take a proactive approach to PR, and below are 5 data-backed tips guaranteed to boost your PR response rate.
1. Be Quick and Sharp. Embrace the KISS Principle
If you want to get results from your PR efforts, wordiness is something you should avoid — it will always lead to disaster.
Most people feel that if you have a lot to say then you should say a lot, but this might actually result in you being filtered out by your audience; in a recent Microsoft Corp. study, that studied 2,000 people and monitored brain activity of 112 other people, it was observed that the average human attention span has declined rapidly; we’ve gone from having an attention span of 12 seconds in the year 2000 to now having an attention span of 8 seconds. For comparison, a goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds. Essentially, we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.
The Microsoft study also ties in with research about the role speed plays in the online economy — with slow websites costing the U.S. e-commerce market a whopping $500 billion annually.
If you want to boost your PR response rate, you need to know that we’re no longer in an era of wordiness; instead, the key to success at this point in time is to embrace the KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) principle.
2. Follow up No Later than 48 Hours
A good part of your PR often involves reaching out to other people, but how do you know when to follow up and when to wait? Naturally, we don’t want to appear to be bugging people, but solid research has shown that the best time to follow up when you don’t get a response to your email is 48 hours after you
sent your email. This fact was established by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering in a recent study that they conducted. The study observed the email behavior of over 2 million people who exchanged 16 billion emails over the course of several months. The findings show that if you don’t get a response to your email within 48 hours of sending it, there’s a 90 percent likelihood you won’t be getting a response to it at all.
So when you send emails as part of your outreach effort, you don’t have to wait one or two weeks to know that you won’t be getting a response. If you don’t get a response within 48 hours, research shows that it is highly likely you won’t be getting any. Follow up immediately.
3. Be Super Responsive When People Reach Out to You
You know the data from the Microsoft study referenced earlier, that attention spans is rapidly declining? Well, it has other implications: due to increasingly shortened attention spans, if you don’t respond quickly when people reach out to you it has serious implications for your brand.
Research shows that people expect to hear back from your brand quickly when they interact with you on Twitter; in fact, 53 percent of people on Twitter expect a response within an hour of contacting any brand. Research also shows that if their experience with you is bad, or if they feel that you are unresponsive, they are highly likely to tell others about this experience.Email Isn’t
4. Going Away Anytime Soon, but Social Media is Just as Important
Email is probably the biggest part of the web; research shows that around 2.5 million emails are sent every second. This explains why we’re always overwhelmed by emails, so this must mean we should avoid email as much as we can when doing important outreach, right? Not really. According to a Muck Rack survey, email is still the preferred way for journalists to receive story pitches; if you’d like to be covered in the media, you have a higher chance if you reach out via email.
However, that doesn’t rule out the importance of social media; the Muck Rack study also revealed that 76 percent of journalists feel pressure to think about the social media potential of their story. In other words, even though email is still as important as ever, a big part of getting the media coverage you want involves ensuring that your story has social media potential. If journalists don’t feel that your story will do well in social media, there’s a high chance they won’t cover you.
5. Learn a Bit of Copywriting
For effective PR outreach, you might need to learn a bit of copywriting — literally. Research shows that you have about 3 seconds to catch the eye of a journalist, and 79 percent of journalists say that subject lines affect the emails they open; journalists receive an average of 50 to 100 press releases every week, and there’s a limit to what they can cover. If your press release or pitch isn’t attractive enough, you’re at a disadvantage.
Having knowledge of how to write attractive headlines and how to write attention-grabbing introductions will certainly give you an edge. More importantly, it was revealed that if a journalist happened to read your pitch, he or she is likely to spend less than one minute reading it. 68 percent of journalists just want the facts, and 53 percent of journalists prefer that you deliver your facts in bullet points. Be sure to highlight facts that journalists need to cover you where it is important.
John Stevens is a marketing professional, growth consultant and CEO at Hosting Facts. When he is not writing or reading about fascinating psychology experiments, he’s probably tending his large beards.