Automation in PR is currently a big topic.
We are all for automating anything and everything that makes your life easier. It’s what Coveragebook is based on; automating the tasks that are mundane and you don’t need a brain for.
However, we are under no illusion that everything can and should be automated. Relationships cannot be automated. Clipping coverage, pulling metrics and facts can. The insight behind these facts cannot. Many stakeholders will not read each individual piece of coverage, understand the blood sweat and tears that went into securing each piece or understand the target audience of every publication.
"It looks great but so what?"
This insight needs to be highlighted to fully understand both the effort and impact of your campaign.
This is why we allow you to add comments to coveragebooks. Although these can’t be 100% automated, we’d like to make life easier and so here are our best "So what?" tips of providing useful commentary for coverage reports.
1. Explain why you targeted the publication in the first place; was it due to the readership, domain authority, shares the stories get or their target audience of the publication?
2. Highlight if the publication has been on your client’s hit list for ages or if it's a hard site to get coverage on. You may want to mention how long you've been speaking to the journalist about this piece and explain the coverage was thanks to your persistence.
3. Is it a publication which often recommends your competitors? If so, you can talk about how great it is to now also have a presence there.
4. Have you just secured a brand mention? Or should you highlight there is also a link to your website, summary of the product, image and synopsis of your product’s key features? Unfortunately not every stakeholder will read each piece in detail so make sure your draw out the key points as if they haven’t read it.
5. If you have secured coverage on this site before, why is this piece different? Has you brand been mentioned in a different context, has it been positioned alongside other desirable bands, have a bigger mention than usual? Or is it in a different part of the site?
6. Have a look to see if the piece been shared by a lot of people, if so it shows people are enjoying and recommending the article. You can also have a look to see if anyone influential shared it and highlight what they said.
7. Do you know if the journalist (or anyone) has included a link to the piece of coverage in a newsletter or promoted the article further? If so, you can comment on where it was shared and to what type of audience.
8. Are people commenting on the piece? If so, this highlights an engaged readership. Bring out some of their comments.
9. Have you checked to see if the coverage led to increased sales? (You can do so with our free tool www.answertheclient.com) or did your client mention high website traffic/calls on the day the coverage landed?
10. Most importantly, if it’s just a mediocre piece of coverage, fine, let it be and don’t dress it up. Only big up the great pieces of coverage, adding commentary where useful and necessary, not to every piece or your readers will become blind to it.
So next time you create a coveragebook, have a look at each piece of coverage and ask yourself “So what?” and if there’s a what, highlight it. Take credit for your hard work. You’ve earned it.