Ask stakeholders what success will feel and look like to them. Take note of quantitative and qualitative goals that matter to your stakeholders.
You might receive answers that you can measure, like increased traffic, conversions and revenue. Others might be seem frivolous on the surface, like having a story placed in a particular publication. Regardless, hitting these success goals can excite and engage your stakeholders.
For example, telling a startup business that they will get placement coverage in a big publication like TechCrunch is not helpful and can damage credibility if this unlikely goal is not achieved. Instead, talk clients through the realistic publications they can expect to place in during the first few months of the campaign or business launch.
Showing external examples helps to set expectations and educate stakeholders about what they can expect, along with how those brands approached getting the relevant coverage. For example, understanding that similar brands have received success by placing human interest stories in a specific trade publication, the tactical approach might shift to a more human interest-based pitch.
Communicate transparently and more frequently than you otherwise might at the start of a strategy. Give stakeholders a sense of progress in the early stages where they aren’t getting live coverage.
People get restless quickly when they don’t see initial results for a multi-month campaign. Proactive reporting helps people understand that publishing schedules for news outlets and media websites can change, based on unpredictable factors like breaking news, which are out of your control.
Consider reporting on article acceptances and providing monthly warm and confirmed lead updates.
Educate stakeholders about journalist timelines and how long it will usually take to have articles published.
Make stakeholders aware that journalists have quite strict timelines that they work to, and there often isn’t very much you can do to speed those up. Refer back to the conversation when stakeholders get frustrated and want to push articles through to publication faster.