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How to Use Real-Time PR to Generate Conversions and Sales

Real-time PR, the art and science of injecting your ideas into a trending topic, is a generally tried-and-true method for generating brand awareness and buzz.

Real-Time PR

Some brands are more successful than others; they understand the importance of responding quickly to a trending topic and “injecting” a clever and relevant tweet or blog post into the social conversation.

Other brands either join the conversation too late, or their insertions into the topic are viewed more as disruptions rather than as enhancements of the conversation.

Awareness and buzz, while beneficial, are not the only outcomes of real-time PR; brands have used the tactic to generate conversions and sales.

Nike, for instance, stole the show at the London Olympics with its “Volt” shoes. The tennis shoes’ appearance generated not only buzz but also a bump in sales.

Real-Time PR for Conversions

Downton Abby - Real-Time PR

One of the better-known examples of real-time PR for conversions is found with a healthcare network. When MultiCare Health discovered that a recent Downton Abbey episode featured the condition eclampsia, the brand wrote a blog post about the topic and published it within 24 hours of the original air date.

People visited the site in greater numbers than usual, but, more importantly, they clicked through to the appointment page. A number of those visitors then scheduled appointments with healthcare providers.

To see similar success with real-time PR for conversions, consider the following tips:

  1. Watch for trending topics that are relevant to your brand and immediately create content about them.
  2. View your real-time PR, be it a tweet, an Instagram post, or a blog post, as a lead path.
  3. Once your viewer interacts with that tweet or post, provide them with additional information they can easily access.
    1. On Twitter, this can be accomplished with Twitter Cards.
    2. On Instagram, conversions can be a bit more challenging to enact. One way to do it is to add a call to action (CTA) to either the visual element or the caption.
    3. On your own site, the options are more plentiful – embedded links, a CTA at the end of the post, a pop-up, or a sign-up form in the side bar.

Want even more tips? Register for Alissa Blate’s free “Make the Most of Your PR With Real-Time Tactics” webinar now!

Real-Time PR for Sales

Nike Volt Olympics - Real-Time PR

Real-time PR for sales more often relies upon thought leadership. You find a trending topic or event, such as a company merger, and share your insights into what that acquisition means for your industry as a whole.

Your work generates several results, one of which is brand awareness and buzz. News outlets need quotes from authority figures and influencers. The other is interest in your brand and your product or service. By offering insights into an event and its ramifications, you establish yourself as a credible, trusted source, a quality necessary to closing sales.

Thought leadership isn’t the only method; Nike’s real-time PR during the Olympics increased sales because of the influencer factor. Athletes wearing the Volt while receiving their medals became synonymous with winning and the “just do it” mantra. When consumers visited an athletic store following the Olympics, they probably gravitated toward the Volt not simply because of its color but because of all the athletes who wore them while competing in the games.

To be successful with real-time PR for sales, you can choose a number of methods but remember the following two tips:

  1. If you want to generate sales, you have to become a trusted resource, which is often done by establishing yourself as a thought leader within your industry.
  2. If you want to generate sales, you need to seek ways to “influence” people’s purchasing decisions, generally through showing your product or service in day-to-day use.

Have you attempted real-time PR? What results have you experienced?

Learn to leverage real-time better at Alissa Blate’s free webinar! Register now!

Image: Richard Phipps, Gary Bembridge (Creative Commons)

About Erin Feldman

Erin Feldman is the director of editorial services at Tenacity5 Media. When she isn’t researching, writing, and editing blog posts and white papers, she writes poetry and essays, draws her favorite Write Right character, and plans what art form to study next. She’s based in Austin, Texas and can be found on Twitter @erinmfeldman.

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