By Camile Sardina | March 13, 2023
When starting a PR campaign, it’s only natural to wonder, “how will we measure success?”
While there’s certainly some data we can turn to—the number of articles and/or interviews a campaign nets, the size of the news outlets running coverage, audience growth and views—data alone is not enough. That’s because there’s a magic that comes with public relations: with every published story or distributed pitch, there’s a chance of unknown potential for something great or unexpected to happen. It can be a new opportunity, a brightened image, supporters, or fresh stories to tell. Here at BookSavvy we call it the ripple effect. The magnitude of it won’t be known until it starts.
Now, we know jumping into the PR-verse can feel scary, especially as you wait for results. But take it from us at BookSavvy, every pitch lands with forward motion underneath.
And the ripple effect not only brings happy surprises: it keeps on growing long after the PR campaign.
Here are some of the many ripple effect scenarios we get excited about:
Credibility, trust, and respect coming in from all walks of life
When people see positive stories about someone in the media, it’s natural to feel impressed by them. They worked hard to build something and get their story heard. And the media cared enough to cover it. It’s respect.
And if a media outlet people trust to cover someone’s story, then by proxy, the people are likely to trust the person behind the story. Now respect is topped with trust and credibility. And that not only comes from unknown readers, viewers, and listeners, but also family and friends.
BookSavvy client Sameer Chopra and his mother were given grief from family members for years about Sameer not pursuing the doctor/lawyer track that so many of them followed. Moreso his mother. But after his mom saw the success of his campaign, she was given the opportunity to brag about what Sameer has accomplished; and their family sees him in a new light now.
New fans trickling or stampeding in
Author Margot Machol Bisnow never had actual fans until her first-ever PR campaign with BookSavvy. All it took was one published parenting article in CNBC.com to make that change. Margot woke up one morning to hundreds of new followers and messages on Instagram with questions about her article. One resonating story has the power to do that.
In fact, Margot’s article did so well that the editor asked her to be a consistent contributor for CNBC; which leads me to the next point…
Opportunities come knocking, minutes or months later
Remember how impressed Sameer’s family was with his BookSavvy PR campaign? Well, so was Microsoft. They saw one of his guest articles in Newsweek about how he never revealed his blindness to his employer. The third highest person in command at Microsoft reached out to him to say how much she enjoyed reading his article. Right after, they scheduled a visit in early spring to discuss some potential opportunities for him. In fact, Sameer has received multiple opportunities from people who have read his coverage.
Other opportunities we love seeing are invitations to give talks, to become guest contributors to blogs and news outlets, and….to write another book!
The press starts seeking you out
If a client story gets published, or even if an editor/producer appreciated a pitch and saved it, or sent it to someone else, there is a chance that new media outlets might request an interview from the client. That happens for a variety of reasons – perhaps the story went viral, the writer might have deeply connected to the story, or the client’s experience or expertise is aligned with a story they have coming up. One thing’s for sure, the probability of the press requesting you only increases with more PR.
BookSavvy client Amy Cameron O’Rourke experienced this truth to the fullest. After landing an interview with NPR, inboxes drowned in press requests itching for Amy’s senior care expertise. Nationally-known media names such as U.S. News & World Report and AARP began trusting Amy for quotes, and still do to this day. This turned Amy into a true thought leader.
Clients develop their own relationships with the press
Beyond the press seeking out a client is the relationship they begin to develop after a successful collaboration.
After being quoted in Newsweek on the Ukraine war, BookSavvy client Steven Myers started developing a working relationship with the reporter. This led Steve to even more opportunities with Newsweek, from being quoted more, to becoming a contributing author for the nationally-known outlet.
Big companies take notice of you
As client guest articles and interviews take off, big companies start running to them.
After his CNBC article, A 67-year-old who ‘un-retired’ shares the biggest retirement challenge ‘that no one talks about’ went viral, author George Jerjian found himself inundated with requests from corporate executives and financial advisors wanting to discuss his book. In addition, he scheduled 20 new podcast interviews following the article’s release. His Twitter subscriber base jumped from 700 to 2100 people within two weeks. The best news of all? This opportunity led to a second article request from CNBC.
There are more ripple effects where these came from. And hey, if you’ve never been good at making ripples with your rock – give it to the public relations professionals – it’ll be in good hands.