Jolene Peixoto of RELEX Solutions on Unlocking the Power of PR

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Nikki Festa O’Brien
July 12, 2023
Jolene Peixoto of RELEX Solutions on Unlocking the Power of PR

There’s nothing worse than running a PR program founded on misaligned expectations or unclear deliverables. But all too often, this can be a reality between external partners and internal teams if communication is lacking and expectations aren’t aligned. This requires companies to test out new PR partners, search for the right experts to weave the words, capture the media wins, advise on brand strategy and meet all thegoals they were initially promised.

But, when internal and external teams are in sync, the results can be harmonious and lead to true business impact. As a team composed of former journalists, accomplished writers, and digital channel experts, we make it a habit to bring in bright minds from a range of industries to share their tips for success.

We were lucky to be joined by Jolene Peixoto, head of communications at RELEX Solutions, for our latest installment of Inside the Moments that Matter. A strategic communicator for over 20 years, Jolene has had a fantastic career working at major B2B tech companies with expansive expertise spanning PR, content strategy, customer marketing, and social media. Having shifted over to an in-house career 10+ years ago, she sat down with us to share key insights she’s learned client-side that help inform what she needs from agency partners.

Here’s her advice for unlocking the power of PR and getting the most out of the agency relationship:

Stay close to your messaging.
While it is the job of a PR agency to act as an extension of your business, you, as the client and the one working inside the brand, are undeniably closer to the messaging. “Don’t ask your agency to draft all your press releases,” Jolene says, unless they are fully briefed on the messaging and market impact. Agencies are only as good as the content and information they receive, so be specific, detailed, and transparent!  

Focus your agency on their area of expertise.
Consider what your business objectives are. Are you seeking a pitch team to trendjack and secure top-tier opportunities? Or are you looking for a scrappy marketer to advise on content strategy and integrated approaches? It’s our job to advise on the right course of action based on your objectives. Suppose your scope of work focuses on media relations. In that case, your PR partner should educate you on targets based on your goals, vetting these opportunities (and then vetting them again), and securing the right results.

Jolene also points out that it’s “quality over quantity.” Unless you have a background in PR, you probably won’t know the difference between a PR pickup and placement, or what makes one hit hold more weight than another (and rightly so, this is our job, not yours!). Five hits in one publication may have a different impact than one hit in another, and internal leaders should be able to lean on their PR partners for where to direct efforts based on the overall program and business objectives.

Ensure there is alignment.
Whether you’re tracking share of voice or top-tier hits, there’s nothing worse than metrics that don’t resonate with your broader business goals. Even worse? When they aren’t shared with your internal team and used to inform your strategy. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: silos are public enemy number one. OKR’s need to make sense to your broader marketing strategy, so keep your team informed on your PR results – from the marketing freelancer all the way to the CMO.

Make the metrics matter.
Next, make your own set of definitions for success and share them with your PR team. Is it a story in WSJ’s CIO Journal? Is it a live interview on Bloomberg? “Why are you going after this publication? This location?” Jolene asks. Consider where your market is so your team knows where to prioritize their efforts to make the most impact.

This will help your PR team identify the metrics that matter. Goals and metrics will differ across companies, and making your expectations clear to your PR partner will help them deliver the results you desire.

 

If there’s one thing Jolene made abundantly clear, it’s that the closer the client team works with its PR partner, the easier it will be to guarantee success.

Jolene – thank you for pulling back the curtain and giving us some key insights into the client perspective.

Stay tuned for our next session of Inside the Moments that Matter! And, if you are interested in speaking, please reach out: nfesta@greenoughagency.com.

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