How to Integrate Billboards with Public Relations
Amplify your earned trust to grow your brand in big ways.
People like what other people talk about.
It makes them curious. Sparks an interest. Creates trust – or destroys it.
Trust is a hard thing to earn, much less keep – never more so than in today’s loud, overcrowded environment. Building trust with your audience is crucial – but there’s only two sure ways to do it (preferably, you’d combine these):
- Length of relationship – a customer trusts you after multiple positive experiences of buying from you (like how Amazon Prime has gotten millions of consumers addicted to fast, free shipping)
- People say good things about you – word-of-mouth and referrals continue to be the preferred method for learning about new brands, products, or services, as reported by consumers
Public relations has long been the relied-on strategy to get people talking about your brand. In the past, this was almost exclusively the domain of journalists and traditional media. As the internet has shaken the traditional publishing world, though, and trust in news publishers has fallen off, this source only makes up a small portion of a modern PR plan.
Today, PR activities can be divided up into two categories: reputation management (especially online) and showing up in some form of a public forum (from traditional media to a blog or podcast).
In either case, it’s about what people are saying about you, in front of others.
Fortunately, it’s a narrative you can control – primarily, by how well you align your business activities and the experience you deliver to customers with your brand promise.
Inherently, this comes down to the value your audience gets from interacting with you. If your brand is doing or talking about things that matter to your audience, it’s more likely that they’ll start talking about you – at the dinner table, in reviews online, and on media sites.
Successfully doing this requires two principles:
- Alignment – make sure your activities, behaviors, and provided experience line up with what your customers expect and have been promised
- Be interesting – do interesting things in your brand that draw attention to what sets you apart from the competition
If you do interesting things that are aligned with your brand identity and promise, you will organically get people talking. Journalists, bloggers, and podcasters will start paying attention – and want to tell your story for themselves.
But how do you get the word out about the exciting things you’re up to, whether to the public, the press, or anyone else?
That’s where digital billboards come into play.
How to Leverage Billboards to Amplify Your PR
When museums are reworking a display, visitors often find the area blocked off with signs announcing “closed for renovation.” But imagine the opposite – if those signs said “open for renovation,” and invited people in to view the work in progress?
One Italian conservation company (Centro di Conservazione Archeologica) has specialized in doing just this for many restoration projects at cultural heritage sites around the Mediterranean. The result of this philosophy of “building in public” has been a dramatic increase in local visitors (who return again and again to see the latest updates) as well as international tourists and media attention.
If trust-building is accomplished through getting people to talk about you, and starting public conversations is done by doing something worth talking about, then it makes sense that this “build in public” idea can play a key role in generating PR.
To strengthen the message behind your “build in public” effort, use digital billboards. They are attention-grabbing, high-impact media that can’t be ignored, skipped, or blocked. They are the perfect tool for getting your message in front of a broad audience. And their digital nature grants you ultimate flexibility – to change up creative as you want (even being triggered by the environment, such as time of day or temperature) at no extra production cost.
Done right, they are the perfect media to convey excitement, interest, and a story worth telling.
Here are some ideas on how you can use them to amplify your PR efforts:
- Tell the public about the exciting projects you are working on (from sponsorships to philanthropy to new product launches and everything in between)
- Target journalists, bloggers, and other media contacts you want to talk to with billboards that speak directly to them wherever they live and work
- Put short snippets of testimonials, case studies, and online reviews on a billboard
- Highlight logos of media companies you’ve been talked about in
Most importantly, connect your billboards to your online campaigns – especially social media, for the sake of generating conversation and attention online where it’s easy to spread. (Not sure how to do this? See our master guide on how to combine digital billboards with online media here.)
And if you need help, as always, reach out to us and we’ll help you get moving on building an effective digital billboard strategy.