In this article I am going to underpin the necessity of a very well targeted PR campaign. I have already explained how you can target your campaign by using the special radar of being acutely aware of
Why is this so important?
It is extremely important for accomplishing what I have termed THE WATERFALL EFFECT.
At the beginning of my cooperation with Nofalo.com, the first travel comparison website in Algeria, I advised the CEO, Raouf Yousfi, to get as much coverage as possible not just by local and regional media but also, and most importantly, national media.
In one of the previous chapters, I explained in detail how I advised him to be positioned in order to provide journalists with a specific message to convey to their public with the aim of first creating, then strengthening, the association between the brand and the category. Raouf Yousfi, the CEO of Nofalo.com, has been very smart in getting featured in the best national media in Algeria, as his positioning allowed him to be interesting enough to get coverage.
Nofalo.com has been conceived to target the general public of consumers who are interested in travelling abroad while being assisted by a PR agency. He had to appeal to the media with the biggest reach to get his message out to his target. It was at this stage of our cooperation that I understood the real power of broadcast PR in the social media era, and it was here that I conceived what I have named THE WATERFALL EFFECT.
Especially when it comes to online newspapers or blogs or TV interviews later posted on Youtube, media consumers tend to share those articles and videos on their social media profile, thus giving the coverage more exposure by sharing them with their contacts who might have missed the news. For example, when Yousfi was featured in a major national newspaper, we saw hundreds of shares, which multiplies exposure by the average amount of social media friends on Facebook or members of different Facebook groups. This amplified that news which already had coverage in a national newspaper with 2 million visitors on a monthly basis.
And guess how?
Then we used those articles written by very authoritative media to promote the positioning well expressed in the articles talking about Nofalo.com with Facebook ADV. The engagement rate was so high…Thousands and thousands of likes, dozens of comments and shares. This strategy, always considering the average number of friends that a single user has on Facebook, has generated additional free coverage for tens of thousands of users, according to how the Facebook algorithm works.
This allowed Nofalo.com to reach two goals at once:
Of course, to succeed in business, you need more than a single campaign; you also need a high quality customer acquisition process (as automated as possible), the right people in your team, etc… etc… etc…
But you will never make it until someone really believes that what you are doing is good enough to be newsworthy and basically endorsement-worthy.
What is THE WATERFALL EFFECT then?
THE WATERFALL EFFECT consists of the rate of share-ability of news that due to the degree of relevance and ability to be credible and trendy gets endorsed multiple times on multiple platforms by on-target prospects for free.
Why is THE WATERFALL EFFECT so important?
To answer this question I will need to clarify a very important point to bear in mind. Not every news mention is a good one. If someone talks about you, make sure they do it in a positive way; otherwise you are in the very dangerous field of Black PR (which, by the way, is enriching a lot of PR agencies nowadays due to the willingness of the competition of a specific company or professional to undermine the credibility of the opponents or enemy by spreading rumours or suppositions). After all, marketing is a war led to reaffirm the principle that in the market, in spite of all the latest business yoga theory, there is really not enough space for everyone. This is the dark side of THE WATERFALL EFFECT: multiple endorsements on how bad you are…In this case I will suggest a very good agency specialising in crisis communication (and a good attorney, too…)
This is why THE WATERFALL EFFECT is so important.
“Ok, Robert...But by defining THE WATERFALL EFFECT you have just found another way to call what is commonly believed to be VIRALITY...”
Your objection is right to a certain degree.
I will rewrite the definition of THE WATERFALL EFFECT to make you notice where THE WATERFALL EFFECT differs from the broader definition of VIRALITY:
THE WATERFALL EFFECT consists of the rate of share-ability of news that due to the degree of relevance and ability to be credible and trendy get endorsed multiple times on multiple platforms by on-target prospects for free.
Yes, you are right…
The difference between THE WATERFALL EFFECT and VIRALITY is to be found in who shares the news:
by on-target prospects.
On-target prospects means people who have a very narrow similarity with the avatar of your potential customer.
In a more practical way: those who have your money.
Thus, the focus shifts from how many views, engagements, and so on a news story can have to how many on-target people have viewed and positively engaged with that news, acting as an indirect endorsement. This behaviour is amplified by the law of the peer group,that is the social principle according to which people tend to surround themselves with people who are similar to them.
As a consequence, once your message is shared and positively endorsed, it has a high chance to be shared and endorsed by the same people who represent the surroundings of the first endorser.
Although, to the benefit of my audience, I will investigate in more depth the data of the content shared on social media, I am aware that this article might offend the sensibility of some creative advertiser who deep inside still believes in the GOD OF FUNNY, ENGAGING CREATIVITY by being more concerned with the piece of advertising art he is producing and pushing into the market than he is with selling the proposition of the brand.
But there is a matter of fact that you do not need data or statistics to affirm.
People do not endorse advertising by sharing it unless it is so controversial that it has directly damaged the same brand/product that it was supposed to make positively viral.
People tend to share meaningful, informed, authoritative content and leave art to the museums. Brands are built with PR, and THE WATERFALL EFFECT © is PR within PR, PR of the PR.
Brands are not built with advertising.
Brands are built with PR.
PR has credibility.
Advertising does not.
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Founder and Managing Director at POWER BRAND. PR that Sells for Startups and SMEs,
How to turn your content into a PR advocate
Why you should write a book from a PR perspective
How to use PR to disqualify your competition
How to get media coverage by giving the media what they want
Brand Positioning. Broadcast PR. Brand domination.