How Paid Social Can Boost Your PR Campaigns

Author Jon Quinton 4 min read time

If you’re responsible for running PR campaigns and therefore accountable for the results, you’ve probably got your ear to the ground for any tactics that can get you a cut above the rest.

Although Paid Social is often viewed through a performance marketing lens (which it absolutely should!), there are a number of easy and cost effective tactics you can use to light a match under your PR campaigns and accelerate your results.

In this post we’re going to look specifically at what can be done with paid social to help boost PR campaign performance.

Quickly building momentum

If you’re pushing a new product, event or story, quickly getting eyeballs on it is key to building momentum.

Unless you’ve already built a substantial audience, relying on organic social can be extremely slow so a bit of paid activity can really get the fire lit.

At the same time as generating relevant traffic, you will also be gaining engagement with your audience which can be a huge benefit for social proof but also immediate feedback and interaction via comments.

You might not be planning to rely on advertising long term, but to quickly seed a piece of content within your audience, a sharp burst of paid activity is a great way to kick a campaign off.

Warming up your target publications

This is where you can start to get super tactical!

If you’re ready to go with your target list, using paid social can be a great way of warming up your target publications or journalists ahead of reaching out to them via traditional methods.

The general premise here is that both Facebook (including Instagram!) and LinkedIn have got the ability to target employees of specific companies and also layer on job title targeting if you wish.

Within the context of this post, it’s pretty straightforward to create an audience of relevant journalists and showcase your content prior to reaching out to them. When you do reach out, you’ve already pre-warmed up your contacts.

Retargeting for revenue

As a performance marketer at heart, I’m always thinking about ways to maximise the opportunity from any activity and find ways to funnel that into revenue.

It’s an obvious point, but if you’re doing a great job at PR then you’d expect to see an increased volume of traffic through your website and social channels.

Both of those audiences can be easily retargeted on social, and therefore any new visitors you’ve attracted through PR can easily be introduced to your product and nurtured to the next stage of the buying journey.

If you’re expecting an increase in traffic – don’t leave that on the table and have a simple plan to capture the increase in demand!

Audience insights

Although not a direct point on improving performance, one of the wonderful things about paid media is the ability to get very quick insights into audience engagement.

Through running even a small amount of advertising, almost all platforms provide the ability to breakdown your performance by various demographic and or behavioural data points.

Thanks to that, you can very quickly verify who exactly your target audience are based on both engagement and revenue. For some clients who might be early on in their business, the insights you can gain here are invaluable.

Feedback on headlines

Following on from the point above, the instant feedback on what ad copy or creative is working is extremely valuable.

From a performance marketing perspective, this data guides our decisions on what to do more of and where to scale, but getting clear and proven insights on what drives the most engagement can also be used for other channels.
As an example, we’ve had many clients in the past use split tests on ad headlines to inform their email subject lines to great success.

These are just a handful of examples, but thinking slightly outside the box can throw up some great ways to use paid media to boost your PR efforts. Get it right and everyone’s a winner!

If you want to chat about how you can use paid media to get better results – drop us a line here 🙂


Having been involved in digital marketing for over a decade, Jon set up Overdrive Digital in 2016. With extensive experience in both paid media and organic channels, Jon has worked with brands ranging from small startups to global businesses.