By Courtney There is no better PR than the kind that comes from happy customers. Consider the way you might choose a vendor for a major personal purchase. Say you want to buy a washing machine. Or a car. You might read some websites or marketing materials. You might talk to some salespeople. But the most compelling input you're likely to get will come from other consumers; online reviews will sway your opinion at least as much as a salesperson's pitch. Feedback from friends and colleagues will have far more influence than any advertising campaign. For these reasons, a customer delight program is one of the most effective PR components a company can develop to support lead generation. When we talk with our clients' customers, we outline numerous types of opportunities in which they can participate. These include:
Serving as a reference for a journalist or blogger
Engaging with the client on social media, including Twitter, Facebook and blogs
Providing a quote for a press release
Giving a testimonial for the website or other marketing materials
Producing a video testimonial
Sharing experiences via a case study
Submitting the deployment for award or speaking opportunities
Customer delight programs clearly benefit businesses. They get third-party, real-life validation that is essential to future sales. But what do their customers get? They get the three F's:
Fame: Find out what publications the customer contact reads. Where would he like to see his technology story covered? Make that a priority target. This principle applies equally to speaking and awards opportunities. Which of these will prove attractive not only to the client, but to the customer?
Fortune: Which magazines and websites do the user's customers read? Make sure those are high on your list, too. When the customer sees PR participation as a lead-generating opportunity for his business and not just for your client's, he is more likely to participate.
Fabulous SEO: It doesn't hurt anybody to get another link on a reputable website. For customers who value the influence of search engine optimization, tout the benefits of hyperlinks in online articles and press releases, link backs from the client's blog, and tweets and retweets regarding PR results.
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