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All of what we do in PR is understanding your audience, what motivates them to buy something or act upon something and how we can step in and make that happen. If you don’t understand your audience, you can use this season’s back to school shopping as a lesson on how to strategize your outreach. Here’s how:

Tweet This: How can you strategize your #PR outreach? Check out these tips:

Identify Buyer Personas

Michelle Vangel, Vice President & Insight Solutions, and Caitlin Jamali, Senior Analyst with Cision hosted a webinar on observations made during back to school shopping in 2015 and reported back how to relate these personas to our PR strategy. They identified four buyer personas, which we can apply to our PR audiences:

  • Savers: bargain shoppers, frugal thinkers, deal finders.
  • Planners: focused on checklists telling them what they need most and sticking to this plan exclusively.
  • Students: excited and anxiously waiting for that new school supplies to hit the shelves.
  • Convenience Shoppers: those who shop based strictly on what’s the most readily available- quick and easy shopping.

What You Should do With Personas

Personas, as previously stated, help you hone in on your communication with individuals to speak to their needs and brand. Use the above shopper personas to help outline buyer personas for your area of business to help identify behaviors, tendencies and preferences. To do this, you can start by reading through blogs and sites to gain an idea of what tones and communication styles your audience is used to and comfortable with.

Furthermore, Cision, our preferred PR platform at Red Branch, provides fully-detailed bios, what form of communication each person uses, who they generally interact with, what they’re tweeting, and their work history.

Chances are, your brand has much to offer, and nobody has time for a general shot in the dark pitch. Break down personas according to each offer type you have to pitch. This gives less for the pitchee to think about when it comes to deciphering what you want from them and what direction they want to take.

More ways to pick through the pile of shoppers

Shoppers want the real advice from real people. Where do they find it? The blogosphere. Bloggers are very niche in what they write about these days, making their advice more “raw” and credible than a company face (to readers at least). After establishing your buyer personas, go searching for blogs who cater to these audiences and read the most common concerns your audience have. Look for outlets whose sole purpose is to provide advice instead of a product. Here you can see what questions readers are asking, what advice they crave most and how you can step in and provide assistance on the backend.

Save! Save! Save!

I can guess that’s 90% of the world’s favorite word. In Caitlin and Michelle’s 2015 shopper study, savers were the largest persona. A saver’s safest hub for talking sales is most commonly found on social media, which is where you want to be to plug conversations about sales and deals if you have a large savers persona on your deck.

Even if you don’t have a large savers buyer persona pool, you can still use social as a tool to find those “secret” behind the curtain insights on your audience. Social, while very popular as a business tool today, is still used as a laid back platform for open discussions on what’s happening in every area of business and life.

Take this back to school season as an opportunity to get your audience excited about what matters to them most. Who knew back to school wasn’t just for students and moms. Take a plunge into new PR strategy and tweet me your victories and additional hacks! @NoelleBellLynne.

This article originally featured on the Marenated blog powered by Red Branch Media, our sister-site. Go visit us, excellence awaits! 

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