It’s not every day you get to talk to clients who fully understand the value your company brings and who express it with such intelligence and excitement as Rachel Neff, Account Supervisor at Finn Partners. In fact, Rachel outlined more value points from Brandpoint’s core service offerings than anyone I’ve heard from in my six months at the company. Below we’ll go through just a few, with some added context and some wonderful quotes from Rachel on how to best use Brandpoint to ensure your client’s elation.
This is not just a story about how Brandpoint helps clients. Our experience with Rachel and the broader Finn Partners team has been amazing because of their true dedication to bringing success to their clients.
In a recent effort, Annette Albrecht, Brandpoint’s Business Development Director, said, “The team at Finn was very prepared and provided us with the most incredible background information and outlines of what they were hoping to accomplish.”
When an agency partner knows their clients like the back of their hand and continuously strives to deliver the best results, that’s when you’re witnessing something captivating. After 20 years in the agency space, this dynamic only makes me appreciate Rachel and her team more.
With that, we’ll go through Rachel’s view on the value that MAT releases and other services bring to her clients in six different areas that are important to communications professionals.
1. Testing Made Easier
As most communications experts know, messaging is a constant evolution. Ensuring key messages stay true to your client’s or organization’s objectives and still ring true with the audience can be one of your biggest challenges. But thanks to improved technology, more assorted communications challenges and improved knowledge on what brings best results, it’s now common practice to test messaging and other communications methods. This is where the MAT and Premium MAT Releases can come into play.
The speed-to-market of the MAT and Premium MAT Releases allows for clients to try different terms, messages and assets to find what really fits for their audiences. Rachel says it best. “It’s a great way to practice our messaging.” She adds, “Does it resonate? Does this headline work? What do the click-throughs look like?” And as Rachel suggests, it’s not just in the print versions of the results. The Premium MAT allows answers for all those and other sophisticated questions that modern PR practitioners are asking. “What’s the dwell time on page? Are people going deeper into the website? Is there a high bounce rate? What image performs better?
“Does it resonate? Does this headline work? What are the click-throughs?”
“We have a client that’s in an extremely niche market — they have a very specific, narrow client-base that would even consider them. So, our task was to find their audience and not only raise awareness of what they do, but [realize] that we had a lot of education to do, as well,” said Rachel. This situation is a perfect example of how getting the messaging right is vital and that more data points in a data-driven world drive great results.
2. Penetrating New and Larger Markets
Another insight is gaining momentum in new and larger markets. Rachel gave an example of a client who wanted to expand to the west coast and, along with a robust media relations program, she integrated MAT releases to gain the larger market coverage they needed. She said, “We were able to take the best placements by region and share it in social media.”
The results were placements in important markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Along with these important placements, she was able to infiltrate other major markets by using the coverage throughout social media and media relations efforts.
Gain more credibility and communicate a much more localized perspective with credible content.
By using these trusted stories, she was able to gain more credibility with her efforts and communicate a much more localized perspective with credible content. Rachel doubled down on this strategy, received amazing results and continues to run different campaigns in different markets with the coverage from the MAT Releases. This is perfect for new markets and certainly for clients with multi-state and regional locations.
3. Engaging with Social Media
Another great way of using the coverage gained from Premium MAT Releases is within the social realm. Using the same geographic strategy mentioned, Rachel has made it a common practice to use placements to merchandise client efforts — creating a highly valued geofence in social media.
“It’s building that social truth and that social trust,” she says. “This allows for a lot of social attention and breaks through the noise within a shrinking marketplace.” This works on a multiple-touchpoint level, as well. When audiences see coverage backed up with additional posts, it creates a unique experience that consumers embrace. “They’ve seen it before and clicked on it before … and they don’t mind!” Rachel says. It’s a great way to reach a lot of people in an authentic way.
[Read More: Growing Brand Loyalty Through Social Media]
“It’s building that social truth and that social trust.”
Rachel explains this best when it comes to a paid strategy. “We’ll take placements in key markets and sponsor them in social media. We’re in a pay-to-play environment and this is a great tool to have! Our placements in San Francisco Gate and Los Angeles Times were used for Facebook geo-targeted ads — not even a huge amount — so people see the URL of the newspaper they trust and know. Of course, it does say sponsored content. But it’s never meant to hide what the content is … you’ve provided really helpful information.” Frankly, I’m already looking at how to use this for our efforts marketing Brandpoint.
“We’re in a pay-to-play environment and this is a great tool to have!”
4. Credibility is Key
When written with an educational tone and providing information that consumers want to know, MAT and Premium MAT services can give the extra credibility needed to break through. “They add another layer of ethical review that’s serving the broader cause,” Rachel says. And this only strengthens the core content in the minds of consumers who want to share valuable information with their followers. “Seeing it twice doesn’t make people mad, it reminds them to share,” she says.
“They add another layer of ethical review that’s serving the broader cause.”
When I asked, “What would you say to your agency counterparts looking to get the most from Brandpoint’s services,” she quickly mentioned, “When servicing multiple clients in an agency, the credibility of these placements makes it easier to gain the earned coverage and communicate a really great story.”
This can be important in educating broader audiences, as well as a hyper-focused target. By gaining greater coverage, you’re spreading the word across many credible networks.
5. Control the Story
This phenomenon is explained wonderfully in a blog post from my colleague, Emily Bollinger, What is Controlled Media? This practice can bring a larger value to many clients, especially brands that live in a highly regulated industry.
Controlled media is media controlled by the brand, including the messaging, placement, design and timing of your content.
Rachel points out some of these client benefits, including how Premium MAT and MAT Releases tell a deeper story than a press release. “You get to write it exactly how you want to and help to get the full story into the hands of credible journalists.” She adds, “I love the Spanish editions, as well. Multicultural and bilingual consumers have become an important part of the communications mix for our clients.”
[Read More: 10 Examples of Controlled Media]
In a world where misinformation is commonplace and the investment of telling a brand’s story is high, controlling the message is not only cost-effective, but a vital part of managing a brand’s reputation.
6. Finding Genuine Value
In all we do for our clients, our job is to add value and deliver on the expertise we provide. Rachel and the people at Finn Partners do an amazing job at this and are constantly looking for new ways to provide genuine value. As an example, Rachel recently used four MATS and tracked clicks from her client’s website. It showed how they were driving her client’s business with increased page visits, click-throughs and higher-than-average page views. And, of course, it’s always great to hear, “You take good care of our clients!” As she was describing Brandpoint’s value to her clients, I couldn’t help but list additional benefits Brandpoint provides:
- We help your client’s dollar go further
- Sales teams use the content for collateral
- Big efficiency in using MAT Releases
- Our efforts support earned outreach
- Guaranteed placement vs. pitching, pitching, pitching
- You get to keep the content (and use it in different places)
- Amplification is great for cookies and remarking
One of the most important takeaways I had in speaking with Rachel was this: “People no longer distinguish between desktop, physical newspaper, saw it on TV, heard it on the radio. It’s just all part of their world.” This, and many other insights, are what make Rachel a forward-thinking communicator who consistently innovates to deliver the best client service. We’re proud to call her and Finn Partners true collaborators.