When it comes to PR success, most of us only see the tip of the iceberg: the major media hits, the envy-inducing social engagement, the celebrity partnerships.
In many cases, these wins are the result of months of hard work, content creation, and relationship development. But PR isn’t always a long game. Some of the best success stories begin with PR professionals recognizing an opportunity and jumping on it, which is what recently happened for Goodwin Consulting’s client, Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group.
Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group is an employee benefits firm with offices in Massachusetts and Michigan serving 3,500 clients throughout the United States. They assist employers in building benefits packages that suit their workforces through a holistic approach to retirement and financial wellness planning.
The PR Strategy
The Great Resignation is a hot topic in the current news cycle, and there’s no shortage of articles about what it will take for businesses to retain and attract talent. It’s safe to say that Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group has relevant resources and offers valuable services that companies are demanding right now.
In a meeting with their marketing director in late 2021, my team and I explained that reporters like to run prediction pieces about how current trends might evolve, the potential impact on businesses, and specific developments that lie ahead. The marketing director mentioned that CEO Sam Mitchell had written down his own predictions for 2022, but hadn’t published them yet.
I asked her to send me what he had and immediately recognized its thought leadership value. I began using Sam’s ideas as fodder for media pitches, including one I sent to American City Business Journals – for bizjournals.com.
The Good Win: A Media Hit in 30 Minutes
Within 30 minutes of sending the pitch, the Biz Journals reporter responded that he wanted to speak with Sam. We set up an interview, and Sam did a phenomenal job. The story—with Sam providing his insights as the main source—ran on January 4, 2022, and was a wonderful way for Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group to kick off 2022.
The Business Journals is a national outlet that spans 44 major U.S. cities and reaches 10.7 million online readers monthly with 1.2 million print readers weekly. Wins of this magnitude typically don’t happen this quickly—but don’t mistake this success for luck or spontaneity.
A good PR firm knows who to pitch, what to pitch, and when reporters and editors are looking for their next trend story. Had we pitched the same idea to another major publication, they may very well have rejected it.
It takes a keen eye to identify the right pitch for the right audience at the right time. Leveraging the support and insights from Sam and his company’s marketing team, we were able to make it happen.
One Good Win Deserves Another: Leveraging Media Visibility
With any media relations win, it’s important to keep the momentum going so you can continue to reap the rewards of the hard work as the news cycle continues. We took Sam’s original thoughts and turned them into another opportunity – a byline article that was just published a few weeks ago in Benefits Pro Magazine, an important trade publication we identified early on.
We also decided to lean into the thought leadership angle with Sentinel Benefits’ other team members. We knew there were other valuable experiences and insights that the company’s leadership team could share. We set up a dozen interviews over the past month and are currently developing new pitches and articles based on each member’s individual area of expertise.
With the right public relations team in your corner, Good Wins are possible for nearly every company. If you’re looking to maximize your PR efforts in 2022, I’d love to help! Contact me today to learn more.