Last month, FutureOfPR.org sat down with Dan Tyre, sales director at HubSpot, to chat about how sales and public relations intertwine to drive revenue. Dan pioneered the concept of alignment between sales and marketing known as "smarketing," a core tenet of inbound marketing now followed by thousands of companies around the world. Check out what he had to say about the future of PR and the many ways public relations impacts the bottom line.
As someone whose career is focused in sales, what’s your perception of the public relations industry? What has changed your perception over the years?
For the first few years of my career, I thought public relations didn’t have much relation to revenue. I thought it was fluff. Interesting, but of marginal value. All of that changed in the last 10 years.
PR has become more about content, a very valuable way of generating new customers. PR also became more about engaging audiences than just getting picked up by the mainstream press. Now you can track the value of PR in terms of who is absorbing the information and the direct correlation in who is taking action on your website.
Public relations is not just for the press anymore; it’s for everybody. I have now found myself reading and searching out press releases to find key information about other businesses. This was a big epiphany for me.
How does PR contribute to sales?
PR is critical in delivering content how people want to read it. Today’s PR is all about lead generation. Although brand awareness and visibility are still important, a solid PR process can lead directly to revenue generation.
Reading a press release that shows a spot on solution to a problem can make people that vaguely understand your company’s offering move to the consideration role of the buyer’s journey.
Today, unfortunately, most PR agencies don’t have a quota or a revenue goal, which is a travesty because there are some forward thinking organizations that do understand that providing the right information at the right time can be advantageous for awareness, re-engagement or even consideration of a product.
How would PR and sales benefit from working more closely to each other? What tips do you have for making that integration happen?
You need to make public relations more accountable to the organization. Your PR department or agency should know the goals of the organization, and they should understand the amount of incremental revenue they are expected to provide.
Start with your goals and work backwards. For example: how many net new customers did you generate from each piece of content?
The great thing about public relations nowadays is that it's multifaceted. You can use press releases, for example, as blogs, email, and social content that can bring in qualified leads from different channels.
What do you see as the future of PR? What advice do you have for today’s PR pros?
Find your value and learn how to show it. Show stakeholders how much money your work has brought in and influenced. The public relations industry is still changing dramatically, and you should use PR strategically to ultimately influence the bottom line.
Dan Tyre joined HubSpot as a member of the original team in May of 2007 as the first salesperson for the company. Since then, he has held various positions in sales, sales management, recruiting, training, and expansion of the HubSpot sales team as it has grown from a 10 person start up to $300M+ annual revenue & more than 275 high-performing sales professionals. HubSpot is now sold in 120 countries throughout the world.
Dan is an authority on inbound marketing and sales and has become a regular speaker, blog writer, mentor and coach for those who want to harness of the power of inbound marketing to improve their bottom line. Dan believes that the chief component of success— be it personal or professional— is having the right attitude. He delivers weekly high-energy lectures on attitude to HubSpotters and business groups around the nation.