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What Does an eLearning PR Plan Look Like?

Published: June 3, 2020       Updated: April 21, 2024

4 min read

You’ve known your tech is solid. Your eLearning software platform is stable. It’s intuitive. It’s ready for prime time. It just needs to prove it. The COVID-19 pandemic has given it that chance.

ELearning software like yours has become critical, and with continued uncertainty about when life can return to normal, it’s only going to become more so. That’s why those estimates about the growth of the industry—more than $93 billion by 2024—are likely wrong. They are too low. Part of those billions should be yours, but the space is crowded and getting visibility is difficult, especially when there’s larger competition. You’re going to need to rely on PR and marketing to get you the attention of potential customers. But don’t rush off and create an eLearning press release. Wait, because PR has changed.

Elements of a Modern eLearning PR Plan

When we think of public relations, we think of media relations. It’s someone with a list of journalism contacts who is working their phone and trying to match sources with the right journalist. And, even a few years ago, that may have been accurate. It’s not anymore.

What’s changed? We have. We don’t value the media like we once did, so the media placements that were previously at the heart of PR don’t have the value they once did. Other things are important now, and a modern eLearning PR plan reflects that.

Here’s what that would include:

Google Authority

The amount of control that Google has on what we find when we search and where we visit when we get those results can be troubling for brands. The fact is that Google doesn’t want you to leave Google’s site. Managing your presence and how you appear in search results is critical, and that’s a new aspect of a modern eLearning PR plan.

Analyst and Influencers

We humans are a skeptical bunch, and that’s especially true today when it comes to brand promises. Simply put, we don’t trust much or any of what we hear. We need third-party validation. One way we get that is through industry analysts. Managing those analysts used to be something separate from PR. Not anymore.

Online Reviews

In addition to analysts, we are increasingly turning to third-party customer review sites to help us research purchases. Google is recognizing this and often places these sites high up in search results. That means this is something you should be managing, and it needs to be part of an eLearning PR plan.

Customer Stories

Part of managing those third-party review sites is finding customers who have great stories to tell about you then working with them to get those stories told. Traditionally, that’s been through case studies, and those are still valuable. But by getting them to leave those positive reviews you can more easily manage your presence there.

Tier 1 Media

Yes, PR has changed, but media placements are still important. That’s especially true of a Tier 1 media placement. With a certain part of your audience, the right mention in the right publication can be impactful.

Trade & Tech Media

If your goal is reaching your buyers, there’s real value in a byline program that focuses on the trade and tech media. Your buyers may be much more likely to see your mentions there than in the larger publications.

Coverage Amplification

The value in media placements is that they can give you something to share with your social audience. By amplifying the coverage, both organically but especially through paid efforts, you can make sure the coverage you worked so hard for gets in front of the people you’ve identified as your buyer.

Speaking and Awards

When we are allowed to gather together in groups larger than 10, tradeshows are a great way to get leads quickly. The audience at these events are highly qualified. But better than a booth is a speaking opportunity. A smart eLearning PR plan is going to include speaking engagements at these shows—even though most of these events are virtual right now—so you can increase your visibility and the traffic to your booth.

Awards, especially from an active and respected organization, can have a similar affect to a tradeshow. It’s quick visibility with a highly qualified audience.

Public relations has always been about relationships. Who that relationship is with has changed. Journalists aren’t driving PR anymore. The public is, and how you approach PR has to change if you want to be able to create visibility for your business and take advantage of the market opportunity that’s in front of you.

eBook: How eLearning Providers Can Use PR and Marketing to Build Trust with School Districts and Businesses

The time is now for the eLearning market. But how do you sell this software to the organizations that need it? 

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