Affiliate-Driven PR…Make it Part of Your Sales Strategy

Nov 14, 2022

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that public relations is sacred ground, a place of impartiality that the dollar cannot influence. However, those of us who were in the game before the advent of social media, influencer relations, sponsored content and all this innovation that has blurred the lines remember a time when journalists didn’t give their opinion or shape the conversation around their beliefs. They simply reported what they believed was news. And the public, well, they were influenced by every word.

Of course, PR’s biggest criticism from C-suites and marketing departments is its inability to influence sales directly. As an agency grounded in public relations, Trevelino/Keller has always been transparent about what public relations can and cannot achieve. Direct sales can happen. We fondly recall the impact an ABC World News story had on our then-client, Carvana, which drove so many leads to the company’s site, it weighed heavy on its servers. However, an agency should not set that expectation as part of a PR program. It’s simply not consistent or predictable. But as the song goes, “the times, they are a-changin’.”

Enter Affiliate-Driven PR

Affiliate marketing’s emerging sibling, affiliate PR, has leading media outlets highlighting commissionable links within their stories, which is translating to increased clicks and sales for the brands willing to brave these new waters, and a clear connection between sales and PR efforts.

Building the Program

  • Select an affiliate platform like ShareASale or Refersion
  • Choose a commission structure (per click, per sale, per lead) and rates
  • Write a program description and create an agreement
  • Establish an email campaign and build a branding kit
  • Create publisher-friendly product descriptions
  • Produce a promotional calendar
  • Develop measurement protocols

Like anything new, test the waters. Set reasonable expectations, gain experience, then step up your frequency and investment. Before long, affiliate-driven PR will become a critical part of your reputation marketing strategy.