PR for Your Brand: Sweepstakes and Contests Are Public Relations

Gain a better understanding of what PR is and how sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways can benefit your brand.

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As public relations becomes more integral to online reputation management, more brands are engaging their customers and fans with sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways. An important aspect of an integrated marketing strategy is Public Relations, or PR, which can have amazing benefits for reinforcing the value of your brand to consumers. Sweepstakes and contests also ensure that your advertising message is clearly received.

PR for Your Brand: Sweepstakes and Contests Are Public Relations

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Sweeepstakes using an omnichannel marketing approach are PR for your brand. They play a significant role in helping to maintain good media relations and public image. Furthermore, they also help you attract loyal customers and increase brand awareness.

For sponsors and influencers wishing to promote your brand, giveaway marketing offers a virtually guaranteed, brand-safe opportunity to connect. The PR benefits of sweepstakes are enormous, especially when you consider what it is and how they boost the overall brand reputation.

In this article, we’ll discuss how sweepstakes are PR for your brand, what PR is, and the benefits that sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways have on brand reputation.


  • How does PR help brands?
  • How do sweepstakes help increase brand awareness?
  • How do sweepstakes improve public relations?


What Is PR or Public Relations?

Public relations is how companies connect with their target audience online. Areas of public relations include corporate communications, marketing communications, crisis communications, and internal communications.

Sweepstakes and contests are an effective PR tactic because they build mutually beneficial relationships between sponsors, vendors, influencers, loyal customers, and fans. In today’s marketplace, online reputation management is a key factor in maintaining harmonious relationships between these organizations and their publics, as well as, the press.

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How Are Sweepstakes and Contests Useful in Public Relations?

Instead of distributing press releases, in this influencer era, brands are using sweepstakes, contests, and raffles to create brand-safe environments. Giveaways are where brands share their brand story, demonstrate brand value, and share features and use cases for their products and services.

» MORE:   5 Reasons to Run an SMS Sweepstakes Campaign

The brands that can engage their target audience most effectively are those that are most successful at running sweepstakes and contests. This also parallels to why negative perception of a brand translates to fewer sales, less growth, and fewer investors.


Public Relations Advantages: The Most Important Benefits of PR

The messaging that you want to deliver about your brand through public relations should be defined before running a sweepstakes or contest. Ultimately, your giveaway marketing messaging should align with your overall PR strategy to reap the benefits of PR, which are:

  • Increased brand credibility
  • PR publicity that increases brand awareness
  • Attracts more participants in your target audience
  • Engaged loyal customers
  • Demonstrates the value of your brand
  • Emphasized market positioning apart from the competition
  • Delivers value-rich messaging about your brand, products, services
  • Long-term authority, credibility boost (with each successful sweepstakes campaign)

Well-crafted sweepstakes and contests improve brand image in the eyes of prospective customers. Public relations is a dependable way for brands to benefit from proper reputation management over the long-term. This is why brands should run sweepstakes as recurring campaigns.


Why Are Giveaways As Public Relations Important?

The reputation and brand awareness of your brand ultimately determines how people view your brand. The target audience and how successful your brand ultimately is at attracting loyal customers. If your company’s reputation is positive, fans and customers will be happy to become sweepstakes participants. If your brand is lesser known but you’ve managed to draw an audience on social media, then through sweepstakes and contests, your business can get opportunities to grow.

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At the same time, if a pivot was necessary in order for your brand to restore it’s online reputation, a sweepstakes or contest can be highly effective for this purpose. Public relations for a new product launch or rebranding are some of the reasons that brands leverage giveaways. This is done with the PR goal of reviving a fading brand or to create and maintain a new brand identity and reputation.

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Brand Public Relations: PR Tactics Implemented in Sweepstakes and Contests

Here are examples of PR tactics in sweepstakes and contests and how they benefit public relations for a brand:

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Drip Marketing Campaigns

Sweepstakes and contests use email marketing and SMS drip campaigns extensively in order to share important transaction emails, discounts and deals, contest alerts, and more. For maximum effectiveness, these emails are highly personalized, with short attention grabbing headlines. As a result, sweepstakes and giveaway email marketing gets high engagement to deliver PR messaging effectively.

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Branded BoFu Content

Giveaway participants are more likely to buy from brands they trust and admire. As a result, a sweepstakes or contest where you have a large reach and an engaged audience is the perfect PR opportunity.

During a sweepstakes or contest, brands use social media, email marketing, and SMS marketing to help maximize the dissemination of brand messaging through word of mouth marketing (WOM). These content types have branded bottom of the funnel (BoFu) content in order to educate and persuade participants to buy.

Third-party endorsement from other leading brands, customer reviews and testimonials, play a critical role in making a brand seem reliable and credible. These PR tactics are strategically implemented in BoFu content in order to demonstrate value to giveaway participants and prospects.


Leveraging Trends to Improve Public Relations

Part of the path to success in identifying PR opportunities and when to run sweepstakes is about leveraging trends. In preparation for a sweepstakes marketing campaign, brands are leveraging PR tactics like social listening and media monitoring to find out all that is being said about a brand online. This makes it possible to find influencers, identify a target audience, brand awareness KPIs for the sweepstakes promotion.


PR Increases Reach & Attracts Sweepstakes Participants and Customers

Public relations is the best way to communicate with your target audience. Through sweepstakes and contests and the power of leverage, you can utilize giveaways to achieve amazing reach. Take into consideration the potential of an omnichannel sweepstakes campaign that is shared across TV, online news sites, radio, print media, and social media. It’s possible to use sweepstakes and contests to craft brand-altering PR events that reaches your target audience in a personalized campaign.

» MORE:   Contest Marketing: What Is It and How Does It Improve Brand Awareness?

Like PR, sweepstakes require the right approach and the perfect timing. However, when all of the elements come together, sweepstakes are successful public relations. PR is how businesses maximize brand awareness and how they can grow faster.


Public Relations Tips: When Should Brands Do Sweepstakes for PR?

No matter the health of your brand when it comes to public relations, can you run a sweepstakes or giveaway? The answer is no. Your brand needs to have a positive or neutral reputation in addition to a trust factor already established with a loyal customer base. This is important so that you have the loyal fan base needed to seed your sweepstakes with participants.

Pro tip: A crisis communications strategy is what brands should utilize followed by online reputation strategy if the brand has a negative reputation, not a sweepstakes or contest!

The key to determine whether it’s possible for your brand to acquire news coverage, is whether news media outlets will cover the public relations event. The same applies to determine when is the right time to run a sweepstakes or contest.


Measuring Public Relations ROI Is Easier With Sweepstakes and Contests

Maintaining a good reputation is not the only reason for public relations nor is it the primary drive online sales for your brand. A comprehensive sweepstakes marketing strategy will have a major impact on your public relations and the future success of your business.

To summarize, sweepstakes and contests can be done for PR to:

  • Improve, build, and protect brand reputation
  • Facilitate communication with the public via omnichannel marketing experiences
  • Portray brand-safe messaging with authentic company values to target audiences

PR can be difficult to measure. To overcome this obstacle, leveraging sweepstakes and contests as a marketing strategy can help you achieve better measure and monitor your public relations efforts, including your goals to maximize brand awareness and brand impact. Remember, becoming a sweepstakes participant or a first-time customer starts with hearing good things about a brand!

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