More PR Food for Thought
Well done for making it to the final chapter! Today, I’m going to give you a final thought. Well, many final thoughts, in fact, with other brilliant tactics you can use to get your press office going.
I personally LOVE a picture stunt; I work a lot in the UK with TNR, which is part of the Press Association’s picture desk, to develop a compelling photo story. Brands can often be put off by the cost of doing these, but by working with a picture agency, your image more often than not gets put on the newswires, which means it goes to every picture desk editor.
An iconic background and something quirky always works well. Here is a favorite that I worked on to launch a new broadband a few years ago:
The reason why it works so well as a news picture story is that it tells the story: Relish branded bikes are arriving in London. It visually tells the story of a product launch and secured a “picture” news story in many business pages of the national media.
Investing a bit of money in a research partner or creating your own research with your own customer data can make a great PR story. The reason I recommend investing is that, unless you have niche qualitative data, you need to have at least 1,000 respondents for your story to have credibility. I usually try to aim for at least 2,000 respondents for national media and 3,000 respondents for broadcast.
Open any national newspaper, and you will find many examples of great research. The press release highlighted in Lesson 8 is one example of how research can be used to promote your brand/product website. Think about top-ten polls, percentage stats (e.g., “80% of consumers say XX”), or ways of revealing (e.g., “Research by [insert your company name] unveils [insert a new trend here]”).
Events can be great for press coverage.
Things to think about before you put money into an event: If it’s for the public, you need to be promoting it AT LEAST six weeks in advance to get it into a weekly magazine. If you want to be listed as an event within a monthly magazine, you should be promoting it three to six months in advance. Don’t rush an event through last minute, and make sure it is maximized by your marketing and PR.
Finally, I can’t reiterate enough to read newspapers and magazines, listen to different podcasts and radio shows, and watch different talk shows and news programs. It’s only through doing this that you will learn the craft of what makes a great story, and it will give you the inspiration to help make you a great self-publicist.
Lastly, here are a few final PR watch-outs.
Award wins. They are great and wonderful to put on your website and use in your marketing materials, but I would be conscious as to how much this requires a press release to announce to all and sundry.
New senior hires or new websites. When I started PR, there were many more trade publications that often covered the appointment of a new hire. These days, I see actual columns for “appointments” less often, and if I do, these are usually reserved for very senior global C-Suite types.
Equally, I have been asked many times to write press releases about a business’s new website. In the nicest possible way: Nobody cares. What you do as a business, your new client win, the great work you are doing, genuine stats and facts, and groundbreaking innovation—these are the stories. While a great new hire or new website is perfect for promotion on your marketing channels, this is not something a journalist needs to be updated on.
Over the last ten days, you have had a mini introduction on what PR is, and we’ve set you homework to match your PR strategy to relevant journalists and given you a guide on how to contact them. Also, you should now have a great idea of how to craft your own press release and start having great ideas of all the things you can do to promote your business. I really hope this has helped kickstart your publicity campaign, and please get in touch if you have any questions.
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