Public Relations (PR) is not just about writing press releases. Put simply PR involves managing the reputation of your business. Your PR is the result of what your business and your staff do and say, what you communicate in the public domain and what others say about you.
Successful PR campaigns can be used to gain trust and understanding between your business and your key stakeholder groups – existing customers and prospects, current and future staff, potential investors and the outside community. PR can have several aims: it can be used to build brand awareness, launch a new product, help to acquire and keep customers, encourage recruitment and retention; ultimately it should have a clear and demonstrably affect on the bottom line.
What’s the story?
OK, so let’s say you have an interesting story to tell the media. You now have to do the ‘so what?’ test. The ‘so what?’ test is something that should be used in all forms of marketing communications. If you want to create a press release for media distribution, imagine you are a busy journalist; does the story excite you? Imagine your target media; is this something you can imagine reading in the press/hearing on the news/viewing online? If not, can you come up with an angle that is exciting and relevant? This is a crucial part of the process. Do not presume a story is of interest to the media just because it is of interest to you.
Now you think you may have a story, do a final couple of checks.
- Will it help fulfil your marketing plans and the business objectives? There is little point in working on a story that gives your business exposure but highlights an area that you don’t want to develop.
- Are there any potential negative spins on this story that you may want to consider?
- If this involves a client, get the green light on using the story before you begin work on it.
What steps should I follow to create my own media campaign?
1) Write a short concise, newsworthy media release or article idea pitch
- Start strong with a great headline and summary of the news in the first paragraph.
- Write an interesting title that encapsulates the message and you could imagine working in your chosen media.
- Keep the release short – ideally 1 or 2 pages.
- Use short sentences that are easy to digest.
- Keep it jargon free.
- Do they ‘so what test’
- Create a notes to editors – supply the media with any necessary background information on your company.
2) Check, proof read and check again
3) Ensure you have any supporting documentation including photographs
4) Prepare an extensive and well researched media list (think beyond traditional media)
5) Use a trustworthy delivery mechanism to reach your audiences – a simple personal email works well
6) Build media relationships and be ready and prepared to answer further questions
7) Track your coverage & measure success
8) Use your results to build additional awareness through integrated marketing communications
Once you have gained coverage why not make the hard work go much further? Use your coverage on your website, email marketing and in direct marketing campaigns. Read more about Circle’s integrated marketing here
Circle Marketing have achieved amazing results for our clients, our PR campaigns achieve an average return on investment of 95%.
Just imagine what we could do to boost your sales results, build brand awareness and get your organisation seen and heard in the media. Contact us today to find out more.
Read one of our PR case studies here