“If I had one dollar left, I’d spend it on PR.” –Bill Gates
PR here, and in fact anywhere, doesn’t just include issuing press releases and securing coverage. PR is about management reputation, it’s an attitude, a process. It’s a way of behaving positively as much as it is about employing a PR resource. It’s a display of positive reinforcement.
But PR is not cheap, and it takes time. The UK media is also known to be one of the most difficult to secure coverage in. Placement also doesn’t guarantee overnight success. Whilst a small number of publications, such as The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro, are considered to be the ones that will generate demand, traffic and spike interest, coverage on any of these sites is not a guarantee.
On the whole, PR placements are in the consumer’s eyes a more credible touchpoint, because they are not paid for opportunities. These can happen both in print or online. Whilst traditional print media is considered the holy grail for many of our clients, there’s no click-through button on a magazine or newspaper page, whereas online consumers are just one button away from your product.
Where you are employing an agency or DIY-ing your PR, here are our top tips:
- Be targeted. So many companies use a scattergun approach and if not careful, can end up chasing their tails in a bid to secure coverage. Dependent upon your resources, come up with a top 5-10-20 list of target media. Sure, you can send your press release out to more contacts than this, but these are the publications you actively go after and diligently follow up on.
- Don’t let being targeted ruin the buzz. I’ve seen so many companies fall prey to this. They only want to work with the big boys and so ignore the requests our agency sends over from smaller publications and blogs. Firstly, everyone has to start somewhere, on both sides – the publications/blogs and the brands. Secondly, as a brand if someone has shown interest in you products, no matter how big or small they are, if they are doing a decent job of publishing their work you should accept the gesture with gratitude and work with them.
- Once you have your coverage, shout about it! PR is not just about securing the coverage, a lot comes down to what you do we it after it is published, such as sharing on social media, promoting to your mailing list, featuring on your website.
- If using an agency, communication is key. We’ve had first hand experience of this, clients simply not having the time to provide us with the ammunition to carry out our work. Whilst we don’t need or expect to be spoon fed, there are occasions where we need quotes or experience told first hand to achieve full insight and the correct tonality. We’ve even struggled for high res images on occasion from clients!
- If you are DIY-ing, use a directory service. There are a few of these on the market, including Diary, Fashion & Beauty Insight and Fashion & Beauty Monitor. This will save you heaps of time in researching the most up-to-date contacts, and will also send you journalist alerts to follow up on.
Have you any PR success stories to tell? Need some PR strategy advice? We’d love to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org