Public Relations Top Tips

PR is a really important part of the marketing mix for businesses. PR, simply put, is the generation of media coverage (paper/magazine/online/TV/radio) that features stories about you or your company that is not paid for (i.e. advertising). PR is free but you do need to factor in expense of time, phone calls, gifts and mailings to the media. It has a credibility, coming from a third party source, that makes it very different from advertising. So where do you start in building your PR plan?

Simple PR Tips

Be an Expert: Present yourself as an expert in your field

Be Unique: Know your unique selling point

Be Creative: People in media receive hundreds of press releases so you need to get   creative and find a way to get attention for the business

Be Relevant: The story cannot simply be a plug for your business. It needs to be relevant to the media’s audience. Create a “story” that is interesting and “newsworthy” while including your brand message

Be Specific: Getting publicity is great but it needs to have an objective to make it worth the time and effort you invest in making it happen i.e. drive sales, sales leads or event awareness etc

Be Focused: Ensure your press coverage has a clear message for your business or a call to action e.g. log on to to get further information to drive people to your website

Be Practical:  Invest in media directory or develop a good media list so that you can call when you want to get your story covered.

Be Clear:   You need to have a good handle on how to write a good, snappy editorial piece. If writing isn’t your strength ask someone who is to write it for you

Planning PR

1.Know your USP: Statement that sums up in a few sentences what makes you special and different than other people in this space

2.Objectives: Set clear objectives for what you want as a result of the PR e.g. brand awareness, promotion awareness, drive sales etc

3.Target Market: Who are you targeting? What is the age profile, lifestyle, income, habits, behaviours, gender, location

4.Target Media: List the media that fit with your target market locally and nationally

5.Make it “Newsworthy”: Make a list of the stories that you could offer to the media that links with your product or service e.g. seasonal items (e.g. Valentine’s Day), current news (obesity / recession / community etc)

6.Design and make your pitch: Do up a pitch document (PR release) giving an overview of your proposal.

7.Follow up: Send it to the target media and follow up with a phone call. Key part to making it happen. Ring and ask to speak to reporter and check that they received the release. Keep contacting until you get to speak to the reporter. Have a 20-30 second pitch ready to give the reporter over the phone i.e. a summary of your pitch. Be confident, be persistent, pay reporter/media compliments, be a helpful resource to reporter

8.Develop relationship: If the media uses your piece follow up with a Thank You. If they reject your idea, ask them is there any other areas that they would be interested.

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