For decades, brands have utilised PR to grow their business, sell their products and reach new audiences. The discipline has become an essential strand of a business’s marketing consideration, although it bears important distinctions from traditional advertising methods.
As the famous saying goes – “advertising is saying great things about yourself, but PR is getting other people to say them”. And whether it be national, regional, trade or online platforms, a properly planned and executed strategy can help your business take great strides forward with a perfect PR campaign.
STEPS TO A PERFECT PR CAMPAIGN
What does an effective PR campaign look like?
Every PR campaign has its own objectives, which are often dictated by the size of the business, its targets and its budget. But results are generally measured in the same way – the amount of coverage generated, the quality of the coverage and the balance of key messaging.
Often, businesses set coverage targets each month and identify particular platforms where they’d like to be published.
The platforms could be a major and well-known, such as a national newspaper, to ensure maximum exposure for the brand, or a smaller platform that is read by the brand’s target audience. And although it’s the coverage in the major newspapers that many wish to strive for, a consistent stream of content in the right sector can sometimes be even more effective.
Equally, a smaller number of articles generated in the right places can have a much more positive effect and leave a more lasting impression that a higher frequency in the wrong places.
So, while PR results largely are tangible, success can come in many forms.
How do I get great results?
The key to delivering a perfect PR campaign is in telling the right stories to the right people at the right time.
You must also be able to articulate those stories the right way, both to the journalist and their platform’s readership.
If you have identified a target platform where you wish to generate coverage then it is crucial to develop an understand of what that platform is about, the issues that are important to them and who their target audience is. To put it another way, you should seek to add your voice to an ongoing conversation rather than trying to start a new one.
Unless you are a major player in your sector and are able to set the narrative yourself then your stories must be tailored to match the existing conversation.
Once you have your topic established then consider what you can add. Do you have some interesting new data? Does your business have some exciting news to reveal? Can you provide an informed and interesting opinion?
Who should I send my press releases to?
You may consider trying to reach as wide an audience as possible with your press release, in the hope that a small fraction at least will publish it. But while hitting a large audience can be a successful approach, it’s vital that you are reaching out to the right platforms.
For each PR campaign, spend time building a list of recipients. There may be some contacts that you go back to again and again, which is great, but it’s important to add and remove platforms depending on what your latest release is about.
You should also make sure you’re speaking to the right person at each platform. Most large news organisations have correspondents across a range of topics and you need to make sure that you’re talking to the right one. For example, if your press release talks about the environment then it’d be a waste of your time – and the journalist’s – to reach out a politics reporter.
Smaller publications have general newsdesks and editorial inboxes, which are good starting points, but you should ways try to reach a specific person.
Personalise your approach and let the person receiving your press release know that it was written especially for them. It will do your chances of being published the power of good!
By telling the write stories at the right time, targeting the right people – and adding a personal touch to your correspondence wherever possible – you can utilise PR to deliver results that will help your business thrive.