Five tips for making PR work for you…
Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great brands and companies. While they were experts in their field, I was brought in to help them build their reputation, bolster their brand and get the attention of their audience. And with this wisdom, I wanted to share some of the key points that will help you engage with your audience through the powerful medium of PR.
Think about your target audience
Yes, you’d love to be on the front cover of The Times, or have a double-page spread in the Guardian (who wouldn’t?), but what are YOUR potential clients watching and reading? It’s important not to just go for the big, sexy titles, because in doing this you may miss your core customer. I worked for an international NGO, where much of their audience were watching UK-based ethnic channels on Sky, and reading niche newspapers. They weren’t reading the nationals, so targeting them wouldn’t be a priority.
This leads me onto my next point…
Don’t overlook the regionals
Often a regional paper will provide more detailed coverage of your business than a national outlet. This is because on a national scale, you’re competing against political stories (and there are a LOT of them right now, Jeremy Corbyn being a case in point), world affairs and celebrity news (the reality is a famous face will always get column inches).
Regional and local press are interested in stories from the area. I’ve pitched client stories in the big regionals across the UK (Manchester Evening News, Yorkshire Post, etc.) and gained great coverage, while a national has featured the same stories in a ‘news in brief’ section.
Look at what stories you’ve already got
You don’t necessarily need to ‘create’ PR stories. Sometimes the things you do as ‘business as usual’ may be enough to create a buzz. For example, appointing a new team member, winning a new piece of work, a spike in business growth or a product modification can all be stories of note to different audiences. They key skill is drawing out those stories, and tailoring them towards the audience you are targeting. Which takes me nicely on to my penultimate point…
It’s not all horses for courses
Similar to my first tip, when thinking about ways of getting the interest of your target audience, don’t adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, if you’ve got a restaurant in London, your potential targets may be food bloggers, the ‘going out’ section of your regional paper, the features editors of the national press, as well as the various foodie interest groups on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Clearly, all would require a different approach. For example you wouldn’t publish an entire press release on a Facebook post or tweet. Nor would you write a one-line intro to a food journalist and expect them to do the rest of the work. Do your homework, look at what is the best approach, and get in touch in the right way.
Don’t oversaturate and elongate
My old boss had a great saying – ‘be brief, be bright, be gone’. This wasn’t her way of getting me out of her office (at least I hope not), but her advice rings true for PR. Journalists, bloggers and indeed the general public don’t want waffle. They want you to get to the point of your story, so they can decide whether or not it is of interest to them. When I graduated from an English and Marketing degree and went into a Broadcast Journalism Post Graduate Diploma, it was certainly an eye opener. Gone were the lengthy 10,000 word essays, and in came the three line stories. A simple exercise would be to take a 300 word article, and condense it into a few sentences. This is what you need to do when engaging the press and public. Cut to the chase and keep it simple.
Of course, all of this does require time, effort and a little know-how, so if you’d like any help in making PR work for your business, do get in touch, as HK Communications can provide a complimentary consultation. That way, you can focus on what you best.