Our clients often tell us that, as part of their marketing strategy, they’d like to ‘do’ some PR. This is great and we do often recommend that PR forms part of a company’s overall marketing strategy. We have an experienced in-house PR team who are always itching to create great content and shout about our clients to their ideal audience.
We’d start off by making sure that our clients understand exactly what PR means. So often, they assume that it’s just getting your brand in to the media. Of course, this is an element of PR but it’s about so much more too. In the words of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations says: ‘Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.’
In this series of articles, we are going to encourage readers to understand what PR means for your company and your reputation. We’ll look at understanding more about your reputation and ways of keeping abreast of what others are saying about you, crisis management, reporting to your stakeholders and of course, media coverage and finding your story.
But first, some things to think about before you get started:
- Know your story. It’s not just media – it’s telling a story and relating to your ideal audience, or your customers and potential customers. If you are desperate to drive sales but don’t have a great story to tell about it, maybe you’d be better off thinking about some digital advertising? We always help clients to prioritise and where we can use data to analyse where their efforts will be best spent.
- Know your audience. It’s worth taking a step back here and thinking about what you personally read, listen to, watch and engage with and why. It’s very important at this stage to also put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think from their perspective about what would interest them. It’s worth remembering that editors and journalists won’t publish stories if they judge them to be commercial, or trying to just sell more products or services. There has to be a genuine newsworthy angle that will make people want to read about, hear or watch your story.
- Who are you targeting? This is so important and something that we say regularly to our clients. Quite often, businesses see newspaper articles or a radio or TV interview as the pinnacle of a PR success story – they can be, and of course, people do still read newspapers, listen to the radio and watch television. But if your target audience is aged between 18-30 for example, you may be better off trying to pitch your story to a digital platform. Think about who you’re trying to connect with, which channels and platforms they engage with and what will make them want to engage with your story. Research is the key here and it forms a huge part of any PR strategy that we create for our clients.
- Who can you ask to shout about your products on your behalf? Let’s face it, we are all influenced and are all influencers to some extent. Think about your most recent purchasing decisions. Did your friend recommend a particular product or service to you? Or did you see a recommendation by a Facebook friend? As an agency, we will always look at who your strategic friends or partners might be – whether it’s an online publication whose readers are your target audience, or a social media influencer that has a following you would like to get in front of. This should also form part of your PR strategy – connections and collaborations should not be overlooked and can be incredibly helpful when trying to grow your followers and ultimately, your customers.
- Content is king. It might seem obvious, but we suggest to all of our clients that they focus on the message and the story first. Once you’ve got that sussed, then it’s a case of working out where best to send it, and how best to get people to engage with it. And don’t forget to not only think about it from the media’s point of view but always ask yourself, why would my ideal audience want to read/watch this?
We can help with all elements of your PR strategy. If you’d like to chat to one of the members of our experienced in-house team, please call us on 01392 423 060.