At the core of PR is savvy messaging and flavorful storytelling via credible third-party sources like the media. PR adds true value to a brand or business in a time of overcrowded ads and sales pitches. Even companies with innovative and superior products or services will find themselves experiencing business problems for that simple that no one knows of their existence. We have a saying in the PR industry:
To successfully win the battle of getting your brand, product or service featured in the media and growing a strong and powerful reputation, there are several steps that need to be carefully followed. A comprehensive PR strategy first needs to be outlined in a thoughtful way. Everyone wants to get press. But getting press isn’t always easy and it’s never guaranteed. Everyone wants to have a great reputation and brand and achieving positive press placement is a great way to establish that. Getting your product or service in front of the right audience at the right time with an interesting story tied to it is one of the most important parts of any PR campaign. Before a business or PR firm conducts media relations, it’s important to penetrate the outer layer of defense in the press/media community. Get their attention, support their published stories on social media and ultimately establish personal relationships with the media. This is what public relations firms in Miami and other major cities do. The value of media relationships is one of the many reasons businesses work with PR firms like Savory PR.
Equally important to a PR program is the need to clearly define, articulate and control your message and tailor it to different media or press outlets. Remember that the role of journalists is to deliver news, which often means wrapping a story or concept into something that is topical and germane to their viewers.
Many brands or businesses fail at PR when they attempt to force their perception of what’s “trendy” or interesting about their product or service onto the media. While it is crucial to weave the company’s core messages into any media pitch, this is a delicate art form that requires finesse, an understanding of the press person, and a willingness to creatively spin your product or service to fit their needs.
If you are going to invest time and money into a PR agency, it’s important to follow these 10 steps for launching a successful PR campaign:
1). AUDIENCE: Know your target audience. Understand their age, location, interests, what social media platforms they are on, what media outlets they read, etc. Who are you speaking to? Who is the decision maker or potential customer? Businesses often tend to overlook who they should be getting in front of, and it isn’t always just the top publications such as ESPN or the New York Times. There are tens of thousands of publications (what we refer to as “verticals”) that focus on niche segments of an industry. For example, there are dozens of tech startup blogs and media sites as well as Blockchain focused news sites that technology companies and blockchain startups can achieve positive press placement in. Small and medium tier media publications, both online and offline, shouldn’t be overlooked. Make sure to ask your publicist or PR agency what are the best media outlets for your specific industry and product or service.
2.) MESSAGING: Companies often make a big mistake by selling themselves the same way, every time, despite a change in audience. A company should identify and promote their core values and top 2 core messages. Additional messages should be developed and approved to support the brand, product or service and overall business mission. It’s important to tailor your messaging to your potential readers or audience. Once you understand your target audience (step 1), this will become a bit easier.
3.) IDENTIFY CLEAR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: We always ask our clients, “Why do you want PR?” Many look to PR because advertising is so expensive and they can secure more press with a PR budget. Other businesses proactively do PR in an effort to sell their company in the future, secure funding, achieve new users/customers, etc. It is always good to identify why you need PR so that your team can develop a PR strategy that always ties back into those same goals and objectives.
4.) TRUST THE PR EXPERT: PR isn’t something people can learn overnight. Even for recent PR grads, they have a solid foundation, but being good at PR takes years of practical experience. If you are going to work with a PR agency or consultant, you must be able to trust them and their experience working with the media. Media tend to want to hear what will help them get their job done quickly and efficiently. Experienced PR professionals generally know what is newsworthy and how to fit that story into what the media is currently covering.
5.) THEMEATIC: Develop stories related to your brand/product/service into what is trendy and happening in the media.
6.) TREAT JOURNALISTS LIKE VIP: Media professionals know their power and sometimes want to feel important. Anyone working with the media would benefit from being kind, treating them with great respect, giving them all the assets and info they ask for and ultimately treating them like VIP. Call them back immediately, be available, answer their questions as best you can, or offer to get back to them.
7.) UNDERSTAND DEADLINES: Always ask a press person what their deadline is so that they are aware you are trying to get them the information you need.
8.) UNDERSTAND WHAT AND IS NOT NEWSWORTHY: Ask someone outside of your business or service if they think your story is interesting – and look at what the media is covering. If all the media is covering news based on the economy or what the Trump administration is thinking or doing, explore and figure out your story that is in the realms of those same topics.
9.) INVEST IN VISUAL CONTENT: Creating engaging, interesting and unique content– whether it be video, digital flyers, blog posts, or tweets– will be essential in getting your story, message and product/service out in front of an audience. It’s essential to have PR materials like a media alert, press release and electronic press kit, but you also need to have visuals that help drive home your company values, CEO background, mission statemnt, product tutorials, etc. Visual content is immensely helpful to journalists and enables them to get a better, more complete picture of your business and story.
10.) MAKE A PLAN: The best PR efforts are ones that are strategically outlined. A good PR plan offers clients the best combination of tools, strategies, tactics, media contacts and expertise necessary for achieving your PR goals and an overall exceptional PR campaign launch. Develop a communications plan and budget for 2018-2019, and talk to a PR firm about what they can do within your budget to grow sales, increase your visibility and enhance your reputation and brand awareness.
If you are interested in working with a Savory PR, we’d love to set up a complimentary phone consultation today. You can email us at Samantha@savory-pr.com or fill out the form on our Contact Page and we can ultimately provide you with a customized PR plan or help train you to conduct your own public relations for your business or brand.