Every story is different.
So, when it comes to attracting valuable publicity for your business in today’s increasingly crowded communications space, a PR strategy with a tailored approach can be critical.
The bedrock of an effective marketing strategy is a seamless supply of regular, top quality content.
Utilising that content to achieve earned media coverage is a crucial component of that strategy. Media mentions increase awareness of your brand and can boost your SEO ranking through links to your site from others – particularly large publications with high SEO value.
However, how do you compete in an environment where competition is increasing for shrinking editorial space in traditional outlets such as newspapers and magazines, while the digital space is saturated?
Consistent media coverage is not easy to achieve and requires a strong understanding of what makes news and your brand or project’s key messages. It needs clear, concise media releases and story pitches, knowing what media to target, building relationships with journalist and intelligent follow-up.
HELP NOT HYPE
The angle of your release needs to be timely and relevant, and supported by information and quotes that strengthen the message. When you make a statement, back it up with facts and figures, and be sure to include images and video, which will help the journalist use the story across a range of channels.
Stories that emphasize extremes, such as the first, the fastest, the best, and the biggest are the stock in trade for reporters, as are stories that invoke controversy and articulate trends. Adding a human element can increase the value to any news story. People especially identify with those among us who have overcome adversity.
Avoid the temptation to produce a media release that is too self-promotional. It is not the job of journalists to give you free publicity.
Once you’ve pitched your release to a range of media outlets, follow up with a phone call or an email to see if the reporter has considered your release and whether there is anything you can help them with. Remember, follow-ups are fine. Stalking is not.
CRAFT YOUR MESSAGES
There are some people who apparently delight in jumping on a jet for destination unknown in another land. For the more prudent among us, it is best to check you’re at least dressed for the occasion – it’s no fun getting around like a woolly bear in the Bahamas.
Likewise, before you start with any content, know what your business stands for and exactly how it will make life better for your customers. This is true not only for media releases but in your communications across all other owned and paid channels.
PR consultants refer to this as the key messages – the points that you want your audience to know in all of your communications, and how you differentiate yourself from others. It’s important because it will help you connect with the right audience, and it will ensure you have a consistent message to share and build upon.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
An effective PR strategy will not only hit the right media channels but communicate in the correct language and tone.
If a story is compelling enough – it affects a lot of people or features a strong human element and visuals or includes an interesting event – it may be suitable for a press conference. Remember this will require key players and representatives to speak to the media and take place at a suitable time of the day to maximise its appeal. TV crews for instance can require several separate pieces of vision as well as the time to arrange and edit footage when they return to the studio.
Key messages, referred to earlier, are particularly valuable for media conferences, providing easily digestible “grabs’’ and “sound bites’’ for media. They also help your speakers remain “on point” and able to offer ready answers to questions from reporters.
Sometimes the best exposure comes down to offering an exclusive to a single media outlet. An exclusive usually means giving the outlet a key element of the story on the understanding that they have it first.
The story can be released to other media, often updated or tailored to suit their audiences after the story has had its first run. It can be a great way to build a rapport with individual journalists but use it too often and you risk alienating others.
At Pitch, our team can help your business generate the media coverage you need to build brand trust, attract your target customers and establish authority in your industry. Get in touch today for chat about what we can do for you.