Public Relations for your Business

Public Relations can be a really effective way of spreading the word about your business. They’re still important even in today’s digital age.

PRESS RELEASES

  • Press releases can be sent to more than one recipient – write as if to an intelligent 12 year old as the publication will put it into their appropriate language should they decide to use it.
  • TV and Radio – still send them a press release
  • Rate cards – you should aim to be paying half the quoted rate card price
  • Stories fill the gaps between paid adverts
  • 97% press releases get binned – not interesting or not well written
  • Make sure someone will be available for comment
  • Very reactive industry
  • Send out BEFORE the event happens

 

WHAT MAKES A GOOD STORY?

  • It’s all about STORIES – either provide a story or comment on one.
  • Tell the media about INTERESTING things you are doing – use clients, customers, real people, facts and figures, surveys (you can do your own but make sure you tell them what methods you used) Make sure it passes the “so what?” test for the audience.
  • Offer yourself as an expert – write to the press and let them know you’re available for comments
  • You can create stories but make sure they’re really well thought out and INTERESTING!
  • TV and Radio – still send them a press release
  • Someone local to comment on national stories (BBC BREAKFAST ALWAYS LOOKING FOR EXPERTS)
  • Make sure it’s local (geographical) or relevant (subject)
  • Business news more relevant to business publications – trade press also like stories for their readers – location not so much of an issue for these

 

PHOTOGRAPHS

  • Photographs can help – or invite the press to come take a photo – but make it as easy and quick for them as possible.
  • Focused images
  • Smiley people looking at the camera
  • Nicely exposed
  • Not too much background clutter
  • 99% images in papers are staged
  • Take loads
  • Don’t embed in document/email – attach as a jpeg max 800KB
  • Can help increase chances of story being used
  • Shouldn’t be just general promo pics – should be NEWS pictures – personal photos
  • Don’t make press photographer wait – have somewhere for them to park and be ready for their arrival

 

STRUCTURE

  • Headline and beginning need to be instantly amazing and attention-grabbing – making you want to read on.
  • Make sure there’s one main point to the story
  • Don’t assume prior knowledge
  • Don’t have to have business name in straight away
  • Give it to someone to read to make sure no questions are thrown up
  • Avoid adjectives and adverbs or it will look like an advert
  • Use the quote to say great things – looks more professional too
  • Can repeat headline in 1st line of story

 

INTERVIEWS

  • Be prepared – be available – make sure your staff know you may be expecting a call.
  • Keep control over the content – be careful what you say – it might be taken out of context but you still said it!
  • Name your company on the radio
  • Don’t just respond to questions – elaborate on what you say
  • They’re not bothered about helping you – they just want a story
  • Keep control and focus, don’t allow them to drag you here there and everywhere
  • Have something memorable to say – powerful – fact etc
  • Questions may not be heard in the end – only your answers

 

SENDING

  • Attach as a Word 97-2003 .doc file and copy and paste into main body of email too
  • Write “News Story” and the title of the story in the subject line
  • Look in paper or online for contact details
  • Send it to the newsdesk as well as individual journalist email address
  • Logo should be low res
  • Email during office hours but not too early or late in the day
  • Can send a hard copy as well to increase chances
  • No need for covering letter
  • Don’t follow up with a phone call
  • Don’t embed images in document/email – attach as a jpeg max 800KB

 

MONITORING

  • Can set up Google Alerts for coverage
  • Only way is to buy the paper

 

LEGAL

  • Check with 3rd parties involved in the press release – speak to their PR people to check. ALWAYS CHECK – same for quoting people too.

 

USING A PR COMPANY

  • Can they do more for you than you can?
  • How does it fit into the rest of your marketing?
  • Check their success and contacts