Without a clear strategy you will lose an abundance of opportunities of doing PR that will not come back, you will react too slowly and lessen the impact of what you are doing.
How do you get your business in the papers?
How to succeed with PR
To be able to swiftly react to news you really have to know what you are aiming for with your PR activities. What's your target group? What's your message? Who's your spokesperson? What issues do you want to be associated with?
Whenever headline news is associated with what you do, contact media and make a statement. Journalists are keen to hear from companies involved in the sector.
Contact news agencies
Whenever there is news you would like to comment on call news agencies immediately and make a statement. The earlier you call the higher the likelihood of you being quoted.
Focus on developments in your area
What's being debated in parliament? What events are taking place? Inform journalists about news in your company that are related to what's going on and issues being debated. Don’t forget to give them background, facts and comments.
Scoops give opportunities
Whenever a newspaper has a scoop you can give them additional information and your points of view. Journalists will be keen to publish what you say since you prove that their scoop really was remarkable.
Take advantage of lack of headline news
When there is lack of news it's easy to get an interesting story published. And getting your company in the papers during the weekends is not as difficult as during the week. It’s not for nothing that Wikileaks always release their documents on Fridays. Always be prepared to take advantage of not much happening in the world by having press releases and articles ready to submit. And make sure that spokespersons are available to comment.
Anniversaries and jubilees are good occasions
An easy way to start a press release is by stating something like "with our national day coming up…" and then going on to whatever it is you would like to get published. Volvo for instance got a lot of coverage by taking advantage of International Women's Day by launching a car developed by and for women in connection with it.
Timing is key
Save your news until you need publicity, for instance because of fundraising or an IPO. A good example of that is how some fundraising organisations try to get as much publicity as they can at the end of the year which is the time when they raise funds.
If you want to impact decisions being taken you need to start lobbying long before the matter will be decided upon. For instance, if you are keen on being voted entrepreneur of the year it's a good idea to start submitting articles to the opinion section of major newspapers just before the jury will meet to decide who will be the lucky one.
Avoid days when much is happening
The day the budget is released, war breaks out somewhere or someone famous is taken to hospital it's a waste of time to try to get your press release published. It will not work for the simple reason that other more important events are taking place.
Forget about sending emails
Call the journalists. This is by far the most effective way to connect with media because they receive hundreds of emails every day. While everyone else is scared of getting a big no in their ear, having a bit of courage will get you further in the PR game.
The press release is dead. At least, the old press release where you e-blast news desks, reporters, and news-wires. While online media releases do serve SEO purposes and have track-able metrics, in a world of spam the last thing an editor wants is another generic email about the launch of something.
How are you handling your PR? Still sending press releases by email? Do you usually get your press releases published? Have you developed good relations with journalists in key papers? What strategies have you tried and which ones work for you? What suggestions do you have for companies trying to get more impact from their PR activities?
Photo: PhotoXpress – Christopher Hall