13 March 2013
A Word On PR
Over the years, there has been more wool pulled over people’s eyes about PR than is acceptable and in this two part article, we hope to dispel some of the myths, legends and confusion that surround it.
But first, it is worth stepping back a little from the subject to mention that every business has relations with many different “publics” who all have to be dealt with appropriately.
In your business, your publics most likely will be:
- Your customers
- Your prospective customers
- Your workforce
- Your surrounding community
- Your suppliers
- Your professionals (Bank, accountant, lawyers etc)
And to each one you have to impart information in a manner most likely to get the message across, each requiring a different approach – or “public” relationship.
However, in this first of two articles, we will concentrate on the first two of the above publics. In terms of growing your business, they are the most important so we will deal with media relations, where you utilise the media to tell your customers – the people who pay you – what it is they need to know about your business that will encourage them to trade with you.
PR - The Biggest Brand Builder
Gaining coverage in the media is the single most important brand building tactic in marketing. When a magazine publishes details about your product or service, it is conferring credibility upon it, as the reader sees it as the view of the magazine. However, getting the information to be published is not always so easy. There are a number of methods that can be employed but we will deal with the one that is the most popular – the press release.
Can You Do It Yourself?
Anyone who can write English should be able to and if you don’t have the funds to employ professionals to do it for you, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try. It just requires a methodical approach.
Here are some tips to help you:
- Create a press release template. This includes the elements found in every release. It will have contact information (the name, phone number and email address of someone in the company who can answer journalists’ questions), the line, ‘For Immediate Release’, followed by space for a headline and a subhead
- The first line begins with the dateline, which includes the date of release and location of the release (typically the town or city where the company’s headquarters are located)
- The first paragraph includes the basic facts about the announcement, and should answer the questions who, what, when, where, why and how
- The second paragraph typically includes a quote from the MD or other relevant executive in the company
- The third, fourth and subsequent paragraphs provide more detail on the announcement
- The end of the body of the release is signified by the word ENDS centered on the next line. Up to this point, you should endeavour to have contained all the information on one side of A4
- After that line, a paragraph titled “Notes to Editors” provides basic information about the company, including when and where it was founded, what business the company is in, and any awards or other recognition or success the company has had. At the end of this paragraph, the contact information, including the company’s web address, should be included.
Of course, then what is left is to send it out to relevant media. a thorough session of desktop research should allow you to find out who the right contacts in the various media (local press and publications, industry magazines, websites, etc.)
This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive tutorial on PR – after all, there are books on the subject – and we would be happy to explain more about it if you feel that your marketing is missing out on its most important ally.BACK TO LISTING
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