Public relations is the marketing discipline that manages reputation and it sits alongside a variety of other tools under the marketing umbrella. Part science and part art, it’s a critical element of any organisation’s success so your PR and marketing strategy must be up to scratch. Team Absolute has compiled a selection of top PR tips to get you started:
1. Do your research
It’s often said that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is certainly a saying that bears truth when it comes to PR and marketing. No matter what stage you’ve reached in your business or PR journey, careful research and planning will help you to act strategically and deliver the best possible results.
So, where should you start? As a minimum, you should start with research which should cover:
• Your target audiences
• Your competitors
• Regional media
• National media
• Digital channels
Conducting thorough research is the key to strategically planned PR and marketing communications campaigns that are more likely to produce great results. A skilled PR and marketing agency can undertake this research on your behalf and offer a fresh perspective, ideas and tactics as part of the planning process.
2. Choose your channels tactically
Your communication channels should be selected to deliver the best return on investment and to help you achieve your objectives.
Print media, for instance, has weathered the storm of ‘fake news’ that has dented the credibility of some digital-only media as it is seen as more impartial and trustworthy. However, audiences of all ages are increasingly consuming online media. ‘Silver surfers’ are now the fastest growing demographic on Facebook while younger audiences are dispersing across other social media, private messaging and blog services. Across all audiences, the Reuters Annual Digital Report showed that, across 36 countries, 47% of respondents use Facebook to consume news.
There is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to choosing communication channels. Your organisation’s unique mix should be crafted to meet your objectives with a blend of on and offline channels suited to your target audiences.
3. Think social
ln our digital-first world, social media is fully entrenched in our work and personal lives. Whether they’re sharing photos with friends, shopping, or looking for video tutorials, your audiences are coming into contact with social media.
Firstly, resist the temptation to join every available channel. Social media rests on quality over quantity and, as with any other PR and marketing channel, your choice should be based on the channel’s ability to meet your objectives. It might turn out that your brand will benefit from several social media accounts to engage your various audiences, or it might become apparent that one stands out as the right choice. If resources are scarce, it may produce better results to choose just one or two suitable channels where you can focus your efforts rather than spreading yourself too thin.
4. Tell your story
Your business growth depends on building your brand’s reputation, reaching your target audiences and converting customers into brand advocates. Telling your unique brand story is a powerful way to engage your audiences and mould your brand profile through your PR and marketing activity.
Encourage your audiences to help promote your brand’s vision by becoming part of your brand’s story. Build trust with your audiences, help them fall in love with what you’re doing, and encourage engaged customers to share in your business’ journey.
5. News releases need to be engaging and written without error
Media relations remains a cornerstone of many PR strategies and the humble news release is still a key tool in the communications toolkit. This is your opportunity to grab the attention of the media. Done well, you can gain widespread coverage on digital channels, in print, broadcast and even via social media. It’s quite an art. An expert will transform even the dullest story into a must-read piece full of fascinating and engaging facts tailored specifically to your target audiences. Those less seasoned in the art of creating news can make even the best story seem flat. Done poorly, which is surprisingly often, your release won’t make it past the ‘to read pile’ or past the recipient’s inbox.
However, even if you have created a masterpiece, journalists receive hundreds of news releases to wade through every day. The quality of news releases is one simple way for weary reporters to filter an overflowing inbox and, if a spelling mistake is the first thing to greet them when they open your release, it is unlikely to make it any further. Your news releases must be original, creative and engaging. They must also be well written, well formatted, and thoroughly spellchecked.
6. Build relationships
People respond to storytelling, engage with emotions and connect to people – not brands. Whatever the size of your organisation, your human relationships play a critical role in building and shaping your brand’s reputation.
Networking events are a great way to raise your organisation’s profile and forge new contacts. Networking provides the opportunity to connect with business figures that may align with your values and objectives and who can support your business growth. They may even provide new business opportunities in themselves. Networking events may also provide you with the opportunity to meet important media figures. Taking the trouble to get to know your key media contacts will stand you in good stead. When you learn what they need to do their job well, you will be better placed to help them to help you.
7. Keep up to date with the latest news
At Absolute PR and Marketing, we keep our ears to the ground. We keep up to date with trends across UK industry, regional and national events and business developments. Whatever your sector, it’s important to be ahead of the curve. When you understand your business’ market position, you will gain the ability to identify and capitalise on opportunities to create compelling campaigns.
For help with your strategic PR and marketing communications, contact the Absolute PR and Marketing team today on 01392 680740 or firstname.lastname@example.org