Nicola Millington, Marketing Maven at FP Comms with 15 years’ experience of PR is here to inspire the growth of your business through great communications. These 3 core tips will make you successful in connecting with journalists, bloggers, vloggers and other media in a meaningful way.
Getting started - PR is not an optional extra
I am that person who believes that we can accomplish anything that we put our minds to; if only we believe that we deserve it. My purpose is to help businesses breakthrough their fear of marketing in their ambition to create amazing companies.
At the inception of all businesses, we are bombarded with a list of all the things that are essential to the growth of a business, everything from cash flow to an exit plan. However, there is one absolute simple fact; without communication which informs and educates people about your businesses, you are basically a thought in the wind.
Communication is the art of connecting, to build better relationships. Marketing and PR is the umbrella for all aspects of communication within business, from branding to advertising; writing press releases to working with Influencers. Yes communication is key.
If you struggle to understand the difference between PR and Advertising, check out our blog on the subject.
Marketing and PR (as a skill) can seem an oxymoron. It has the ability to look easy to deliver, yet so difficult to do well, and achieve the results you want. The truth of the matter is, that it is a skill in building relationships, and businesses that do it well, have the ability to attract and retain short and long term clients.
Here are my three key tips in helping you achieve great PR success:
1. Remember the human factor
The first thing to always remember is that there is a human being that reads your press release. Regardless of the fact that your release may go on an automated site, that allows you to share your release verbatim, or it is being personally sent to a publication; at some point a person will read it, to decide if it is worthy of publishing and promoting. Therefore, you should always have a picture in your mind of the person who will read your release. This means a well-constructed, engaging, grammatically correct, release should be presented.
If however, you are sending the article to a specific journalist, you should research the work of that journalist thoroughly. Follow them on twitter, read a number of their articles, learn about the publications and the sections they write for and find out about their deadline times.
Most importantly, be respectful of their time and their craft and be prepared to answer additional questions quickly.
2. Understand how publications and media platforms work
Publications are interested in articles that help engage their readers. However, they are also reliant on advertisers to keep their publication in print and on the airwaves. Bear this in mind when sending your release.
Is your article really going to help the publication increase readership, viewers or listeners?
This does not mean you should sensationalise or embellish your story. However, you should find a unique angle, something more interesting than, say, a website launching. For example, say you’re making a special offer on your new website involving a date with a celebrity for new subscribers drawn on a raffle. You could in fact have two stories here: the prize itself and how you got or organised that prize! Can you imagine how inspired other businesses would be by your example? Why would the media platform not want to tell your story?
I always believe in considering, what is in it for the publication. This thought can help you focus your mind and your release.
3. Be prepared
Journalists and the media can often run to very tight deadlines. So please ensure that you are available to respond to questions quickly. Have relevant, high resolution images to hand to send to the journalist as they may need them for the article. Often, a good image can be the difference from being published or not).
Also, if you are planning a trip away and will not be available for comment, it would be better to wait until your return before sending your release.
Have you found these tips helpful? I would really like to know which of these tips you have implemented and how successful you’ve been? Do share your feedback on this blog post.
Written by: Nicola Millington, founder of FP Comms, a marketing company dedicated to helping people communicate about their business confidently and effectively. Nicola’s company has helped emerging brands build their profiles on a national and international level, and continues to work with clients across sectors including the beauty, health and fitness, skincare, travel and film industry.