Tuesday, 1st November 2016

6 top tips for businesses looking to up their PR game

Discover your ‘why’  

In order for any business to connect with consumers, it is important to go back to the drawing board and identify its core values and beliefs. What drove the founder to create it, what was their vision and what gets them out of bed in the morning?

Consumers often don’t buy what you do, instead they buy ‘why’ you do it. Much of the time, the ‘why’ behind a business is more important to consumers than the ‘nitty gritty’. As a result, by discovering what their ‘why’ is, businesses become better placed to connect with consumers, communicate messages and generate meaningful, positive PR.

Therefore, a business’s ‘why’ should form the foundation of all communications and brand touch points, ensuring they are able to develop a sense of authenticity and emotive appeal with consumers.

Unlock your stories

Every business has an audience for its stories. Whether it sells tools, constructs buildings or cuts hair, it doesn’t matter. It’s just a case of unlocking these stories, figuring out who the audience is, and using the best channels to reach consumers.

To do this, it is important to consider consumers and get to fully understand them. Find out what they like, what they find interesting and what type of media they engage with. After this, businesses become better placed to fill this gap with tailored content, relevant to their consumers.

In order to unlock stories, businesses need to think like journalists and identify potential news hooks within their companies, which could be turned into stories. Consider things that are taking place within your business. What milestones have you hit? What interesting stories do you have? Perhaps you have valuable insight about a particular topic? After this, you have the basis of a story, ready to craft into a full media release.

Create newsworthy content

Create regular, high quality and timely content. The prevalence of social media has brought opportunities for businesses to skip-out the traditional media ‘middle man’, and communicate with consumers directly, as part of a multi-channel approach.

Social media and company blogs, can be highly effective channels for businesses to communicate directly with consumers. The more newsworthy, relevant and higher quality the content is, the more interested and engaged consumers will be.

All too often, businesses make the mistake of assuming a project they are involved with is newsworthy. Perhaps they’re running an event or announcing changes to products. But the real question is…why should people care?

In order to generate media coverage, businesses need to create content which ticks these three boxes: Timely, important, interesting.

Understand the media and build relationships

The media has its own set of rules, which can feel ‘alien’ to outsiders.

Each media outlet is different, but there are similarities across the board. For example, each has its own deadlines which cannot be missed.

To secure coverage, it is important to understand how the media works, the challenges it faces and how it operates. Journalists are very busy people with tight deadlines. They have a responsibility to fill the pages and air time of their outlet. To do this, they regularly require high quality content, which their audiences will find interesting and informative. And that’s where you come in.

If you can provide this to them, making their lives easier in the process, then everyone is a winner. In this situation, coverage is generated for your business, and journalists gain access to an interesting story.

Hire in the pros

The art and science behind producing effective PR, can take years to master, and require a highly skilled team with an abundance of resources and bags of expertise.

PR agencies exist for this purpose. So should you hire one?

I like to think of it like hiring a lawyer or an accountant…yes, you can probably Google the basics, but when it comes down to it, effective PR is a full time job that requires a specific skill set.

Companies like NC Creative have the contacts, expertise and resources to ensure a business’s PR function is operated to its full potential, enabling its employees to instead spend their time concentrating on what they do best.

Be strategic and think long term

When it comes to PR, too many people get caught up with the bottom line. They want to know about return on investment and leads generated. But that’s not really what PR is all about.

Yes, PR can be used to effectively drive sales and generate new customers, but it goes deeper than that. PR is about the image and reputation of a business over the long term.  

But remember, one positive story is not enough.

Peter Blackhall

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