To start, no form of marketing reaches your target market and adds to your credibility, validation or trust factor like PR.
That said, what are the real secrets of launching an effective PR campaign?
The main secrets that people generally ignore are:
1) PR is a cumulative process. An effective campaign can literally change your life and your business, but it is not a fire sale and seldom happens overnight. It takes time, consistency, creativity and work.
2) Sending out press releases is not comprised of simply sending out press releases and waiting.
3) Effective PR is effective storytelling. Simply announcing a new product or new service is not a story. Announcing that you’re opening a new store is an important story to you, but not necessarily for the media. That said, before a press release is written or pitches or sent, or the media is called you need to figure out your message, your story and your call to action.
4) Knowing you want media coverage isn’t enough. Why do you want media coverage? What are your objectives? What are the media outlets that can best help you reach those objectives? The media outlets best reach your target market(s)? If you don’t start by answering those basic questions, you’re in trouble from the start.
5) Remember you might not have one target market but several. If that’s the case you’re going to need to discover which media outlets reach those various target markets and then write pitches that address each one. There is seldom a one-size-fits-all PR campaign. You need to strategize and come up with appropriate pitches for the various outlets and markets.
6) Know who you’re pitching and what interests him or her. Most journalists write about a certain area of interest that in turn will interest their audience. Before you pitch a journalist, editor or producer, make sure that your pitch is appropriate.
7) Stunts and gimmicks can (at times) work, but you don’t want to rest your entire public relations campaign on stunts. They can just as easily backfire. They can be a door opener, but you need to be ready to follow through with an interesting narrative. In that arena, a little can go a long (sometimes too long) way.
8) It’s worth taking some time to see how you can frame a story to interest the media. For example on 60 Minutes, Jeff Bezo’s announced that drones would be delivering packages up to 50 pounds for Amazon. Now in truth drones aren’t going to be doing that anytime soon, but that story grabbed the media’s and the public’s interest. The statement was made around the holiday season, which got shoppers thinking about Amazon. The timing was great, but in reality it was a non story. It had to do with some future program, which (for all we know) might not ever come to fruition. But, it was an interesting story. A great narrative. It got people talking. Now very few people are going to have the luxury of going on 60 Minutes to present such a story, but in a micro version the same, basic approach can work.
Being featured in the news is often more powerful than a strong human referral from a family member, friend or associate. Press coverage offers the validation of being the news, which is often seen as the final word on a subject. PR can build your business, grow your career and establish you as an expert in your field, but only if you know the secrets and then then take the necessary actions to launch and implement a successful media campaign.
Copyright © Mora Communications 2015