PS has worked as a freelance writer since 2012. When she's not traveling and writing, she helps people with web design and development.
What is PR?
PR i.e. Public Relations majorly focuses on enhancing the brand’s reputation by effectively communicating the businesses. It helps forge the brand’s image as authoritative and trustworthy. It works as owned, earned or paid media.
- Owned media is a self-produced business content such as a blog, social posts, guest posts, and media content. It is the first step to make your customers believe in you when they come to know about your business. so, good content is an essential part of your website.
- Paid Media can also be termed as paid advertising. It involves business promotion through influencer marketing and pay-per-click advertising.
- Earned Media is the most trending brand promotion strategy that focuses on finding potential customers by getting featured on blogs and mentioned in the regional news. This combination of online and offline media coverage can help build a noticeable brand. The reason it is called “earned” is because it requires lots of efforts to be put in to attract media to cover your business.
How to Attract Media to Cover your Brand?
The following topics cover the basic requirements that a business needs to fulfill to get noticed by the media. Some of these are:
- Crafting a Brand Narrative
- Forging relations with the press
- Getting featured on the regional news
- Pitching a company that specializes in the press release
- Examining competitors
- Using social media and other related online sites
- Measuring success rate
How to Craft a Brand Narrative?
Despite having the best quality product, there’s a lot of uncertainties that your brand will receive the same hype as your competitors. The best way is to build an emotional hook. When you add this to your strategy, the customers will highly likely respond to your stories. In short, it is important to have a compelling brand narrative. For this step to be successful, consider these points:
- Summarize what your brand offers
- Ask yourself, what makes your brand unique and more trustworthy? Are you a trained professional from an elite university? Do you have a rich family history who have been operating in the same business for years? Are you a work-from-home professional who struggled to develop a work-life balance? Or did you have humble starting from a small cafeteria or garage?
- Think about the purpose of why you launched it in the first place. What problems you observed and how you want to resolve them?
- Target your audience’s demographics and research what appeals to them.
- Craft a genuine and simple brand narrative
How to Forge Relations with the Press?
Daydreaming about a PR reaching by themselves to media to cover your story seems so thrilling, but this is lame, indeed. If you don’t have established connections, then this is pretty difficult. Since, journalists as well as media already acquired with a high amount of connections to deal with, it doesn’t make sense that they’ll something exclusively for you.
Thus, establishing amicable connections is extremely important before you pitch the press release. Considering help from a stranger is less promising than asking for the same from a friend or a relative. As a result, you need to have healthy connections with editors and writers. It may sound low, but getting media coverage is not at all a rocket science. It is just common sense. Google these potential professionals or if you are on social media, then you must be already following them.
Ask yourself, how you start a conversation with another person and how you build a friendship with others? Making connections isn’t difficult, especially when the Internet had made it extremely easier than ever before. Make sure you follow the editors and writers on their respective social media handles.
Update yourself regularly with their blogs and news. Respond to their blogs and posts. Share stuff that interests them. Do whatever is possible to arouse their interest. Make sure you are taken as a valuable connection, not a stranger.
What tools to use for media outreach?
There are multiple tools that can help you connect with media professionals.
- HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
- Muck Rack
Make sure you are an easy-to-contact person. If a media person wishes to contact you, then he/she must be clearly able to see your contact information on your website. If you are a team, then show your team members’ photos along with small biographies. This will help them connect with you personally. They also have the option to reach out to the specific professionals, for example, if they wish to discuss finance related articles, then they can easily reach out to your CFO (Chief Finance Officer).
If you are covered by the news and want to ensure they reach you again, add a press section to your website. Tell others about your press section through social media. This will make news outlet more inclined to contact you in the future.
Guest posts are one of the best ways to gain recognition with the help of already highly-ranked websites such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, etc. Choose any topic you like, but make sure it engaging and innovative that people get curious to know more about you. Your every line in the post must talk specifically about the chosen topic, advertising your brand isn’t a perfect fit here.
How to get featured on the Regional News?
To achieve big is to start small. To gain immense media attention for your business, start with the regional news outlets. Research what’s tending in your region. If there are upcoming events specifically related to your niche, try to set a booth and design some flyers and leaflets. Most likely, it’ll generate press attention to your brand. also, if the event is conducting a panel discussion, grab the opportunity to show your expertise and talk about your brand.
Show your generosity to your locale
Working as a philanthropist is a great way to catch media attention. It can be sponsoring a sports team, organizing an event such as for charity and so on. If money is your concern, then there are other options too, such as donating your product or volunteering your time. If it doesn’t work, then you also have the option to sponsor or organize your own event.
How to pitch a Press Release?
Crafting a compelling press release is an important step to get a chance to be featured in the media. But don’t rush, start by building relationships with media professionals such as journalists and editors.
What is a press release, basically?
A press release is a formal compelling business statement made to the press to inform the readers about business’ products launch, events, and new location opening. A well-crafted press release must obey the following points:
- Concise and to the point
- Must fulfill 5 W’s i.e. Who, What, When, Where, and Why
- Easily findable contact information
- Avoid jargons and industry-specific terminology
How to assure your Press Release gets the Desired Attention?
- The press releases are mostly sent by email. So, it is crucial to have an eye-catching subject line.
- It is obvious to have higher expectations, yet sometimes you don’t receive the desired response. Remember, rejection is not a failure, rather a learning opportunity.
- Even if you get no, reply positively thanking them for their response and ask them if it’s fine to pitch them someday later.
- You can also include the receiver’s name in your subject line to personalize it.
- You can also make use of PRWeb to pitch highly appealing press releases.
How to keep an eye on competitors to improve your success rate?
Monitoring what your competition is doing is a good way to create a better PR strategy. That’s what most of the successful companies do. Follow their social media accounts. Check their advertising strategies. How they get covered through media and what type of press releases do they pitch?
You can use tools like Agility PR, Moz and Mention to get insights about your competitors.
How to use social media and other related sites to leverage your business success?
With more than half of the Internet users using social media daily, it has an immense possibility to help the varied businesses reach potential customers. Here, how you can use it to increase your chances of media coverage:
Contact social media influencers who share similar interest as your brand and invite them to try your products and share it on their accounts.
Make use of Reddit. It is surely the first page of the Internet. Also, most of its subreddits are visited by journalists to look for the news. So, grab the opportunity.
How to measure the success rate?
Since PR success rate is decided by the strengthening of a brand rather than sales and website traffic, it is relatively tough to measure in numbers. Well, it can certainly do an immense contribution to the latter two.
On the other hand, rather focusing on the quantified result, it is more important to focus on the media mentions’ quality.
You surely want the potential audience to know about your products and then, they pass on the word to other potential people. The process of achieving media attention isn’t easy, it takes hard work, but it’s surely worth it.
Here are a few stories that can help you get a closer look at how various businesses received their most important media coverage:
In the year 2014, Airtame was considered the most crowdfunded project on Indigogo. According to Steffen Hedebrandt, the head of marketing at Airtime, “Running the most crowdfunded project welcomes in lots of press attention, yet many people fail to utilize it as the business grows older.”
A year after their crowdfunding campaign became successful, they received coverage from various publications such as TechCrunch and VentureBeat. Though they managed to raise around 1 million dollars only, they received because they’d the striking factor, “most crowdfunding project.”
Thus, it is fine to repeat same story again and again till it establishes credibility.
RunRepeat is a website focused on running shoes founded by Jens Jakob Anderson. According to Anderson, “finding press to write a review about shoes was pretty difficult and almost impossible.” So, to get the positive results, he focused more on statistical data rather than pitching journalist.
He realised that cheap running sneakers and shoes are way much better than its expensive alternatives. The media loved this fact and he got his story published in more than 30 publications.
Mearto made use of news hacking technique to get their story covered by media. According to Mads Hallas, “news hacking is a method to take control of the stories written by others. We came across a story written by a European restaurant, Noma, to upgrade its furniture. They were auctioning their old furniture. We helped them create a landing page to sell their furniture and it got covered by local media.”
Sometimes, the secret to media attention lies in using already famous resources such as Slideshare. Slideshare, being a very popular site, is visited by millions and millions of users on a monthly basis. Tobias Schelle, working at 24Slides, explains, “We uploaded our slides to Slideshare and pitched targeted journalists with the link. Surprisingly, we managed to receive multiple mentions in famous publications that includes Huffpost.”
Important Points, You Must Remember
- Focus more on pitching targeted journalists than getting featured in media. Find a way to contact them, it can be through email, social media or contact information available on their websites or blogs.
- Most of the journalists prefer email over phones, though it is fine to call them if you build strong relationships with them.
- Press Releases are the foremost considered method to be sent to journalist. It is important to note that journalists receive thousands of press releases everyday, out of which more than 90% are useless and not at all worth-reading. So, the chance of getting featured is pretty low. With such situation, the subject lines plays a crucial role in increasing the chances of a successful press release.
- While pitching journalist, it is good to go with an email template that begins with introduction (not more than 30 words), reason for pitching them (not more than 30 words), your story (not more than 300 words) and finally, ask the journalist about their interests level in not more than 10 words. At the end, give them a call to action on how they can contact you.
PR is all about building relationships so strong that you don’t need to struggle to find the voice for your work. If you don’t get a result in the first place, then try again. Many firms receive late success, yet a long-lasting one.
Dennis Thorgesen from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S. on June 10, 2019:
In the business world today who you know is as important as what you know. Networking should start as you are in the start up phase.
What I tell my consulting clients is you know you have made it when journalists write, then publish press releases for you.
I learned this quite by accident. The day I launched Lisech's third website I had 800 comments. A few days before this I had let several of my friends know I was launching. One writer friend wrote an article that was published the day before I launched. It was featured on Yahoo news.
In today's world it is important to remember where your customers are going to come from. The people in the know say within the next two years much of the traffic to websites is going to come from YouTube.
I have already convinced one marketer to lead with a video. By this i mean the first thing you see when you go to his content is a video. It is working well for him. There is already one writer who plans to use video to lead to his books. I see no reason this wouldn't work for hubbers as well.
It is important to remember to build the know, like, trust factor.
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Gupi on June 09, 2019:
Great tips on enhancing the image of a brand in the public eye. A lot of useful things I can take away from this fantastic piece of work.