PR: Everything you need to know but didn’t want to ask.
PR is so often a topic of the unknown. I’ve been asked many questions over the years! So, I’ve have compiled it all into this blog to help answer those questions!
So, what is PR?
Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the spread of information. This may be between an individual or an organisation and the public. However your customer sees you is technically PR. Yes, whether that be in print, digital, social media, on the news or radio.
“A successful PR campaign can be likened to a new TV programme. Generally, you won’t watch a programme the first time you see it advertised. You’ll see it advertised. Then see some content on social media and hear of a friend who loves it. You may then watch the trailer and the first episode. PR is just like it. A potential customer needs to see your brand 5 times before they go to your website and even then, they’re not guaranteed to make a purchase. So they’ll need to see you on Facebook, in their magazine, on Twitter, hear of a friend who loves one of your products and then see an advert somewhere before they have a look further.”
How can PR help your business?
PR is a great way to increase coverage, brand awareness and enquiries. Successful PR stories are driven around new products, innovative ideas and brands that do something a little different. Featuring in gift guides, new product guides and the ‘What We’re Loving Now’ style features are invaluable to your business. Your PR expert will have features lists from publications with all of these drawn out, so they’re already half way there.
Do you need a PR pro or can you do it yourself?
You don’t necessarily need to use an expert BUT they will already have the contacts at magazines, newspapers, blogs, TV etc. They will have spent years building up a relationship with editors and journalists so will be much more likely to get you coverage.
If you are looking to work with someone, I’d advise choosing someone who understands your industry, your sector and your brand. I specialise in equestrian and rural businesses because I’ve been horsey for my whole life and live on a farm, in the Cotswolds. Very much living the country dream! It’s my area of passion and expertise.
Managing your own PR
If you wish to handle your own PR, spend some time creating an integrated plan. Analyse at least 3 of your target magazines, so you know which journalist to get in touch with. Also learn what sort of features they run, if they have a new product section, or an entrepreneur of the month style section. You need to find the exact person to email your proposal or idea too. Generally phone calls are a no no for journalists and editors, so be sure to find the right email and ensure your subject line is catchy and will grab their attention.
Before you even think about sending a press release or getting in touch, ensure your website and blog is up to date and that your social media pages are all relevant, current and professional. I’ve heard of press releases being ignored because a simple search from an editor highlighted really unprofessional accounts with swearing or Facebook pages that hadn’t been updated for 2 months. It all counts!
The integrated plan
With the influx of bloggers and news-based websites, PR has changed over recent years. A plan which combines both traditional (magazines, newspapers, TV and radio) with modern PR (bloggers, influencers, digital, social) is essential. While print coverage is great, digital is a lot easier to track and to work out the true return on investment.
Accessibility & affordability of PR
Many people think public relations is just for the London-based tech and fashion firms who have massive budgets. This really needn’t be the case.
If you have a budget in mind, do speak to an expert and let them know – most of them will certainly be able to work to your price range and will create an integrated plan to suit your brand.
If you’re stuck, feel baffled with PR or just want someone to talk to, please do send me an email and we can get the ball rolling!