PR Myth: We have no Story
PR is the Persuasion Business. PR people are storytellers. They create narratives to advance your agenda. PR can be used to protect, enhance or build reputations through the media, social media, or self-produced communications. A good PR practitioner will analyze the organisation, find the positive messages and translate those messages into positive stories.
Unless you are set on being in stealth mode, there is obvious benefit from getting your business in the media spotlight. It can raise consumer awareness, drive sales, increase brand credibility, attract investors, lead to partnerships, secure customers, create speaking engagements and so much more.
Headline grabbing news doesn’t come along every day. When it does, you can get a one-off burst of interest and column inches. Then it dries up and you need to keep the coverage momentum going. With the right approach, your business can in fact generate a consistent stream of powerful publicity.
Create A Story
This is the most common form of public relations. It involves storytelling about your brand to build the big picture around events in your business such as the launch of a new service, an app, a new CEO or other significant hire, a new business plan, merger, winning an award, something of this nature. Other methods of making news around brand story telling include by-lined articles written for an independent publication, Opinion-Editorials, social media (blog posts, tweets, photos, videos, etc.), content marketing on your website, and more.
This is when you notice a story in the news and respond. It could be a shift in the stock market; new government policies; the economic effects of external events etc. For breaking news, journalists often need an expert to comment, and they will generally contact their usual list of suspects, experts whom they know or trust. With some quick thinking, reaching out can lead to great new connections and media attention. When the story isn’t immediate, businesses can insert themselves into a trend. These are usually feature stories, in contrast to news happening today. For example, if law firms are cutting hourly prices in return for fixed fee or guaranteed monthly retainers, and your client is a law firm who signed a big deal like this with a major client, that’s one instance of a trend.
Today’s trend in PR and marketing is for ‘thought leadership’, meaning you can gain valuable exposure with intelligent and relevant industry commentary. While news has always been the backbone of the media, insight driven content is now big business. Your media success is no longer dependent on news but on your ability to produce and share information, you already have in-house, that your market and target audience will value.
Public Relations does what it says on the tin- we build relationships. Although relationships with the media have always been an important part of our work, PR now has a much stronger position in building relationships directly with the public and consumers. With shrinking newsrooms, bloggers and social networks have become the outlets where people follow the news. Even the media use social to share breaking details on stories. If you are a B2B business, then you should know which key publications are read by your audience. These will probably be regional business publications or industry titles. They could also be titles across the verticals you service as well as business sections in the nationals.