No matter how you want to measure it, public relations (PR) can be your most cost-effective form of marketing. But that doesn’t mean it will be. Why? Because PR relies on others spreading your message, and there are no guarantees they’ll play ball.
To maximise your chances for mega exposure, below are our DIY tips for PR success!
What is Public Relations
“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and their publics.” – PRSA
Confused? That’s because the definition of PR is so overwhelmingly broad. For the sake of this article, let’s narrow the definition to, ‘cultivating free publicity through the creation and distribution of stories that show your business in a favourable way’. Or… having someone talk about your business in a newspaper / magazine / television / journal / radio / social media, etc.
DIY Public Relations – 4 Steps for Success
1. Identify the right publication or journalist
The right publication or journalist is the one who’s audience would find your story interesting. For example, if you’re selling car insurance for vintage cars, a vintage car magazine or a partnership with Craig Lowndes has obvious parallels.
2. Identify the right story to tell
The difference between PR and advertising is PR has to be interesting. A journalist will only publish your story if they think their readers will be willing to pay for it, whether that be in dollars or value in kind.
To identify the right story to tell, put yourself in the audience’s shoes. What sensationalism would you like to read about – think lists, stats, product launches, current affairs, endorsements or common problems that you can solve? We recommend picking one big idea so you can keep your story compelling and succinct.
If you’re coming up blank, Google ‘PR story ideas’ and you’ll get a list of thousands (of which one will be good).
3. Writing a media release
Depending on what media you’re vying for, i.e. a radio interview vs article in a newspaper, the format of your media release will change. What they will all have in common, however, are:
– An attention-grabbing headline
– An enticing opening sentence to introduce your story
– Compelling snippets of supporting information presented as short paragraphs
– Quotes from a credible source
– Zero spelling and grammar mistakes
– Information on how you can be contacted for more information
4. Writing a media release
Remember when we said PR can be your most cost-effective form of marketing. In a big way, your return rests on your ability to get a busy journalist to click ‘open’ on your email, rather than ‘delete’. And, with an inbox jammed full of requests just like yours, you can bet the cursor is, by default, hovering over the ‘delete’ button.
To inspire a journalist to read your email, we recommend:
Personalising your message
Do your research on the publications or journalist so you can personalise your message, i.e.
Subject Line: Responding to your article about 1979 Corvettes
Email: Did you know that 9 out of 10 1979 Corvettes are uninsured, despite being 10x more likely to get stolen?
Don’t be pushy
No phone calls and don’t email millions of follow-ups. You’ll only create an enemy. Make every communication count.
Ever wonder why it’s the same faces that represent your industry in the media. It’s because of relationships. A strong relationship will get your media releases read and put you top of mind when opportunities arise. This can be a frustrating fact when you’re getting started with PR, but remember, every relationship starts with a first message and there’s no time like the present to get started.
Relationships are where PR agencies come into their own. Crafting the perfect story provides no guarantee that your release will get read. Having a strong relationship built on time, quality and trust, will.