Every business can benefit from public relations – it encourages people to talk and think about your brand in a positive way, building reputation, image and goodwill. PR should be a vital weapon in your business armoury, to enhance your commercial and professional image – and so help to increase sales. It’s also a cost-effective way to get good publicity without advertising. And if there’s a problem facing your business it helps you deal with it effectively.
These standard PR tools will help you tell your story:
· Press release - a prepared statement of fact and comment – for example, a new product launch or service
· News feature - detailed information on a news-worthy topic relating to the area in which you operate
· Picture caption - brief descriptive caption alongside a photograph.
· Letters-to-editor - react to news or editorial features, or letters from other readers.
· Opinion articles and columns - By establishing yourself as an expert, you will quickly develop strong working relationships with your media.
Tips for writing effective press releases
Your press releases must be short and to the point to attract journalists’ attention. Make them pithy, lively, relevant and free of jargon or hyperbole. Tell the basic story in the first paragraph. Journalists call it the five W’s – Who, What, When, Where and Why.
Keep a record of key media and contacts, plus their editorial deadlines. Call them and introduce yourself and get your name in their contacts book as a source of expert comment! Keep a guard book of your press cuttings coverage.
Send your press release by email, post or fax to the news desk. If journalists ask for more details cooperate – and work to their timescales.
Press release ideas
All releases need a strong ‘hook’ – an angle that will give your story reader appeal. Exploit your company’s natural PR opportunities – the opening of new premises, or a milestone event. Have you received an accolade or won an industry award? Don’t forget one of your best assets – your staff. Have any employees been recognised for outstanding achievements? Monitor industry and business news into which you can hook.
· develop a newsletter
· join an organisation – become a figurehead
· organise competitions in cooperation with a relevant magazine or local paper
· network: talk to national and local opinion-formers
Get a website
The first thing journalists do when they receive a release is to look at your website.
Make sure it’s informative and impactful!
Look at your competition
What do they have that you haven’t? What are they doing that you are neglecting?
Social media and networking sites
Online networking, social media and digital PR messaging are powerful! Search engine optimisation targets those actively looking for your services, while social media takes your services to the people. Ensure a well-rounded internet PR strategy encompassing both sets of tools
Finally, the best PR is the recommendation of a satisfied customer, so encourage loyal customers to spread the word!
With minimal financial outlay and a little hard graft, you can achieve positive publicity for your business. So, develop media contacts, communicate PR messages succinctly, build on your successes, use social media and consider employing a PR agency, such as PRimage, for more ambitious projects. Email Judy Viitanen for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org