18 May The Key to Great PR
I regularly come across businesses that have pinned their hopes on one press release. They tell me how they sent it out with excitement in the pits of their stomachs and then felt the hard cold flop of disappointment when they don’t get an army of journalists on the phone the very next day. And then, disillusioned, they resign their venture into PR to the past and move on to what they consider safer tactics.
But what separates these businesses from the ones that do get go on to get great, continuous press is often one thing, perseverance. PR is a long-term option and takes perseverance in more ways than one.
Putting the time in
Just like exercise, an occasional blast of frenetic activity will have little long-term effect. What does succeed is regular, time-tabled PR activity. Take a look at your weekly schedule and ascertain how much time you can devote to PR. A morning or afternoon a week is great. Put in your diary and make it sacrosanct. If you don’t have that amount of time, what can you ditch or delegate to make the time?
One press release does not make a PR campaign. You need to release something to the media at least every other month. Sometimes these communications will disappear into the ether; sometimes they will be spot on. Regular postings to the press ensure that your name is in their minds (and contact books) and allow you to experiment with different ways of writing and presenting your press release.
But the most important part of a PR strategy is building bonds with journalists and editors. Just like making friends or networking for business contacts, this takes tact and time. It’s not a case of rushing in, but gently building trust and respect.
Allowing the campaign to reach the public
Seeing your company covered in the press is extremely flattering and satisfying, and may help bring you enquiries, clients and increased sales, but the real rewards come with continuous long-term coverage that propels your company firmly into the public eye and creates a recognised brand, your brand.
Working with my long-term clients on my coaching programme I have watched complete beginners go on to nab columns in national magazines, be interviewed for monthly glossies and appear on national TV. A key part of the programme is clients’ accountability – ostensibly to me, but primarily to themselves. Take this aboard with your own campaign, either charting your goals and your progress in a diary or journal as you go, or partnering up with another business and sharing the process. This helps keep up impetus and motivation when it becomes a little too easy to get distracted by the day to day distractions of running your business. And it’s a wonderful way to share and celebrate your PR successes, supporting and cheering each other on as you go.
If you’d like to discuss how PR coaching can help improve your business’ visibility, call me on 0208 550 2599.