7 PR TIPS TO CREATE EFFECTIVE PUBLICITY
With over 20 years of experience working in UK PR, Consultancy Account Director Pete Connell has run media and publicity campaigns for TV series like Game of Thrones, movies like Star Wars and brands including Happn and Bandai Namco. Pete knows a thing or two about getting those column inches for your event, business or brand. Check out how his team delivers effective publicity and achieves great result for his clients.
Learn, learn, learn
It’s important that we know our clients’ brands very well – either when we are selling in an idea to media, approaching talent and influencers, or looking to work with suppliers. Getting to know our brand is like starting a new relationship; we’re learning about our partners, understanding what makes them tick, what they like, what they dislike, what works for them, and what doesn’t.
Knowing our brands inside and out is vital and being armed with as much information as possible is very important when we are representing them in the media. It’s key that we have tried and tested what we are promoting, and that we have familiarised ourselves with it as much as humanly possible. This makes it easier for both parties when selling it in and saves valuable time. The media is a very fast-paced environment and it’s key that we are armed with the right tools to highlight the key selling points.
Understand the wider media landscape
We visualise and map out where our clients’ brands and products fit within the current media landscape. This PR tactic applies for any one of our clients from start-up tech companies to international giants. For example, if we’re pitching out a new piece of cool tech like a Kobo eReader, then of course the technology writers will be the first port of call.
But the road doesn’t end here. There are so many avenues that we can take to achieve maximum coverage and to reach different audiences. The Kobo eReader can appeal to many more reporters and media than tech writers alone. Think travel writers (and bloggers), gifting placements, parenting press, wellbeing writers, students… the list goes on. And this can be done with most brands and products.
Before thinking outside of the box, we make sure that every corner on the inside has been covered by looking at all angles and pitch ideas that will resonate with the most important media outlets. I worked in film PR for many years and my media knowledge is vast. At first, I thought that film reviewers and publications were the only options, but when you delve into the genre, audience, and theme, there are so many routes you can take to hit different audiences.
Also, say goodbye to the stereotype. I worked on PR for eight seasons of Game of Thrones, and believe me, the audience did not stop at Sci-Fi and fantasy fans, it was literally picked up everywhere from women’s lifestyle media to food publications. We went out with so many different angles that would hit new audiences, whether it was related to the fashion, food, relationships of the characters, there were endless opportunities for a production that could be foreseen as just a ‘fantasy’ series.
Balance brand mentions and make it natural
When creating organic content for our brands, we focus on the rule of three. That’s three key messages that are most important for our client to communicate to that media outlet and its readers, users, viewers or listeners. We are careful not to over mention the brand name as we need to walk a fine line between getting the name out there and not overbranding a piece of content or a pitch. If we include the brand too many times, it will simply be seen as “PR puff” that heads into advertising territory – and that will definitely put journalists off running it.
With consumer PR, it is key to make sure that the narrative of the content relates to the consumer. It must offer them value in the form of education and insight, tips and tricks, or something that they can take away and weave into their own lives. When reaching out for our consumer brands, we take the same pathway, and no box is left un-ticked. We look at the wider picture to consider all angles that can relate to what we want to achieve: where our product sits within the piece, how it relates to everyday life and what the benefits are for using it.
Partnerships and third parties
Working with partners and third parties are effective ways to help to raise brand awareness to a much wider, more diverse audience. It helps to extend the reach of your publicity and find new target audiences already engaged by your partner. We did this for our client Airtasker, the local services marketplace that helps people advertise their skills to earn extra cash. We launched a campaign called ‘Move Right’ to demonstrate all the skills that you can outsource to make your move easier, and to show how you can earn money by helping people near to you move house.
We worked with property expert Phil Spencer, presenter of Location, Location, Location, to share his tips and tricks and to highlight the benefits of incorporating Airtasker into your home move. Working with Phil helped us to secure numerous pieces of top-tier coverage, along with multiple regional pieces and radio interviews too. Not only did we hit the property and money pages in the media, but the net was cast far and wide. This partnership helped the Airtasker platform to achieve a huge spike in new registrations – eight times their usual daily sign-ups to be exact.
Working with talent and influencers is a great way to reach the right audiences and achieve the best results. Influencers do what they say on the tin – they influence people. So, working with the right influencers is key when incorporating them into any campaign. However, they must be relevant and authentic. For example, Phil Spencer worked for the ‘Move Right’ campaign, whereas someone like Philip Schofield, who would also get media interest, wouldn’t (no offence, Philip).
Keep your enemies close and your media connections closer
We all know that it’s important to be able to hold down a good relationship, but transferring that into our work life is key. We support and work with our clients and media on a daily basis and the foundation to a healthy relationship is always the same: trust.
Earning our clients’ trust is the first port of call. They need to know that they are putting their brand in safe hands and that they can rely on our expertise when driving their brand forward in a very competitive battlefield. We are there to guide them with our knowledge and experience. This helps them to feel at ease, have a little more faith and consequently nurture a healthier working relationship.
Secondly, building relationships with media and journalists is something that has been top of our lists since day one of our PR careers. It gives a whole element of harmony and security to both parties. They know that when you approach them with a story or feature idea, it will be something worthwhile because it comes from a trusted source. Plus, they can also feel confident in approaching you when they are looking for something you have, to supplement their current projects. It’s symbiosis.
Honesty is the best policy
We believe honesty is key – both in life and this field of work. My team at Cherish PR is never a pushover, it’s not wise to be a ‘yes’ person. We use our expertise and experience to steer the ship and together we are completely up-to-date with the forever changing news agenda, as well as being on the frontline approaching media daily. This level of transparency is crucial for our clients when it comes to the execution of plans and ideas. It also gives them a sense of relief to know that we will deliver on our targets. If we feel that we need to take a new approach on an existing idea to keep up with a pivoting news agenda, then we will be upfront about it.
Approaching and selling into media
Warning: journalists can be short and sometimes push us onto the back foot. If you find yourself feeling deflated, you’re not alone. As mentioned earlier, relationship building is key, and being armed with as much content and the right messaging is incredibly important. Being able to go above and beyond to get them what they need is always a bonus. However, we always need to be aware that once that content leaves the journalist’s hands, it is then at the editor’s discretion as to what happens next. That can mean cutting it down, or even pulling the piece completely, which can feel frustrating. But that, unfortunately, is something that we have all had to learn to live with and move on from. So, we don’t stop there, we pick up and continue driving forward until we get what we set out for.
If you have been inspired by our tips and want to know more about working with a PR consultancy, then feel free to get in touch at email@example.com. For specialist PR for tech companies, please let us know in your email subject line and our senior team will be in touch.