Can you be ignorant without knowing it? Are you sometimes rude? Is it possible that your press releases earn you nothing more than an irritated eye-roll when read? I would put money on it. Want to know why?
You’re so caught up in your brand and getting your message out there you’ve forgotten about the most important people in the equation. I’ll give you a clue… It’s called PUBLIC relations.
PR is about communicating with the public. More specifically, with your target audience. Interacting with the right people is one of the things that turns good PR into great PR. So, do your research and work out what titles your customers are most likely to read. Make a hit list of the top online, print and social outlets in which you would like coverage.
Now you know where you would like to be featured, here are three ways to help make it happen and avoid being labelled as ignorant or lazy:
- Be a customer – buy, subscribe to and/or just get your hands on the publications you want to be in. Then… Shock! Horror! Actually read them. How can you possibly expect an editor to take you seriously if what you send to them is so far from their usual content that they would have to completely rewrite to make it work? Or if it’s totally off-piste and would alienate or worse, offend their readership? Seems ignorant of you doesn’t it?
- Write pitches and articles to suit the publication – pay attention to the tone and the language used. Watch out for the styles of the articles and any regular themes or features. Tailor your pitches and press releases to show that you understand their content and can provide value for readers. For example, avoid sending in lengthy opinion pieces when they clearly prefer to use Q&A style articles. It makes you look… yes, you guessed it.
- Get in touch – with just a little bit of effort you can have a lot of impact. Try actually speaking to a reporter or editor to find out exactly they kind of content they are looking for. Yes, they are busy people so won’t want a lengthy discussion but a quick chat to ask a few pre-prepared questions will serve you well for months to come.
The more you practice this the better at it you will become. What you build by repeating the process is a more efficient, more successful and, ultimately, more rewarding system for your PR efforts.
If you take anything away from this blog let it be this: being great at PR isn’t about sending out a blanket email to 200 contacts and hoping that one or more of them will pick up and run your piece. Go be an informed PR professional instead!